The new Walther Lever Action CO2 rifle: Part 4

by B.B. Pelletier


The brushed-nickel version of the Walther Lever Action CO2 rifle is extremely attractive.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Before we start today’s report, I want to update you on another report that’s ongoing. The .25 caliber BSA Supersport test had to be stopped because the forearm screws on the test rifle will not tighten. Also, the velocity of the test gun seems to be way too low. It’s in the 400s. We’ve contacted Gamo USA to get a replacement rifle. When it arrives, I will re-start the test from where we left off.

Today is a special fourth part to the test of the Walther Lever Action rifle. I did the accuracy test with open sights in Part 3, so today I’m mounting a scope to see how much better this rifle will shoot.

I’m using a prototype scope mount made for the older Walther Lever Action rifle by B-Square. It was eventually offered as a standard item for many years, but it is no longer available. However, Umarex now sells their own version of this mount that they call the Walther scope base, and it looks even nicer. It’s made to accept either Weaver or 11mm scope rings, which is a big plus. Also, it has three mounting screws instead of the single screw the B-Square base has.


This old B-Square prototype mount was never finished, so the bare aluminum is a close match for the silver rifle. The small Leapers scope looks just right for the rifle’s size.

For a scope, I was very selective. This rifle is more of a carbine size, and I didn’t want to overpower it with a huge scope. Even the usual 3-9x scopes that are considered normal on most air rifles are large for this one. I had a Leapers 5th Gen 4×32 Compact Mini CQB scope with a 100-yard fixed parallax that looked right for this installation, so I used it. Normally, this would be the exact wrong scope to use on a short-range air rifle, because the parallax is set for 100 yards, but I found it clear enough at 25 yards to let me see .177 pellet holes when they landed in the white. I could bisect the bull with the crosshairs, and the extra bit of eye relief this scope gives made it a good choice in this case.

Trigger-pull
I praised the trigger-pull back in part 2. I said I thought it would satisfy most shooters, but when I looked through the scope in this test I found the trigger a little too heavy for perfect work. So, I applied a technique that always works well on heavier rimfire triggers. Instead of squeezing the trigger gently, pull faster and with more force. The gun will fire sooner, which I found offsets the desire to wait until the crosshairs are on the exact point of aim. It sounds like a sloppy way to shoot, but when there’s a heavier trigger I’ve found that it works well.

Accuracy
All shooting was done from a rest indoors at 25 yards. I began the test by seating the pellets with just my fingers, but that didn’t work too well. After switching to the seating tool, the groups shrunk in half. Don’t forget to use that tool!

Crosman Premiers
I shot the Crosman Premier 7.9-grain domed pellet, but this time it didn’t do very well. The 8-shot group was nearly one inch, which is on the large size in view of the other groups I got.

Air Arms Falcons
Another domed pellet that didn’t work as well as I’d hoped was the Falcon from Air Arms. They grouped about 0.90 inches for 8 shots, but in light of the other two I tried, that was lacking.

JSB Match Diabolo Exact RS
One of the pellets that performed well was the JSB Match Diabolo Exact RS. It’s another lightweight domed pellet, but unlike the Falcon, the Walther really liked this one. However, it wasn’t as consistent in the rifle as the next pellet I tried.


JSB Match Diabolo Exact RS pellets did well at 25 yards. This 8-shot group measures 0.652 inches between centers. This was the best group of the test.

JSB Match Diabolo Exact 8.4-grain domes
The pellets I found best in this rifle and the pellets I kept coming back to, magazine after magazine, were the JSB Match Diabolo Exact 8.4-grain domes. They just always wanted to go where I was aiming, once the gun was sighted in for them.


The JSB Match Diabolo Exact 8.4-grain pellet proved to be the most consistent in this rifle. Though they didn’t shoot the best group of the day, they were all close to this one, which measures 0.748 inches between centers.

Shooting this rifle is like eating peanuts. You never want to stop, because it’s just so much fun to do! I shot a lot more groups than I normally would for a test like this. Both the JSB Exact 8.4 and the JSB Exact RS were super performers that did their job, so long as I did mine.

Final impressions
It’s still shooting the rifle on the first CO2 cartridge I installed. With today’s testing, that’s over 225 shots for certain. You get lots of shots from one of these big bottles.

I’ll be sad to let this one return to Pyramyd Air. I know I can’t hang onto them all, but this one is the high-water mark of the lever-action design. It’s smooth, slick and balanced perfectly. It handles like you wish a .22 rimfire would, and it builds dreams with each pull of the trigger. I’m going to put it in my recommended list of airguns, because I know how happy it will make all potential owners.

