Walther 1250 Dominator PCP air rifle: Part 3

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

Part 1
Part 2

Walther 1250 Dominator
Walther 1250 Dominator

Let’s look at the Walther 1250 Dominator accuracy at 25 yards. In deference to the 8-shot clip, I’m shooting 8-shot groups rather than 10. The way this rifle loads, with the clip almost disappearing in the receiver, it’s too difficult to keep track of those 2 extra shots.

It’s loud!
I’ll be honest — I stalled testing this gun in the house because of the noise. It’s one of the loudest airguns I’ve ever shot indoors.

Air use
I said last time that I would give you a shot count once I filled the rifle to 4,350 psi (300 bar). Well, that didn’t happen. I filled it as far as my freshly filled carbon fiber tank would go, but that was only to 4,200 psi on the tank’s gauge, which seems pretty accurate. The rifle’s gauge showed a lower fill pressure, but I chalk that up to small pressure gauges never agreeing.

I didn’t get a complete shot count. I did, however, fire about 40 shots in the test and still had air remaining for at least another 15. If you can get the gun completely filled, there have to be at least 55 full-power shots available. Probably more, but at least 55.

Scope
I mounted an AirForce Airguns 4-16X50 scope on the rifle in a BKL 1-piece cantilever mount. The scope was low over the receiver, even though the BKL mount is a high one; but because the circular clip is entirely contained within the receiver, there was no interference.

Shooting
I shot from a sandbag rest at 25 yards off an MTM Case-Gard Predator shooting table. In a moment that will become important to know.

I sighted the rifle in and started shooting with the H&N Baracuda Match pellet. It was accurate enough, but I felt the rifle could do better. Eight shots went into a group measuring 0.597 inches between centers.

Walther 1250 Dominator H&N Baracuda Match group
This group of 8 H&N Baracuda Match pellets measures 0.597 inches between centers. Not bad for 8 shots at 25 yards.

The Baracuda Match pellets didn’t give me what I wanted, so I switched to 10.34-grain JSB Exact Heavy domes. They started out doing better than the Baracudas and produced a 0.522-inch 8-shot group. But two pellets strayed from the main group. I called the one that went to the left, but not the other one that went high. So, as good as this pellet is, it isn’t the best pellet in this rifle.

Walther 1250 Dominator JSB Exact Heavy group
Eight JSB Exact Heavys made this 0.522-inch group. The pellet on the left is a called shot, but the one that’s up in the black was not called.

Then, I tried RWS Superdomes — a pellet that many of you favor over just about all others in .177 caliber. And this is where I had an epiphany with this rifle. The first 8-shot group measured 0.461 inches, but it was full of wild shots that went off when I wasn’t on target. That was both the fault of the trigger and the rifle’s light weight. I’ll address it in a moment. But this target told me that this rifle could shoot much better if I really tried.

Walther 1250 Dominator RWS Superdome group 1
Eight RWS Superdomes went into 0.461 inches at 25 yards. It looks good, but there are several wild shots in this group. I knew the rifle could do better.

The Walther 1250 Dominator is a very light rifle, and the trigger isn’t that light. As a result, the gun moves more than a little as the trigger is squeezed. This can be overcome by paying extreme attention to detail on each shot, but it’s something I normally don’t need to do when shooting an accurate PCP.

That’s why I mentioned the shooting table and sandbag rest. Normally, such things are an absolute lock for the guns, but this time the rifle is so light that it still moves around too much. You’re only going to solve that with technique.

The next group was shot with as much concentration as if I were using the artillery hold. And the payoff is a 0.404-inch 8-shot group. That represents the best I can do with this rifle and pellet at 25 yards.

Walther 1250 Dominator RWS Superdome group 2
Eight RWS Superdomes went into 0.404 inches at 25 yards. Every shot was perfect on this one.

Sticky bolt
The bolt is hard to cock and sticks when pushing it forward to load the pellet. It isn’t much of a hinderance, but you do notice it. I did discover that if the bolt is worked fast and with authority, it does become smooth. So, the rifle likes to be treated like an SMLE.

