Walther 1250 Dominator PCP air rifle: Part 2

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

Part 1

Walther 1250 Dominator
Walther 1250 Dominator.

Thank you for being so patient with me on this Walther 1250 Dominator report. I had to suspend it while I was back in Maryland; but now that I’m home, I can start up again. Today is velocity/power day, so we’ll learn a lot about this air rifle.

Filling with air
To fill the reservoir, you first remove it from the rifle by unscrewing. Then, it’s screwed onto a brass adapter that’s screwed into a 300-bar DIN hole on a carbon fiber tank or scuba tank valve.

You fill the reservoir up to 300 bar, or 4,351 psi. The only way to get that much pressure is to use either a carbon fiber tank or to connect the reservoir directly to an air compressor or hand pump that goes that high. My carbon fiber tank was holding less than 3,000 psi when I conducted this test, but fortunately the rifle has a broad power band. Even though I can’t fill the reservoir all the way, the gauge on the tank still reads in the green. I’ll get fewer shots, but they will be at the same velocity. It’s just like a car that goes no faster when its gas tank is full or nearly empty.

However, I cannot give you a shot count in this report because I’m not filling the reservoir all the way. That will have to come later.

As an observation, I would use the Air Venturi female DIN adapter with this reservoir, so I could use either a hand pump or carbon fiber tank to fill the reservoir.

Trigger and safety
The two-stage trigger is adjustable for the length of the first stage. You can even adjust it out, and have a single-stage trigger. The adjustment doesn’t alter the force required to release the sear in stage two. On the test rifle, that broke at 2 lbs., 8 oz. with stage one taking 6 of those ounces.

Stage two has a definite feel of the pull through to it. It’s not creepy, in the sense that it stops and starts, but is rather a smooth pull-through that can actually be felt. It’s not bad — just not glass-rod crisp.

The safety is automatic on cocking, but it’s designed to go off easily with a downward swipe of the thumb. After several shots, I found myself not even thinking of it.

Discharge noise
This rifle will have those with sensitive ears running for their hearing protection. There’s no attempt to muffle the discharge, so you hear the full effect of the power. It’s not as loud as a .22 rimfire; but if you shoot indoors, I can imagine shooters using that as a description.

It’s fully as loud as any other pneumatic of its power class when no attempt is made to attenuate the discharge sound. Thirty years ago it would have sounded normal; but in this day of shrouded barrels, it stands out.

Power
This Walther is rated to 28 joules, which is just a bit more than 20.6 foot-pounds. There’s no mistaking the spec, for it’s written on the right side of the receiver. That is a lot of power for a .177 pellet rifle to generate, and of course you’ll need heavy pellets to achieve it. So that was where I started the test — with Beeman Kodiak Match 10.65-grain pellets. To achieve 20.6 foot-pounds (28 joules), this pellet needs to exit the muzzle at about 933 feet per second, according to Pyramyd Air’s energy calculator.

But the average velocity I recorded for this pellet was 968 f.p.s., which works out to 22.16 foot-pounds or 30.05 joules. So, the rifle is more powerful than advertised. The average velocity went from a low of 965 to a high of 972 f.p.s., which is a tight 7 foot-second spread.

RWS Superdome
Next, I tried the popular RWS Superdome pellet. It averaged 1005 f.p.s. from the test rifle, with a spread from 998 to 1013 f.p.s. That’s a 15 foot-second spread, and the energy generated is 18.62 foot-pounds at the muzzle. As you can see, that’s a big drop-off from what the heavier Kodiak Match pellets generated. Precharged pneumatics often generate their best energy with the heaviest pellets they can manage, so this comes as no surprise. However, it will only be after we see the accuracy of these test pellets and perhaps some others that we will select an optimum pellet for the rifle.

H&N Match Pistol
As a final pellet I selected the lightweight H&N Match Pistol pellet. I wanted to test two things here. First, how would the rifle handle lighter pellets; and second, would the magazine handle wadcutters smoothly. It actually did feed these pellets smoother than both of the domes, so that part of the test was a success.

The average velocity was 1018 f.p.s. with a spread from 1016 to 1020 f.p.s. That was the tightest velocity spread of all — just 4 feet per second. The average energy for this 7.56-grain pellet was 17.40 foot-pounds at the muzzle, so another power decrease came with this lighter pellet.