42 thoughts on “The new Walther Lever Action CO2 rifle: Part 4


  1. B.B.,
    Wow, I really like this rifle! If one of these ever followed me home, it would replace the r7, and I’m just not quite ready for that. Yet.
    Yesterday you asked for test suggestions, I thought of another. Some kind of a springer long term endurance showdown. Two hundred bucks is a good price point, maybe five rifles, five testers, (no shortages of those around here) five weeks. 1000 shots per week, quick check in from the tester each Monday, velocity and accuracy from favorite pellet, general opinion of workmanship, etc. Will the scope fall off, will accuracy fall off, will the spring fail? I think it would be a fun read.
    Tester suggestions, no particular order:
    BG_Farmer
    Slinging Lead
    twotalon
    Matt61
    Vince

    Bring it!
    -hm


    • Don’t be getting too free with my time and money. Those are two things I don’t have enough of already.
      I have five different rifles that I am working with already, and have been at odds with some really crappy weather this spring. I also have a no time limit agreement with Brian to do some target swapping, shooting 97K against 97K. So much to do and so little time.

      twotalon


      • Hank

        I have been nominated as a guest test shooter? My spine is tingling!

        Thanks for the vote of confidence.



  2. BB, your technique to deal with heavy triggers works well. However, folks have to be careful with it as it tends to lead to the dreaded “flinch”.

    Mike


  3. The only thing about this gun that bugs me ,is why didn’t they make the forend a tad longer so it looks more like the Winchester. Looks chopped off to me. Or skip the band and add a metal forend cap like on the short magazine cartridge rifles. Other than that, I like it.
    On the .25 BSA Supersport. The one I recently bought from Pyramyd is doing well. I’m happy with it so far, and have over 500 shots through it. It is a gun you would want to use the lighter .25 cal pellets in. I am getting 600fps with the H&N 20.6 gr FTT’s, and the standard deviation is very tight. I have some 19.0 gr and 18.7 gr pellets coming to test. If you jump up in wt to the 25-26 gr pellets, the velocity plummets to the 500-525 fps range. Mine is great fun to plink with. Scrap blocks of 3/4″ pine do spectacular back flips when hit ,and the 25 grJSB’s blow great big holes through them ,blasting splinters out the back.


  4. Edith

    A rifle I forgot from yesterday: Walther 1250 Dominator. 100 shots from a PCP?!

    Regarding the Walther Lever Action:

    What, are they too cheap to put a leather thong on the ring so you can tie it to your saddle like a Red Ryder? ;-)

    I really do like this rifle, though I tend to shy away from CO2 guns. My first impression of the butt pad was just as Kevin stated: “Looks like a shoe made for a club foot.” The longer I look at it, the less it bothers me. I also think the nickel finish, which I wasn’t digging from the beginning, has started to grow on me. I do think I would get the black version if I were to order one however.

    It is nice to know what this rifle is capable of, but of all my rifles, this is the last one I would mount a scope to.

    That weird sound you hear is me kicking myself for not buying the WLA Wells Fargo Limited Edition when PA had them on clearance.


    • SL,
      I think that butt pad would look a lot better if it was curved in slightly to cup the shoulder. I said slightly, nothing radical. Maybe no more than a 1/4″ . I think too much would interfere with shouldering and shooting.
      -Chuck


  5. Going back to yesterday and ‘light duty’ barrels.
    I’ve always wondered about a scene in Quigley Down Under.
    It’s when he has stopped overnight at the small town on his way back to get the bad guy (Elliot Marsden).
    The bad guys have set fire to the building he is in. He escapes by hoisting himself through a broken skylight on the top floor, hoisting himself up by his Sharps which he has wedged into the skylight.
    Tom Sellick ain’t no flyweight!
    Could you do this without bending something?
    I know I wouldn’t want to try it with my Slavia or 853c!


    • Well, we may have to chalk it up to that old-time workmanship. Someone wrote that if some temperamental baseball player (was it Barry Bonds?) tried to break a Mosin over his knee, we would end up in a hospital.