Opinions thus far
I found things to criticize on the Walther Dominator 1250. No. 1 is the need to fill it to 300 bar. That’s just too much pressure, and it uses all the air I can get. The rifle is very loud, and I’m no longer used to pneumatic air rifles being so loud. The trigger is too heavy and long, and the rifle needs to weigh at least 2.50-3.00 more lbs. to be stable. However, all that pales when we look at the accuracy.

This is an accurate air rifle — make no mistake. Today’s test was at 25 yards, so it’ll be very interesting to see what happens when we move to 50 yards.

59 thoughts on “Walther 1250 Dominator PCP air rifle: Part 3

  1. Wow! This PCP almost shot as well as the Walther LVG break barrel! And this was a fine performance for a PCP.

    Victor


    • Form my experience, it seems that the Walthers are the least accurate of all German guns. My HW100 FSB shoots a 0.19″ 10-shot group at 25 yards, benchrest, using H&N Baracuda match. My old JSB Exact Heavy (which is NOT made anymore, sadly), shot a 0.15 10-shot group. Even my tuned Diana 48 can do better than this Walther.


  2. Why the 1962 dime?Oh yea nice groups too.And the weight of the gun and trigger thing.Glad you brought that up.The second round of 8 shots fired with the RWS Superdomes was very nice.The concentration technique thing really does matter.The trigger on my .25 cal. Marauder is kind of heavy to hold the heavier spring I have in the gun on the striker.So when I fire that gun I have to pay a little more attention to the squeezing of the trigger.You said the next test would be at 50 yrds.And the gun is scoped.What yardage do you have the scope zeroed at?And why do you zero at that given range? I know this is alot of questions but I think the reasoning behind each persons preference of gun zero for a given range matters for some reason.You talked about the vintage LVG testing with the Peep sight is what I call them.Probably wrong terminology but I think you know what I mean.But a side by side test of the peep sight and the scope at the same 50yrds.would be a nice test.I use to shoot all open sight when I was younger but cant focus good now on the front and back sights and target because of eyes.Although the Red Dot sights do work for me so I guess that’s an option.Do you have any tricks that would let a person use the open sights with not as good eyes as they use to have.Thought about the eye patches or blacking out the glasses on the eye not being used.Don’t know if that will work but I guess I will have to give it a try maybe.I’m glad I got my scoped air guns to keep me occupied though.And a loud PCP.What the heck.The manufacturer shouldn’t even release one for production now days without a shroud or some kind of quieting device.Where the heck is the technology anyways.



      • Very interesting story about the dime.My Dad use to collect coins.I don’t know much about coins but I figured it was either sentimental reasons or misstrike or something on those lines.And the reason I asked about zero on the scope was that I found this out.I shoot mostly at 50 yrds. straight and level.But sometimes I shoot up and downhill(like about 45 deg. uphill and about 20 deg. downhill) at greater distances.In closer than 50 yrds.I usually have to put about 3/4 of mildot hold under in the gun.And when I start shooting out past 50 yrds. up or down hill say 70 to 80 yrds. I will only have to put in around 3/4 to 1 mildot hold over when I shoot.Although when I shoot straight and level at the longer distances I have to put more holdover as the distance increases of course.Done it this way for along time on different airguns and pretty much same results on each gun.So I usually don’t even use cheat sheets anymore.And I want to get the chairgun calculator so I can compare.Just thought maybe you would be interested.


      • I just noticed something. The “special dime” was minted in 1692. That truly is a special dime since it was minted while we were still British owned. Surely that dime is worth a fortune!



        • What I have noticed so far is;that if you don’t click the reply spot after somebodies comment no telling what order it will come out in.I have posted the last comment before and it ended up in a completely different spot than where I commented.Maybe a time zone thing.I don’t know.Just a guess.


    • Gunfun1,

      I always zero an air rifle at 20 yards. That is the best range I have found.

      This rifle was not really zeroed. It was just adjusted to get the shots on paper. I would never intentionally hit the center of the hull, as that removes the aim pint.

      So the fact that the shots landed there is just a coincidence.

      B.B.


      • I remember an article years ago that recommended a 30 yard zero. This was with a medium powered .22 Springer. The reason was that the rifle would also be zeroed at 15 yards. Any thoughts?