Reliability and pellet feeding
Any time I test a repeater, I always wonder if the gun will feed pellets smoothly and how the magazine…or in this case the clip…will handle the pellets. There are no concerns with the 1250 Dominator, though; because the pellets go into the clip easily, they stay in well and the clip goes into and comes out of the receiver with great ease. The bolt sometimes hangs up on the forward stroke, but that’s due to the newness of the gun — not a pellet feeding problem. I believe it’ll go away as the action is broken in.

The clip is long enough to accept the Beeman Kodiak, which is a long pellet, so I have no problem with it. And it feeds wadcutters well, so pellet shape is not a problem, either.

Observations thus far
The Walther 1250 Dominator is certainly a different PCP. It has a lot of synthetics and a different shape than is thought to be conventional, but it holds very well — hanging muzzle-heavy. The profile may appear different, but it holds like a rifleman’s gun. I can’t wait to see it shoot!

39 Responses to “Walther 1250 Dominator PCP air rifle: Part 2”

  • kevin Says:

    300 bar? Automatic Safety?

    I’m a big airgun consumer and IMHO they’re out of touch. sorry.

    kevin

  • Titus Groan Says:

    I remember this rifle from the time I entered the airgun world, 5 years ago. I just can’t summon enthusiasm for a gun that has been around that long, wearing the same suit of clothes. So much has changed in the PCP world during this time period, and this Walther seems to have been left behind. We all know Walther produces guns of excellent quality, and technological advancement. Just look at the new LGV springer, and the shock wave it is producing in our sport. I can’t understand why they choose to stick with this gun for their sporting PCP. I would like to think the engineers at Walther are tirelessly tinkering on a gun that will do for the PCP world, what the LGV is doing for springers world wide.
    That being said, this rifle must have some good things going for it to last so long. There is always room for an accurate gun, and I’m willing to stick around to see what it does in B.B.’s capable hands.
    Caio Titus

  • RidgeRunner Says:

    Kevin and Titus make me go “Huh?”. From the way B.B. is talking so far, this is a good, affordable PCP. Yes, there is some obvious room for improvement.

    A way to fill it without taking the tank off would be nice, but being able to do such is nice also. This allows you to carry a spare while hunting, etc. rather than a heavy scuba tank setup.

    Shrouding the barrel would be a nice touch. At least there is room to do such.

    ALL of the manufacturers are using those defunkdafied glowy thingy sights. ALL of them are out of touch in that respect.

    Just because the max fill pressure is 300 bar, you do not have to put that much in. I only put 1800 PSI in my TSS.

    As for the automatic safety, with all of the unemployed and underemployed attorneys, can you blame them? Most of the manufacturers have this feature.

    You moan that they have not changed it, but you would likely moan if they did. Are you happy with the improvements to the Red Ryder, etc.?

    Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

    • twotalon Says:

      RR…

      That’s a very low fill for a TSS. Did you have it worked on to have it work well with that ?

      twotalon

      • Ridgerunner Says:

        I filled the tank to 3000 PSI and set the PW to max and started shooting across a chrono. When the velocities maxed out, I checked the pressure and it was 1800 PSI. So I figure that is where I overcome valve lock and fill to that point. .177 H&N Silverpoints are doing 1240 FPS.

        This is an OLD TSS with an OLD high flow valve. I am going to rebuild it shortly and see what it does then.

        Personally, I like that low pressure. I can get a reg set at that level, fill the tank to 3000 PSI and shoot forever. The old timey air rifles only used 600-800 PSI and killed deer (and soldiers) quite nicely.

        • twotalon Says:

          RR…

          Are you using this with or without the Condor hammer weight ? That’s a low pressure for a Condor configuration to be kicking in at. I think I have heard of it happening, though. Maybe too much valve spring ?

          twotalon

        • B.B. Pelletier Says:

          RR,

          If you are using a high flow tank then you have a Condor, not a Talon SS. Is the barrel 24-inches?

          As I recall, I built that rifle for Mac and I believe it was a Condor. But I am confused because Mac may also have sold a Talon SS.

          Although they look alike, they perform very differently. Given the low pressure you mention, it really sounds like a Condor.

          B.B.

          • Fred DPRoNJ Says:

            BB,

            Mac did sell a Talon SS – to me last year. It included the 24″ barrel as well as the shorter barrel for the shroud.