      Matt61


  6. Twotalon & slinginglead,
    I love your completely opposite reactions to seeing your name on the short list. You guys are perfect for this! Twotalon, of course my plan would not cost you any money, just time. PA ships you the rifle and ammo, you thrash it for five weeks, sweep up what’s left, sent it back. PA can now price the gun one hundred bucks over list because it will now be so famous. I understand the time factor, I don’t have enough either.
    Kevin, would like to be a test subject?
    B.B.,
    Are you reading this? These guys will be expecting their rifles soon.
    Hm


    • Hankmcrae,

      Your test sounds interesting. Unfortunately I don’t have the time to participate. I’ve got guns of my own that have been here for almost 6 months that I haven’t had time to shoot yet.

      kevin


      • Hank

        I don’t have great big wads of time in which to shoot 1000 rounds per week, but like most craven airgun fanatics, the prospect of shooting guns that are not my own is very enticing. The prospect that someone actually wants my point of view for a change is even more so.

        I like your idea of a test, even if I were not one of the subjects. I nominate you in return.

        I would be just like BB! Just less handsome and not as well informed.


  7. B.B., so the dreams build even with a hard trigger? :-) I’m fairly consumed with curiosity about what you would think of my B30 trigger. It is light enough that I sometimes set it off inadvertently, but it requires significantly more pressure than my IZH 61. A more aggressive trigger press definitely helps. I’ve never been a fan of scoping lever actions which seem built for being handy–maybe that’s just my experience with the Winchester 94. I wonder if that is true of air rifles.

    Hankmcrae, thanks for your mention of me for your testing line-up. The fact is that I’ve backed off my 150 shots a day regimen for various reasons including the fact that PA has run out of RWS Hobbies which are the staple of all of my airguns! My self-esteem for a day now rides entirely on one 10 shot group offhand with my B30! However, the experience has been interesting. It’s sort of like when you suddenly spend extra time with an individual you know casually from a larger group: you find out that they’re often different than you had sized them up for and generally for the better. So, this does raise the specter of gun inflation whereby as you increase your arsenal, you’re actually reducing your chances to enjoy any one to the full. I can almost hear my M1 and Savage 10FP protesting at the prospect of a Mosin and a Lee-Enfield joining the stable. I can even picture them performing a Herbie wherein Herbie the Love Bug tries to throw himself off the Golden Gate Bridge when Jim Douglas bought a new red Ferrari.

    Duskwight, it sounds like a lot of work has gone into finding material to reinforce forward swept wings when the goal is not entirely clear. If the configuration is really more stable, that doesn’t seem entirely desirable either if you want some instability. Maybe there is some narrow range of values they are after.

    Edith, goon squad eh? I have suspected that working the 1911 slide is more a matter of applying force properly. But finding a woman who can do this is a tall order. Just how am I supposed to do that? :-) I suspect such a woman could be baited with surplus rifles. Anyway, just what is your method of working a 1911 slide? I myself have some difficulty pulling it from the rear when gripping the serrations although this may have to do with keeping the pistol coated in Ballistol. I prefer to grab the slide over the barrel where it is easily done although now I’m careful to grip the slide with two fingers and a thumb only and keep the other fingers away from the muzzle.

    Victor, what is your opinion of the chickenwing position for the rear elbow in offhand shooting? I have been trying it out and it works; I noticed definite improvement. Now, I’m wondering about why. It seems to me unintuitive to have a body part sticking out in the breeze unbalancing things and tiring out the arm. The wisdom is that you create a pocket in your shoulder to hold the rifle butt. I think I see what they are talking about but am not convinced that the position of the buttstock has that much influence on the whole shot. It feels to me more that you are somehow anchoring your skeletal structure better with the way the various muscles are flexed when the elbow is out.

    And one more bit of trivia on Mosin rifles. The question is what is the source of their surprising accuracy when they are so old and even maligned in some quarters. I’m reading a memoir of a high-level German sniper ace on the Eastern Front–he goes by the alias of Sepp Allerberger, and in the midst of the incredibly gruesome accounts of combat, he shows a definite preference for a captured Mosin-Nagant sniper rifle over the issue Mauser 98. Of course part of this is because of the Mosin’s telescopic sight. However, this model of sight was of a fairly low power–3.5-4X–and more like one of our red dot or reflex sights than a real scope, so I don’t know if that would explain the difference. Anyway, one explanation is that with its separate bolt head, the clunky old Mosin bolt in effect provides a tighter grip on the cartridge in the fashion of the Savage floating bolt head. I can’t imagine a higher recommendation. :-)

    Matt61


    • Matt61,
      The chickenwing position, with the elbow sticking straight out, was how I was taught to shoot offhand. My rifle coach was a Marine drill instructor, and he was also a great shot. I still believe that it is the proper way to teach offhand shooting, but I later found that it was not the best way for me. My body had a natural tendency to crouch slightly, and drop the elbow. It took years before I was willing to follow my body’s lead and deviate from what I was taught. The change helped me a great deal, but also frustrated my rifle coach.