        Mike


        • Mike,

          15 yards is too close. Then you get a huge rise in the pellet at 20-25 yards. If you zero at 20 the rise isn’t so high and the pellet is back on the crosshairs at 27-35 yards, depending on velocity.

          B.B.



          • That gives up some range… Play with Chairgun Pro some time. It allows you to define the acceptable “size” of the zero — if +/- 0.5″ is acceptable, you get a wider range when the trajectory peak is on the +0.5″ line.

            As an example, using some data from my Condor (not that I can hold it that well):
            21.1gr (.22 cal) H&N Baracuda Match
            Power Adjust at 6-0, giving a velocity ~995fps

            Chairgun shows a 55 yard (descending) zero produces a (ascending) zero at 27 yards AND the +/- 0.5″ range is 20.2 to 61.0 yards (what the program calls “point blank range” as the pellet is within 0.5″ of the line of sight throughout that range).

            Setting the zero at the trajectory peak gives a range of 23.4 to 53.1 yards, with the pellet never rising above the line of sight.

            Reducing the “kill zone” from 1″ (+/- 0.5) to 0.5″ brings the descending zero down to 50 yards, point blank range is 25.0 to 54.3 yards and ascending zero is at 30 yards.

            Changing the zero distance to 20 yards with the 1″ zone produces results in a range of just 16.0 to 24.7 AND 67.1 to 74.9 yards — the trajectory peak between those zones ends up a whole 1.5″ above the line of sight.

            NOTE: the high scope position relative to the barrel means short zeros arc significantly. Don’t pick a Condor (or even a Talon) for short range work unless you really want ONLY short range


            • Wulfraed you gave some Chairgun data above.And I’m way interested in seeing the results for myself as soon as I get the program.I just got off work and I got numbers running through the old brain still.So I think I’m getting what you wrote above.If you do zero at a longer range it helps put the trajectory average above and below zero and closer to zero for a greater distance.I’m thinking correctly.Right?Like I said long night at work.


              • You’ll have to play with the program some, viewing the graphs.

                Basically, (besides pellet model and velocity) you define the “kill zone” — that is the amount of divergence from line of sight that you will accept. If your target (the idea is a hunting capability) has a 1″ diameter vital zone, the pellet can be up to half an inch above or below the line of sight and still hit this zone.

                You then tweak the zero distance so that the trajectory kisses the top of the zone, and the program will report the nearfar ranges where the trajectory is at the bottom of the zone. In theory, aiming dead center should result in a kill anywhere in that “point blank range”.

                What Chairgun can not do, however, is compensate for a gun/pellet combination that just isn’t accurate. And you do have to consider the terminal energy if hunting. Having a really high-mounted scope tends to result in long zero ranges as the pellet has to “rise” so far to intersect the line of sight. But if the gun isn’t the most powerful, this line of sight PBR optimization may result in not enough energy for a kill. You may then have to give up PBR variability for a mere 5yard range (say 18-23 yards) and realize that anything closer or further away will required adjustments on the point of aim (hold higher for close shots, and lower for longer shots — if the 20 yard zero is on the ascending phase).


                • Wulfraed the one inch kill zone is exactly what I was talking about.If you set your scope zero at the correct yardage for the intended shooting you do it will keep the pellet trajectory closer to zero for a longer period of time.It took me a bit to learn how to read the charts when my Dad first showed me.The pellet will always follow its same path if the fps,pellet weight,wind and angle of the shot(lets say a level shot)stays the same.Oh yea barrel twist also.My scopes that I use show me the flight path of the pellet pretty good.I guess the fps and the weight of the pellet are matched to my guns pretty good.What I see is the pellet will slightly rise and go a little to the right of zero out to about 35 yrds. then start dropping and curving to the left back to point of impact at 50 yrds.If I zero in at a closer range the pellet seems to be farther above and below scope zero to point of impact out at 50 yrds. which makes range estimating harder.Or maybe its just me from the way I learned to shoot???


                  • Running out of column width…

                    I have no explanation for your apparent out and in arc (unless the scope reticle isn’t truly aligned horizontal/vertical — in which case a purely vertical movement will appear to traverse sideways too).

                    Bernoulli effects of a cross wind on the spinning pellet should be a consistent drift to one side (and since a pellet is technically “falling” throughout the trajectory, there is an “up draft” equivalent to the 1G — or 32 fps [or is it 16fps as the pellet started at 0fps down, and would end at 32fps down after the second, making a 16fps average]).