            Fred DPRoNJ

            • twotalon Says:

              Fred…

              You gotta love “Erector Set” rifles if you get them second hand. Just like Cracker Jacks….big surprise in every pack.

              twotalon

  • Greg Says:

    Just a thought on the clip hanging up. I don’t think it is a break-in problem. I have the Hammerli 850 which I believe is the same action. Mine still hangs up on occasion, after thousands of shots. I think it has to do with the internal mechanism. It seems as though the advance mechanism is a little gravity dependent. I find it happens more often when the barrel is pointing up. When the bolt hangs up and I point the barrel down, it will work properly.

  • /Dave Says:

    I like wood stocked rifles, but I can see where this would be useful for hunting. No worries about scratching it. Needs a shroud or something like a tko brake though. I do think it’s nice to be able to just carry a spare cylinder or two instead of a scba setup while in the field. Maybe 6 of one or half a dozen of the other there, but the cylinders look easier to carry to me. It would be nice to know the shot count and sweet spot along with the accuracy.

    /Dave

  • twotalon Says:

    B.B.

    Can you give us an approx. shot count with the 3K fill ?
    I don’t know where the Euro folks get their air from. Does everyone over there have a big honking compressor ?

    twotalon

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      TT,

      I don’t even have 3K air. I’m now filling to about 2500 psi and the shot count is low — as in two clips. I will give the full count when I fill the gun all the way.

      B.B.

    • Chris Legate Says:

      twotalon,

      That’s a good question. 300 bar 12 liter steel scuba tanks are common of there. I have looked ever where for a good steel tank and can not find one anywhere. I have even contacted Blackpool air-rifles to see if they would import one for me (They will.). Don’t know…. even among the English made air rifles. I haven’t seen more than one or two that use a 300 bar fill pressure.

      Good question thought. :)

      Chris

      • twotalon Says:

        Chris…

        Something a lot of people don’t think about when they are getting their first PCP is where are they gonna get the air.
        Some people can’t negotiate a pump.
        Some think that a pump can go higher than it really can without blowing a gasket.
        Some don’t think about where in the world that they can get a tank filled, and to what pressure.

        Now, if this rifle gets a decent count on 3K p.s.i. for most hunting, then it would be O.K. . Not very often you would need more than a few shots. A good day of pest hunting, plinking, or pellet testing is going to make your butt drag from constantly topping off the tank. It’s the price you pay for high pellet usage…..particularly if you have to settle for a low shot count between fills with whatever fill pressure you can get.

        twotalon

        • J-F Says:

          When I bought my first PCP I bought a pump to go with figuring it would be too hard, you just let your body put pressure on the handle and it will go down by itself right… well it turns out you also have to lift your body afterwards… 50 times. It’s like doing slow jumping jacks, it sucks but what other option do you have when you don’t want partial fills from a 3000 psi scuba tank and don’t have 700$ for the big carbon fiber one?
          Ninja finally put one together for a relatively cheap price!

          http://www.pyramydair.com/s/a/Ninja_Carbon_Fiber_Air_Tank_Fill_Station_4500_PSI_90_Cu_In/4708

          This is the ultimate solution for me. I have a paintball shop on the street corner of where I work (and it’s 10 minutes away from home) so on my way home or during lunch time I can just stop by to have it filled: 10$
          When I’m richer some day I can add a shoebox and it won’t take 24 hours to fill like the big tanks do.

          I ordered one of those tanks, it should be here today. I swear that darn delivery guy is hiding, spying on me and waits for me to go to the bathroom to come to my house. The minute I close the bathroom door, the dogs start barking and he’s at my door.

          J-F

          • twotalon Says:

            J-F…

            You gotta do what is going to work for you. I have about as many paintball shops, scuba shops, and friendly fire departments around here as there are in the middle of the Sahara.

            twotalon

          • /Dave Says:

            J-F, I think that’s the same UPS guy that delivers to my house!

            • J-F Says:

              He came by at 1:30pm, and I was there to greet him… man the relief! ;-)
              The tank is now filled and I’m off to shoot some pellets so I can refill my tank when I’m done :-D

              J-F

  • twotalon Says:

    B.B.

    I have found out why the 4.52 FTT fit so much tighter than the 4.50 and 4.51….
    They are somewhere around 4.57.

    twotalon

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      TT,

      And I located a full tin of FTT with 4.50 heads. So I can try them in the Dominator.