      Funny thing, I now find that the chickenwing position helps in some scenarios. I can’t help thinking that there is some combination involving this position and other parts of the body that needed refining. In other words, maybe my coach was more right than I had realized. This is one of the reasons that I’m still so interested (fascinated) in shooting. It seems that there is always something to learn, and it doesn’t matter how accomplished you are. Even the best world class shooters can’t agree on everything. This is also why a lot of shooters “specialize”.

      Victor


    • Matt

      Go ahead and get the ‘red Ferrari.’ Your guns will not throw themselves off of a bridge. You will gain knowledge and experience, both of which will guide you as to which guns to keep and which ones to sell for a tidy profit.

      As an example I have no need or room for a Maruader pistol. Well, I ordered one anyway because I found a deal. It is lighter, and quieter and more powerful, and more accurate than a pistol has any right to be. It is quieter than my Marauder rifle because there is no PING! A gun which I did not need and wasn’t even crazy about has made me reassess some of my other guns. Thank God for impulse buying and good old fashioned consumerism. Gotta keep this economy moving!


    • Matt,

      Yes, that sound quite logical – imroved stability in one mode of flight and controlled instability in another, something like that.
      On Sepp Allerberger – do not read that book. It caused a lot of laugh as it’s a sort of Conan fantasy novel, old man loves to eeer… exaggerate. He was a sniper all right, but he was also a storyteller of a tall tales kind ;)
      There’s a detailed list of mismatches and faults somewhere on the net. Same kind of books from Russian side are published here I guess every 2 years. A heroic tanker, who almost busted Hitler, a pilot who fought in penal air squadron and shot 120 planes, a sniper who claims that he shot more than 1000 Germans. Let old men brag a little ;)

      duskwight



  8. PeteZ, why do you suppose that a small set of engineering principles dominate the most recent generation of fighters but not the WWII era where there was a profusion of different designs which all had their strengths and weaknesses. Is there something different about the supersonic regime? My suspicion is that the stealth era fighters are similar because other countries are copying the U.S. and taking advantage of the astronomic expense that we have poured into research and development. Once you select basic parameters, the details will fall into place. But maybe there are other possibilities out there. It looks like the helicopter is undergoing a major revision with the counter-rotating propellers and pusher prop of the Sikorsky design and Richard Branson is certainly creating some exotic-looking aircraft for his ventures.

    That does raise the question about cul de sacs in technological development. Can springers be improved upon? There doesn’t seem to be much room to do so. And one reason that the M-16 has not been replaced for such a long time is that its design flaws have apparently been canceled by the fundamental soundness of the assault rifle design. And the same reasoning could explain the longevity of the AK 47 even with its sound original concept. The word is that more change will not come with military guns, anyway, without a major technological breakthrough.

    On another note, a quick look around the internet revealed some pretty careless and appalling storage practices for storing gunpowder and primers notwithstanding the grave warnings of the Lyman reloading manual. It sounds like you want to stick with original packaging and surround it with something reasonable as long as it’s not a locked safe.

    Matt61


    • Matt,

      The situation with airplanes is quite simple and it was mentioned earlier – science and engineering were not very much advanced in 30′s and 40′s, to there was a place for art, experience or creativity in design.
      Today airplanes are built task-oriented, pressing everything into pure function and modern digital modelling and engineering allows for maximizing this approach. Same function – same shape, that’s all. Think of a dolphin and a fish – they have very similar body shape, just because they have a same task – to move fast in water.
      Concorde had the same shape as Tu-144 (with Tu-144 flying earlier), B-1 and Tu-160 look almost like twins, MiG-15 looks like F-86 (and both in turn look like Ta-183) and so on. Function = shape.

      duskwight


    • Through at least the mid-1940s aeronautics was as much art as engineering. The fundamental equations could only be solved relatively crudely and only for oversimplified situations. Thus, the designers filled in the ‘gaps’ with experience, good (or bad) taste, and an awful lot of wind tunnel and flight testing. Computers today can solve the equations governing flight to high accuracy, and the designers can specify details of the aircraft essentially down to protrusions for pitot tubes, etc.