                    Precession would cause the pellet attitude to yaw in a spiral. Air drag tries to point the pellet in the direction of flight — for simplicity assume a simple / to midpoint, and \ to target. The gyroscopic forces from rifling spin are aligned during the initial / stage, but as the trajectory transitions to \ stage, the spin wants to keep the pellet angled /, but air drag wants to rotate it \. If you’ve ever played with a gyroscope, you know that pushing the top in one direction results in the gyroscope moving to the side. The pellet will do the same as it “tilts over” in the trajectory — the nose will move to the side instead of down… But now air drag will want to turn the pellet in, and precession will make it point downwards (air drag will try to point it upwards, precession turns it to the other side, etc.). At extreme ranges, the pellet is likely to keyhole as precession overpowers the reduction in velocity.



    • Gunfun1

      Don’t let BB fool you. He always uses that dime because it is an oversized novelty dime. It is about the size of a dinner plate. That old BB, he is a sly one. ;-)


  3. Gunfun1,
    I usually use something white to block the vision of my off eye. On my Edge I have a piece of white matting (silicon?) that I cut to work like the blockers you can buy to put on your peep sights. When I shoot my Izzy, I will take an index card and stick it in my hat to cover my of eye. The white allows light into your eye better and brightens your other eye’s view better. Focus on the front sight.


    • I have seen people put tape on their shooting safety glasses.But I got prescription glasses so I didn’t want to do that.And I shoot with a scope on most everything now.But I do need to give something a try.


  4. BB,
    My friend Roald has been doing HPA conversions to the C02 version of this gun for several years. It yields similar results to what you are getting, but does it with a regulated 3000 psi bottle instead of the 4300 psi reservoir. The guns are very accurate like you said, but the cocking mechanism is heavy and rough and the trigger pull is very heavy.

    I have an AirForce question for you. When you pull the trigger on an older Condor, is the part of the sear that sticks up into the frame in front of the hammer pulled down by the trigger mechanism, or is it just unlocked so that the hammer can push it down and slide over it? On the Condor I bought at Malvern, when I shot a shot string from full fill down to do low velocities I was occasionally getting very low velocity shots. I took the gun apart and the only thing I noticed was that there were small grooves in the plastic bushings on the ends of the hammer. The trigger has been modified to a very nice trigger pull but that had involved removing the safety and I don’t know what else was done to it. When the trigger is pulled the sear doesn’t drop out of the tube but you can push it down easily. I am just trying to figure out what is causing the low power shots. To me, it seems to be hammer related.

    Thanks,

    David Enoch


    • David,

      The sear just gets out of the way.

      Those grooves on the striker bushings might be why you get those occasional slow shots. If the striker vibrates as it moves, it won’t move fast enough to open the open the valve. This is why it’s so bad when people modify the gun. If the grooves are there from wear, then something inside the frame is rough.

      B.B.


      • BB, the grooves are from the hammer sliding over the sear. I suspect the trigger mod is the culprit. I need to try to figure out what was done to it.

        Thanks for the information,

        David Enoch


  5. Saddens me to hear that the plug will be pulled on the old blog soon.

    Such a wealth of great airgun information. Surprised that PA doesn’t realize the value of keeping the old blog plugged in since many airgunners find their way to this current site and to the PA retail website because of the old blog.

    kevin


    • Kevin,
      I didn’t see the note about the possibility of the old blogs being deleted. I agree with you about the value of the old blogs. I am one of those guys that occasionally buys something I know nothing about. I always check to see if BB has written about it. If so, it is useful. Also, on the Yellow Forum someone is always asking a question that something that I know that BB has written about. I will search for the link to a helpful blog and post a link to it on the Yellow Forum to help the questioner.

      Reference material doesn’t go out of date.

      BB, if there is someone at Pyramyd we should write to please let us know.

      David Enoch


    • Count me as +1……it is how I discovered this awesome “place” back in ’07? or thereabouts.It was like fly paper to me.


  6. Everyone,

    Pyramyd Air isn’t abandoning the old blog. Blogger — the Google software — is abandoning us!