      What size groups did you get with yours?

      B.B.

      • twotalon Says:

        B.B.

        With both the R9 and 97 I was getting about 3/8″ at 35. Thing is, that was about the same as my wobble, so I can only say that they can do at least that good. Did not seem to matter if they were 4.50 or 4.51. The 4.51 fit slightly tighter. No difference on the chrono either.

        Maybe an unusual but ideal situation…
        Both rifles cranked out max power and tightest velocity spreads along with best accuracy with these. Does not always work so well with other rifles. A compromise has to be made with them.

        twotalon

        • B.B. Pelletier Says:

          TT,

          You haven’t shot them in a Walther 1250?

          B.B.

          • twotalon Says:

            B.B.

            No . I don’t have the Dominator. I should try them in my AF PCPs some day, but I am presently doing well with other pellets with them.
            I would guess that they may not be all that good at those power levels. I think they might be worth a try in mid powered springers in .177.
            They do well at 5.53 in my 48, although this is a compromise case. Max power is with RWS, but accuracy is poor with them.

            twotalon

        • TC Says:

          TT,
          Is the FTT just a lighter version of the Baracuda? I find the Baracuda Match in 4.52 the most universal pellet I’ve every tried. However, I’m not have the same luck using FTT in 4.52. Almost every time, the hi-lo fps delta jumps from 10 (Baracuda) to 20 (FTT) with an overall drop in energy as well. I don’t think H&N makes a FTT in 4.53. Was after the flatter trajectory.

          • twotalon Says:

            TC…

            The FTT is about the same as FTS, but gives you some head size options. I don’t think I would say that they are a version of the Baracuda/Kodiak but at a lighter weight.
            There are a lot of pellets that look very similar. I think most of these are small design differences working off of a basic shape.

            The FTT seem to be a better springer option than PCP which like a heavier pellet in general.
            If I had tried them in more rifles, I would be better able to make a more defined “general” opinion.

            twotalon

      • twotalon Says:

        B.B.

        I might also add that these are my favorite fly and yellow jacket shooters too. If I’m on them when the trigger breaks, they die.

        twotalon

  • john Says:

    It looks like a gun I’d desire but there is no way on my equipment I could possibly fill this beast up to it’s maxium fill pressure. I’d need to invest serious money to use this gun over and above what the gun costs. So I’d pass on this one for the simple reason that I just do not have mad money laying around. The maximum I can do is 3000 psi so I’m sticking with things like my condor and disco.

  • Matt61 Says:

    Don’t expect to pick this one up, but I’ll be interested to see the accuracy.

    Mike, my understanding is that the No.4 Enfields used for sniping were extremely accurate, on a level with any other sniper rifle, although after their overhaul by Holland & Holland, I don’t know if you could generalize them to the whole design.

    What I was referring to was a belief that I’ve heard expressed several times that the No. 4 Enfield will get more accurate with distance–whether that means relative to other rifles as they lose accuracy or in absolute terms is not clear. I don’t believe the latter is physically possible for reasons that I’ve gone into so I’m sticking with the former. As to why this or any rifle could gain accuracy with distance, one of the few explanations I’ve heard from Clint Fowler, my ultimate M1 gunsmith, is that the rifle is a “self-compensator.” But as to what that means your guess is as good as mine. Clint can certainly shoot and is a two-time winner of the Nathan Hale trophy for best civilian shooter at Camp Perry, and he tells me that he set a world record with the Enfield No.4 in some other venue. He is not your Mr. Leg-Pull, but what he was trying to tell me about the Enfield No.4 remains locked up inside him.

    Matt61

    • BG_Farmer Says:

      Matt,
      Using angular measurement (e.g. MOA) for dispersion it is possible for a rifle to be “more accuarate” at longer ranges than at short ones. E.g., a rifle shoots 2MOA at 100 yards, which is ~2″ group, but 1.5 MOA at 200 yards, which is a ~3″ group. In my opinion, this is possible if the bullet is slightly over-stabilized (spinning too fast due to rifling for the projectile length and velocity) at the muzzle but becomes “more stable” as the spin and velocity reach some point of equilibrium downrange; I think Herb (to name one who has given this type of thing some thought) either disagrees or has a different analysis for the process, but the means of measurement is not affected either way. Of course, if you measure groups with the same units, they get larger down range in any case. It is a matter of rate of increase of dispersion. I would think it possible that such a mechanism might be used to advantage or at least overlooked in a battle rifle, where absolute accuracy at any one range is of secondary importance to trajectory and relative accuracy over a wide range of distances.