      Couple that ability to optimize solutions with a given mission and a given state of technology, and the equations deliver similar shapes for similar tasks. Design convergence can be found crudely as far back as the beginnings of WW2. Look, for example at the Spitfire and the Bf 109. Their silhouettes are awfully similar, and the Aircobra and Mustang fit into the same general shape class. Then there are the radial engined planes like the P-47 and the German and Japanese crates of similar design.

      The P-38 is obviously an example of really independent thinking, but it was ultimately not a design that lasted (pretty as it is).

      But when the jet engine came in designers lacked a decade of experience with the powerplant and capabilities. So you get the Me-262, Arado A-234 (a bomber), P-80, Campini N.1, Gloster Meteor, Bell P-59 Air Comet, etc. The range of silhouettes is enormous indicating a wide range of design choices that were made — but even so there is convergence in that a lot of the early fighters used two engines slung low under the wings, partly because the early engines were very low thrust compared to what would shortly become available.

      By the 1950s convergence was pretty well established, and there were very few outliers. To my mind, the F/A-18 series is one of those, but probably their were Soviet/Russian similar aircraft. BTW the French went their own aerodynamic way for a long time and came up with some very pretty designs.

      Today, it is a case of form following function, and of computers being able to match technology to function and form. Same numbers in, same basic designs out.




      • Fred,

        The CDC server was so overwhelmed with clicks to read the blog, that it was offline for almost 2 days! Word spread on the socnets, and people went crazy because a government agency officially recognized that zombies are real and pose a threat. Our tax dollars hard at work!

        Edith


        • Regardless, typical gov’t PC solution. Half-a**ed and not thought out. Sure, go ahead and stock up on water, food, supplies, etc. Make yourself a nice, juicy target for the less scrupulous types who, incidentally, didn’t prepare as well. Whatcha gonna do when 3 or 4 of these fellows, armed at least with knives and pipes and 2×4′s, come along to relieve you of your well-considered stash of survival supplies and leave you and your family empty handed?

          Not a single thought to self-defense. Nothing. Nada. Niente. Go ahead and rely on the police. Sure, they’ll eventually get around to you. In a week or two. Or not.


          • Vince, so very true. As I’ve become very fond of saying, “when seconds count, the police are minutes away”. In a national disaster or even a local disaster (the LA Riots in ’93), the police never showed up. The only stores that survived the rioting, looting and burning were those “green grocer” stores with the owners perched on the roofs armed with shotguns.

            Fred PRoNJ




  9. B.B.,
    Each time you blog this gun it sounds like more and more fun.

    S-L, It is quite a relief that preparing for the zombie apocalypse is no more of a big deal than any other disaster pre-planning. Can’t say that we haven’t been given fair warning. The CDC actually learned a lot about that particular threat in New Orleans after Katrina… a hot bed of zombie activity, ya know. Some of them were relocated(unbeknownst to the disaster relief officials) via those trailer cities, so they are spreading like Kudzu and coyotes. Just remember the old Boy Scout motto.
    Lloyd


    • Has there ever been a better setup for a Zombie classic than a natural disaster that caused hundreds of caskets to pop out of the muck…..in a city famous for it’s voodoo history.Jinkees Scoobie!



  10. My Dad has an old Webley Senior in mint condition similar to the one BB blogged in Sept 2005. He wants to know what it is worth? Is there any way you connect with him via snail mail to help him out. do you have an email where I could leave his address?


    • Cliff,

      No need to go to all that trouble. If your father’s Webley Senior straight grip is really in mint condition, it’s worth about $400. If it is in 95 percent condition, which is far more likely, it’s worth about $300-350.

      If it has the original box and is 95 percent, it’s worth about $450.

      B.B.


  11. B.B,

    I’ve had my rifle for a while now, but i don’t really like paying for 88g CO2 cartridges as they are quite expensive…do you know where I could possibly sell mine? I’ve tried several places like ebay, the Airgun Classedieds, the yellwo forum, etc. Do you have any suggestions? btw, im trying to sell mine with the scope mount and a Walther 4×32 scope all for $350 and everythings in pretty much brand new condition…is that a good price?


    • Eric,

      Three-fifty sounds like a good price to me — in light of the new price. The places you advertised are the best ones I know of for selling. With some guns you just have to persist.

      B.B.


    • Eric, I know it has been quite a long time since you stated you were trying to sell your Walther Lever action. If you still have it I may be interested.


  12. How can I buy a walther co2 adapter for the walther lever action air rifle? In europe or usa? Everyone says go to amerex
    Usa. They dont have one either!!!


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