Walther’s new LGV Challenger breakbarrel spring air rifle: Part 5

by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Walther LGV breakbarrel air rifle
Walther’s LGV Challenger is an exciting new sporting breakbarrel springer.

Let’s see how well the new Walther LGV Challenger performs at 25 yards when the rifle is scoped. For starters, I had to mount a scope. I decided to select a Bushnell Banner 6-18X50 AO scope that I haven’t reported on before. This is a better scope than the Banners of a decade ago, and it performs quite well.

The scope mounts proved problematic, though, because the LGV has a high, rounded spring tube that precludes the use of many scope rings that have a flat base on the bottom. This base high-centers on the rounded spring tube and doesn’t allow the clamping jaws to get into the rifle’s deep dovetails. So, you need to select rings with either generous clearance under their bases, or BKL scope rings that actually are cut away at the base to allow the clamping jaws to clamp harder. I decided to go with the BKLs.

Since the scope has a one-inch tube, I selected the BKL 260 high one-piece mount that fits the rifle perfectly and was quite easy to secure. With the long scope positioned correctly for my eye, there’s still almost 2 inches of room to the breech. I think the LGV’s longer pull makes this happen, as I’m back farther on the stock than I would be with many other rifles.

Sight-in was one shot at 12 feet that landed nearly on target. Then, from 25 yards, the first shot went high and left. In all, it took 5 shots to sight in.

JSB Exact RS
The first pellet I tried was the 13.4-grain JSB Exact RS dome. When shot 2 landed next to the first one, I knew the rifle was going to group. And group it did! Shot after shot went to the same place, no matter how I held it. And that’s not normal for a breakbarrel. Some are more forgiving than others, but this one is the best I’ve seen. More on that in a bit.

Ten shots made a very round group at 25 yards. It measures 0.35 inches between centers and could easily be a PCP group rather than one from a springer.

Walther LGV Challenger breakbarrel air rifle JSB RS group 25 yards
Ten shots into 0.35 inches at 25 yards. Yes, the LGV Challenger can shoot!

JSB Exact Jumbo
The second pellet I tried was the 18.1-grain JSB Exact Jumbo that did so well in the test using open sights. This time, the group did not improve. Ten shots went into 0.82 inches at 25 yards, where before the group was 0.78 inches with open sights at the same distance. The group was tall, rather than round, which indicates a velocity variation may have caused the larger group.

Walther LGV Challenger breakbarrel air rifle JSB Exact Jumbo group 25 yards
Ten JSB Exact Jumbos made this elongated group that measures 0.82 inches. This group is actually larger than the group shot with open sights at 25 yards. There were no called fliers in this group.

I am running short of these Jumbos, though I have them on order. I think I’ll try them at 50 yards, too, in case this group is an anomoly.

Beeman Kodiak
The final pellet I tried was the heavy Beeman Kodiak. At 21 grains, this pellet is considered by some to be much too heavy for a 12 foot-pound rifle like the LGV, but I disagree. I don’t think shooting a heavy pellet harms a springer in any way. Ten Kodiaks made a group that measures 0.834 inches between centers; but within that group, 9 of the 10 pellets went into 0.552 inches. The one pellet that landed low and outside the main group was not a called flier.

Walther LGV Challenger breakbarrel air rifle Beeman Kodiak group 25 yards

Ten Beeman Kodoaks landed in 0.834 inches, but 9 of the 10 went into 0.552 inches. That’s a great group! The stray shot was not a called flier.

Impressions so far
I have to tell you, I always cringe when I have to test a breakbarrel for accuracy. That’s because it takes such inordinate skill to shoot one well. It’s like playing a musical instrument. Do it well and everyone is pleased, but they may not be aware of the struggle you went though to make it like that.

Well, this new LGV isn’t like that at all. It’s the easiest-shooting breakbarrel I’ve ever tested. By the time I finished testing it, it felt more like a precharged rifle because of how neutral the hold is. I, therefore, proclaim this Walther LGV to be the TX200 of breakbarrel air rifles. It’s a very forgiving breakbarrel — something that normally doesn’t happen.

Next up will be a test at 50 yards. I know the rifle will be great, and I’m eagerly awaiting the results.

31 thoughts on “Walther’s new LGV Challenger breakbarrel spring air rifle: Part 5

  1. I’m willing to bet that if you just posted a picture of the JSB RS target and that it was shot at 25 yds,nobody would guess that was a springer group! Anxious to see the 50yd results.