    • Mike Says:

      Interesting. Some of the Enfield No. 4 Rifles used for sniping were “Selected” from regular production because when tested, they were more accurate. If you test 100 rifles, some will shoot better than others. I sure it would fall along a Bell Shaped Curve. In the past, we used Ruger Mini-14′s at work. We had one that would shoot 1 1/2 inch 100 yard groups. It was very unusual since most were 4 inch guns. We kept that one aside for special uses (It’s the one I used when I attended rifle training). Also, the Enfield’s 174 grain bullet would be better at long range than the 150 grain bullets most often used in the .30-06 of those days.

      Mike

  • .22 multi-shot Says:

    B.B.

    I found that if I gently push on the clip (pushing in into the breech a little), it makes the bolt catch go away on my RWS 850.

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      .22 multi-shot,

      Do you just do this when inserting the clip, or do you do it every time you work the bolt?

      B.B.

  • .22 multi-shot Says:

    Not when inserting the clip, I generally just do it when the bolt catches. I’ve played with it a little to see if a gentle side pressure on the clip helps whenever the bolt is cycled forward. It seems to for me. I haven’t looked further, but I suspect there is a slight misalignment or play in the mechanism that causes the occasional catch.

  • Desertdweller Says:

    There is an interesting article in the new issue of “American Rifleman”. It is about long-range shooting with a duplex reticle scope. It sounded so intriguing I had to try it.

    Headed out to the range with my .22 RS2, fitted with a TASCO 3-9x 50mm scope. I was shooting Crosman Premiere Hollow Points.

    The article was about shooting center-fires at 100-600 yards. I had to try to extrapolate their method to my airgun.

    The idea is to put a 6”-9″ target near the top of a new backer at 100 yards and increase the range in 100 yd. increments, while noting the distance between where the reticle narrows and where it crosses. I thought this was a bit much for my springer, so I stuck on a 6″ Shoot-n-C on a new blackjack backer and started shooting from 50 yards. The scope was on 8 power, and had been last used for shooting at 25 yards.

    The article suggested using 3-shot groups. My first 3-shot group all landed on the target face, and showed about a 1 1/2 inch drop at that range.

    This wasn’t going to work well. I was too close. So I backed off to 100 yards. I pinned up a “Drainpipe” target, who I named “Ratso” on another backer at the same range. There were intermittent gusts of about 20 mph blowing right-to-left.

    I fired three more shots, still using the target for point of aim. Then I hiked down to the target.

    As per instructions, I added a second target centered on the group.. This target was directly below the top target. Now, according to the theory, by aiming at the top target, I should be landing shots on the lower target.

    Only 10% of my shots were landing on target. Examination of the backer showed my elevation was correct, but the windage was messing me up.

    According to the article, by adjusting the variable power scope, I could compare the distance between the center point and the start of the wide reticle with a known distance on the target (the 6″ target circle). Then I could measure center to center between the two targets to determine the scope picture needed for hold-over.

    I took this info and shifted to my secondary target, Ratso. The wind was still giving me trouble, but I landed 7 out of 30 shots on him. Nothing that would have killed him outright, but enough to slow him down.

    There is a term in the article that wasn’t well defined. It was “subtension”. I don’t know if that equals holdover. or if that refers to the distance between centerpoint and reticle shift in the scope picture.

    Anyway, this was a lot of fun, and I’m looking forward to trying it again.

    Les

  • Jason O Says:

    I picked up a used Walther 1250 Dominator FT .22 for a real good price(Craigslist). The gun is very accurate, however I am disappointed in how LOUD the gun is. It has a silencer attached but I agree, it does not seem to reduce the sound much. I do like the ease of the bolt action and it is relatively a light gun for a PCP.
    I have a Marauder .25 PCP that I am much happier with. For me, I would pass on the Walther 1250 Dominator. It cost almost twice as much as my “M-rod” but I’m really not seeing where the the gun is worth the added price.

    Jason

    • .22 multi-shot Says:

      Hi Jason,

      If your “silencer” is a Umarex Compensator, its purpose isn’t to quiet the rifle down. It is an air stripper (to reduce turbulence around the pellet).

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