    Edith, please explain to the readers why we are soon going to lose the old blog.

    B.B.


    • That just stinks.

      Just like throwing an entire set of one of a kind airgun encyclopedia’s into a bonfire.

      There must be a way to transfer these old blogs and comments to a new host. What about it you technophiles?

      kevin


  7. Is an airgun still accurate if you have to go through a lot of rigamarole to achieve it’s potential? I’m not a fan of light guns. Unless you are engaged in Close Quarters Battle or humping the rifle on a forced march, it seems like anybody in decent health should be able to handle ANY rifle for shooting–especially when it is shot with support as it generally is. In addition to the accuracy, the heavy weight of guns like my surplus rifles is quite pleasing; it is what Goldfinger calls “divine heaviness.”

    Sticky bolts drive me nuts and I went all the way across the country to South Carolina to find a gunsmith who could smooth out my SMLE bolt. It is unintuitive to me that a mechanism like a rifle bolt should be worked harder than not given the extra friction and wear and tear, but that seems to be true. My SMLE will jam when worked slowly with snap caps but work perfectly at high speed.

    Matt61


    • I like lighter weight rifles. I have found that I can shoot them as well as heavier airguns. And, I am talking about springers. The trick for me is being careful about follow though. My favorite airguns are old BSA Supersports. They weight about the same as R-7s and have about the same power as an R-9.

      The fact that it is easier to shoot one gun for you verses another is usually a case of hold sensitivity to the way you hold the rifle. And, since each of us are different, a gun that is hold sensitive for one person may not be as hold sensitive for someone else.

      David Enoch


  8. Evening Tom
    How would you rate the Hatsan AT44-10 against the Walther? Tha accuracy is similar, Hatsan is faster (I shot Gamo TS-10 10.5gr @ average 990 with 23 ft-lb energy),dimensions similar, Hatsan with bigger clip capacity and significantly ($230) less expensive. I can’t compare the quality, but my Hatsan’s seems excellent. Your thoughts?
    Regards from an autumn South Africa.


    • Vasco,

      Your Hatsan is a fine airgun. Equal to the one I’m testing in every way, and ahead in cost. Enjoy it.

      B.B.


  9. I’ve never done this with my own hands, but it looks like Blogger can export its posts AND comments. There is some great stuff in the old comments, e.g. wisdom from Kevin on stock refinishing among MANY other things. I would urge you and your nerds to export and preserve the old comments, even if there are difficulties convincing WordPress to import them.

    Feel free to nuke any embarrassing comments of mine from the old feeds, though ;)

    -Jan


  10. Edith,
    I didn’t see anything in the article about the old blog being pulled — how long does it have left? I’m pretty sure I can get the content and comments backed up on a hard drive given a little time. Pretty sure some simple scripts and a bit of oversight (on a real machine, not a Windows or Mac “appliance” :)) will do it. If I can do it, surely a real “web technician” at PA can (“C” is about as high-level as I go without compulsion) — is there some legal restriction on the comments by Blogger? Would the MIB be knocking on my door if I archive the blog and comments?

    The blog articles themselves are wonderful, but the comments are often quite illuminating and it would be a shame to lose them! Also, while most of us have learned to live with the WordPress format, there is something magical about the Blogger days, even if it is just because where/when so many of us became friends.


    • BG_Farmer,

      It’s way off in the future. It’s not even a blip on the radar screen. Astronomically speaking, it’s lightyears away. I was told not to even think or worry about this because it’s so far in the future. We will definitely save every last blog on the old Blogger site. I don’t believe Blogger is doing anything to make us change, so there’s no real timeline we’re being forced to adhere to. While the comments are supposedly not going to be transferred, I believe nothing is engraved in stone. Stuff happens, changes occur, software gets developed and we’ll live happily ever after. The end :-)

      Edith


      • Well, I’m glad there is not a deadline, as I have other stuff to be doing :), but a little searching seems to confirme GJan’s assertion that Blogger with minor admin. switches can export both blog and comments directly into a format importable by a WordPress blog properly configured for it (also seems a pretty simple procedure). It might be easiest to set up a separate WordPress “blog” for the old Blogger content/comments (it has a simpler format/appearance, anyway), so that the current blog wouldn’t even have to go offline during the inevitable hijinks; it could have its own subdirectory on the hosting server and just get linked from the main (WP) blog, I think. Please advocate the retention of the comments, as they are indeed part of the charm, and I think most of us consider them an integral part, if not of the blog itself, of the community that the blog has nurtured!