  2. Wow. It just doesn’t get any better than this. When I saw the group made by the 13.4gr. RS , I knew this Walther LGV was everything I had hoped it would be. The funny thing is, I tarted shooting the JSB 13.4 gr. RS pellets out of my Weihrauch HW77 about a month ago. I too have noticed consistent groups at 20 meters. Nothing as tight as the group you produced, B.B., but they do show promise. The 50 yard groups you have yet to shoot, will be frosting on the cake, so to speak. Now I just have to find a way of getting my hands on a Walther for myself. Thanks for giving us a glimpse into a very remarkable new break barrel.
    Caio Titus


    • Hi Titus.Do you know if your HW77 is the late or early version? I guess another way of asking is about what speed is it shooting the RS pellet? I have an older version .177 that is a really excellent shooter,and have always wondered (dreamed?) how a .22 HW77 would shoot.


      • Hello Frank B. The Weihrauch HW77 in .22 cal., that I own, was purchased new about 2 years ago. It is also de-tuned to under 500fps for the Canadian market. It shoots the RS 13.4 gr. pellet, made by JSB, at about 490-95 fps. My HW97 in .22 cal makes terrible noises, and flings the same pellet in any direction. So I’m a happy camper finding a pellet that does so well with an airgun that is just under the PAL limit. PAL being the Canadian firearms possession and acquisition licence. I will most likely end up getting one, as Cowboystardad has done, so I can start bringing my guns to 12flbs, or higher. I do believe a gun shoots to it’s best potential, if it is as powerful as the designers intended. That being said, I don’t need a spring compressor when I take my guns down, because there is no preload on the spring at this lower power limit. I guess you could say there is a silver lining in any situation. It all depends on your attitude. I hope this helps.
        Caio Titus


    • Titus,

      For what it’s worth my HW35E also likes the 13.4 RS pellets. It has been tuned by Paul Watts and shoots the 13.4 RS at 620fps. I have not found a a better pellet for it yet.

      My .22cal Winchester 425 also likes these JSB’s and my Titan GP (Lower Power) also likes them. Maybe a good choice for other slower springers as well. I plan on stocking up!

      Mark N


  3. What I envision now is someone with more money than sense is going to buy one of these and then try to turn it into a magnum rifle and then wonder why it will not shoot worth a diddley anymore.


    • Think you understand BB’s problem.

      —-

      Dear BB,

      I bought one the marvelous FREX rifles which you said you group to 1/2 inch at 25 yards. I wanted a bit more power so I got an old spring from a railroad boxcar. It now shoots pellets at 10% of the speed of light, but the group size isn’t 1/2 inch but 10 feet at 25 yards. Why would you recommend such a bad rifle ?!?

      Your new acolyte,
      Ben

      LOL – Herb


      • Herb,

        Thank you for that! ;)

        BTW, I still want Ben to be a reader. Eventually I’m hoping that the voices in his head will stop long enough for him to take in something from the outside, and maybe we’ll get through.

        B.B.


  4. Good morning from Tetlington Manor. Quite a few people were concerned that the LGV was too expensive, but from what we are seeing in these reports is that it is most definitely worth it. All the UK reviews I’ve read have all without fail told us what a dream this rifle is, so it’s really enjoyable to see an in depth review that B.B. always gives us.

    the model being tested at the moment costs £375 with the Competition ultra with adjustable combe costing £495, with the TX200Mk11 costing between £370 and £430 depending on whether it’s beech or walnut your certainly getting your moneys worth. Even the Prosport costs £490 and the HW97 models are in the same price range, and people tend to get these tuned whereas the LGV is supposedly ready tuned from the box. This is definitely a must have rifle, and I’m so looking forward to the 50 yard tests. I think i know what my next rifle purchase will be and by the time i save up enough they will be a few 2ND hand ones, that is if anyone is willing to part with theirs .

    TTFN

    Best Wishes, Wing Commander Sir Niel Tetlington-Smythe

    P.S. Thank you Mr Groan, I’ll think i will invest in some of those JSB pellets you mentioned for my Weihrauch, keep well my friend.




  5. What a GREAT rifle, it can shoot many different pellet accuratly and now this “Shot after shot went to the same place, no matter how I held it.” unbelievable.
    Sure it’s close to 600$ but man does this thing deliver!
    What is the difference between the Master and Master Ultra models? Is there’s anything other the barrel weight/muzzle brake/cocking aid differentiating them?

    J-F


    • J-F,

      Yep, that looks like the difference. We won’t know for sure until all the guns come in and we have an opportunity to look at them closely.

      B.B.


      • It’s not a huge difference (33$ for the synthetic and 24$ for the wood version).
        Will you test one without that piece just to see if it makes a difference? Maybe the wood one (ok that one is just so we can see how good the wood stock looks in larger pictures)?

        And just out of curiosity why did you choose to keep the one with the synthetic stock? Is it because it’s the one you had on hand or would you have prefered the wood stocked one?

        J-F


        • J-F,

          There are very few LGVs in the U.S. at this time. Umarex is sending me one with a wood stock, because I am writing a feature article about the rifles for Shotgun News, so I will also blog that one for you as well. I take what they have and they send what they can. In six months we will probably be awash in LGVs, but at present the pickin’s are slim.