        • +1. Except that I see the comments as an integral part of the blog itself. The blog generates questions in the minds of the readers. The questions are asked and subsequently answered in the comments section. A ton of good advice has been exchanged in the comments section over the years.

          One other thing. The comments generate hits in google. This helps people to find the blog.


          • I agree that the comments are an integral part of the blog itself. There is so much experience that comes through from the comments.


  11. The gun appears to be accurate but it looks like there are quite a few minuses as well. Looks like I’ll be holding off on this gun. I got my condor for accuracy.


  12. Wow.Not at all happy that the blogs would not have the comments transferred also.I usually don’t have much extra time and when I do come to the blogs and read it is to get knowledge and information.Here I go again about the Muscle Car era.There was a lot of knowledgeable people throughout time that have all different types of info stored in their brains or written down for referencing.Throughout time the car forums evolved and info started to get past along also.But those early Pro Stock and Super Stock guys that was racing in the 60′s set the pace for what was going on in the streets of America.It is just a shame when there is valuable info out there and it gets lost for numerous reasons.Got to find a way to keep the comments.Ok I’m done now but man that would be drag if that was lost.


  13. The post my entry above refers to has disappeared twice now. I think the message board software is newly corrupted because I’ve never had this problem before.


  14. 1250 Dominator is somewhat old rifle design, but it can still shoot well. There have been few in .25 caliber that were stunningly accurate. When compared to Hatsan it is better because it has regulator. It was (and kinda still is !) unheard in that price range.

    If you wanna know what slightly more modern “Walther” can do, shoot .177 Hämmerli AR20 with 16 joule regulator version. I say “Walther” because Hämmerli and Walther are owned by Umarex and they share designs / tech inside the main company.

    AR20 is (here in Europe) available for price of 600 pounds / 730 euros and it compares in accuracy with 1600 euros Steyer. For that 700+ euros price, you can not get more accurate gun for “50 meters or less” range.

    And for guy commenting about Walther being inaccurate; that is just strange comment. Walther 10m race guns are right there with Feinwerbau, Steyer etc. No difference in accuracy at all.


  15. This is off subject but we were talking about the Chairgun program above.Wulfraed I did get the Chairgun Pro program.I punched in numbers for the three guns I shoot the most.I printed out the recticle maps for straight and level and also 40 deg incline at 30 to 60 yrds.I got half Mildot scopes.The results were pretty well right on the money compared to were I was placing my hold over and under.Definitely will be a nice tool for the longer range shots that I don’t shoot as often.Hopefully will get to try out the longer shots soon when I get some time.


    • Non sequitur, but…

      What browser/computer are you using to respond. I’m just curious about the lack of white space (no space after periods, no paragraphs?). Things get a bit tricky to read when there is no spacing between changes in thoughts.

      The last place I found that produced all-one-packed-string was the Nook forum from a Nook reader — the “mobile” web mode didn’t capture such spacing, but configuring the browser to request “desktop” page resulted in capturing the spacing.

      As for ChairGun…. Hmmm… I wonder if Hawke Optics has considered an Android tablet version… Would be a lot easier to set a tablet up next to a shooting station than a big laptop. Heck — I’d pay a few dollars for a tablet version that also had firearm mode (longer ranges, different projectile database).


  16. Probably my bad habit. Use to talking on the car forums and answering back when somebody had a problem and needed info quickly.

    But as far as Chairgun is concerned way cool program. Even has the .17 HMR option. ( which I have one of those rifles also ). Shoot it in the backyard every once in a while but cant stretch it out unless I go to my brothers. So I hope I get to do that with the program this weekend.

    And as far as your comment about the version for a Android tablet I don’t know. But that’s what I was talking about with technology improving the accuracy of guns.

    Did I do better this time around. :)


    • Much easier to read, to these old eyes…

      Sounds like it is time for me to install the latest version… If they’ve added .17HMR I can add my Ruger 77/17 to the plot…


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


3 + = 12

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>