          I want to keep the gun I’m testing because it is fabulous. I don’t care for synthetic stocks, but on this gun they work. I also like it because it’s a .22 and I don’t have a super-accurate .22 breakbarrel. I see lots of things I can use it for in the future.

          B.B.


          • I can’t wait to see if the same accuracy holds true for the other models as well but if we believe what Sir Nigel as told us from the UK reports these seem to be a home run.
            Since you’re getting the other model(s) too I’m guessing you’ll also be reviewing them in .177?

            I’ve resisted the TX200 even if it’s gorgeous in all possible ways but I’ve never been a fan of underlevers but this one just seem to have everything someone could ask for in an airgun.

            Next time someone says break barrels can’t be as accurate as fixed barrel rifles you can just point them here. ;-)

            J-F


            • J-F,

              Yes, I will test a .177 at some point. If the gun Umarex sends is in that caliber, that will be the one I test for you.

              And, yes, I will point people to this report, just as I point them to the Bronco when they are looking for an all-around fun gun.

              B.B.


              • It’ll be interesting to see what the other caliber can do.
                They should just put a picture of this rifle and the groups it can shoot in the dictionnary under “break barrel accuracy”.

                You don’t have to convince me about the Bronco that’s for sure. Everyone who enjoys airguns should own one. I’d sell my Diana Mod.24 before selling my Bronco, it’s that good.
                It’s just so much fun to shoot all day long.

                Thanks again for answering all my questions, you’re the best.

                J-F

                Aaah finally a math question for me 1+?=2 ;-)



  6. Yesterday, Kevin reported that the blog didn’t publish on time. The blog automatically converts to Daylight Saving Time, so that’s a concern. Did anyone stay up to see if the blog published on time today?

    Thanks,
    Edith



    • Matt61,I have been watching the weight of the synthetic stocks for a while.They seem to range from a little bit lighter to a little bit heavier than the wood.It depends on the rifle.Airguns seem to be so heavy that I had been hoping they would be lighter.Some wright-ups say that they conduct less recoil than the wood ,but I don’t know if I really believe that or not.The rifle with the biggest weight loss that I have seen lately is the new Benjamin Marauder synthetic stock which shaves a full pound off the rifle.-Tin Can Man-


      • Tin Can Man,

        The manufacturers don’t want to have to work with different weights on their sell sheets (the sheets they write up for potential wholesale buyers, which include gun specs, dimensions of boxes and shipping weights), so they add weight to the lightweight synthetic stocks to make them as heavy as wood stocks.

        Edith


        • Edith,That makes me feel stupid.Here I was thinking that the manufacturers were actually trying to please us.(I’d use the word naive,but I don’t know how to spell it) :) And I was hoping the next great trend in airguns was going to be to to make them lighter and lighter.I’d take a little recoil if I could drop a decent amount of weight off a rifle.I have read a good many reviews and there is no shortage of comments about many different airguns being too heavy.Well I’m going to go back to dreaming,but thank you for that enlightenment.-Tin Can Man-


      • Yeah, the synthetic Marauder weight figures are impressive to the point of being hard to believe. I’m super bummed that the “old” action can’t apparently be dropped into the new stock. I’d be all over that.

        -Jan


  7. So, there is something new under the sun. That’s quite a rifle. I can see how B.B. doesn’t want to return this one.

    Victor, yes the internal demons are the challenge, but I think I begin to see the 100% concentration that’s necessary. It only took me 130,000 shots to get here. It’s a very strange mental place to be, utterly relaxing, supremely exciting, a kind of eternal present, almost religious, like the T-1000 Terminator in Terminator 2 who was after Arnold and who was built without any sense of passing time that would distract him from his mission. I’m curious about your friend the world-class rifle shot who suffered debilitating nerves during competition. Did he merely shoot down to Expert level or did he really unravel? Poor guy.

    The HN pellets look like they’re the real thing for my Walther Nighthawk. But now I’m starting to wonder about double-action pulls which I will need for the SW 686. The trigger on the Walther is still a little hard, and I find myself sliding over from the middle of the first pad of the finger, the textbook location, to the first joint to apply more pressure. Is this the accepted technique for double-action revolvers or are you supposed to stay on the pad?

    Heavy news in the early morning. I got a call that my Dad fell and broke his hip. I’d told him only the previous day to use his cane since he was feeling unsteady. So, don’t deny the need for a cane if you have to use one. I was on one for a year with my arthritis, and I actually got to like the feel of it. It’s kind of stylish.

    Matt61


    • Matt61,
      Sorry to hear about your dad, I hope he has a quick recovery. From what you have said before I believe your dad and I are about the same age I’m 72. I also understand about arthritis and canes.



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