Walther’s new LGV Master Ultra .177 air rifle: Part 5

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

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Walther LGV Master Ultra 177 air rifle
The LGV Master with a wood stock is what readers have been asking to see. Today, I’ll scope it!

Today is the day many of you have been waiting for. I’ll scope the Walther LGV Master Ultra and test it for accuracy at 25 yards. I used the same Bushnell Banner 6-18X50 AO scope and BKL 260 1-piece high mount that I used on the Walther LGV Challenger in .22 caliber. The scope was already in the mount and ready to install. I thought about removing the sights; but since I couldn’t see them through the scope, I decided to leave them mounted.

One shot at 12 feet told me the scope was adjusted close enough to move back to 25 yards. The first shot at 25 yards then required some more adjustment, and I was ready to begin the test.

Best hold
With the .22-caliber rifle, I rested the stock on the flat of my open palm with the heel of my hand touching the triggerguard. That gives the rifle a very muzzle-heavy balance and is usually the best way to hold a spring-piston air rifle. But not with this .177.

I had chosen to shoot 7.9-grain Crosman Premier lites as the first pellet because they showed so much promise at 25 yards with open sights. The .177-caliber LGV Master Ultra strung its first 10 shots vertically in a group that measured 0.67 inches between centers. While that isn’t bad, the group was vertical, which can be caused by either loose stock screws or by resting the stock on the off hand at the wrong place.

I checked the screws, and they all did require tightening; but when I shot a second group, it was vertical as well and slightly larger, at 0.819 inches. Obviously, loose stock screws were not causing the problem. Experience then told me to slide my off hand forward until I could feel the back of the cocking slot on my palm.

LGV Master Ultra .177 air rifle Premier lite group 1 25 yards
The first group of 10 Premier lites at 25 yards was vertical. Though it measures just 0.67 inches, which isn’t too large, the verticality concerns me.

LGV Master Ultra .177 air rifle Premier lite group 2 25 yards
The second group of 10 Premier lites at 25 yards was also vertical and slightly bigger than the first. And this is after tightening the stock screws. It measures 0.819 inches across the widest centers.

Group 3 was the one I was looking for. Ten shots went into 0.326 inches at 25 yards. That’s 10 shots, not 5. Folks, that demonstrates what I thought was the case — the new Walther LGV is the TX200 of breakbarrel air rifles! Five shots in such a group might have a component of luck with it, but you don’t get lucky 10 times in a row. This rifle wants to put them all in the same place!

LGV Master Ultra .177 air rifle Premier lite group 3 25 yards
Now, this is a group. Ten Crosman Premier 7.9-grain pellets went into 0.326 inches between centers. This is a great group for 10 shots.

So, the best hold is with the off hand out forward, under the back of the cocking slot. That’s going to hold true for all of these Master Ultra models, I think.

H&N FTT
Next I tried some H&N Field Target Trophy pellets because reader TwoTalon asked me to. I haven’t had good luck with FTT pellets in springers, but he likes them, though I learned that he’s shooting them only in a PCP. Still, I thought — what the heck?

Ten pellets went into a group that measured 0.683 inches between centers. While that’s not a bad group, it doesn’t look good next to the Premier lite group, so I won’t use it when I move out to 50 yards.

LGV Master Ultra .177 air rifle H&N FTT group 25 yards
Ten H&N Field Target Trophy pellets went into this 0.683-inch group. It’s good — just not the best this rifle can do.

Beeman Devastator
The third pellet I tried was the Beeman Devastator that did so well in the 25-yard open sight test. Again, they proved their superiority by putting 10 pellets into a 0.475-inch group. That’s pretty good for such an open-nosed hollowpoint. The LGV was hot!

LGV Master Ultra .177 air rifle Beeman Devastator group 25 yards
Ten Beeman Devastators made another tight group. This one measures 0.475 inches across.

JSB Exact Heavy
The last pellet I tested was the 10.34-grain JSB Exact heavy, which did okay in the open-sight test but with qualifications. What “qualifications” means is that I got 8 pellets in a tight group but had two unexplained fliers that opened the group considerably. This time, the results were even more bizarre.

With 10 shots, I got two extremely tight groups…one with 3 shots, and the other with 4 — and 3 wild fliers that don’t belong anywhere. The overall group measured 1.791 inches between centers of the two widest shots. I think what’s happening is that this pellet is very close to what this rifle wants, but it’s still far enough from perfection that it causes wild shots. These pellets fit the bore looser than the other three, which all seemed to fit about the same. The head size is a whopping 4.52mm, so put that into your head-size theories and see what you get. I just don’t know what’s happening, but it’s clear this isn’t a pellet for this rifle.

LGV Master Ultra .177 air rifle JSB Exact Heavy group 25 yards
Wow — what happened? Four pellets went into the small hole at the bottom of the bull, another 3 went into the small hole at the top left and 3 pellets went off by themselves. Total group measures 1.791 inches across the two widest centers.

Overall impessions
It’s clear the .177-caliber rifle is pickier about the pellets it likes than the .22, which seems to swallow everything. Find the right pellet, though, and the game is on! The best group with this rifle is roughly half the size of the best .22-caliber group at 25 yards. Fifty yards — here we come!

Big Shot of the Month
Pyramyd Air’s Big Shot of the Month is┬áBrandon Syn. He’ll receive a $100 gift card. Congratulations! If you’d like a chance to be the next Big Shot, you can enter on Pyramyd Air’s Facebook page.

Big shot of the month

Brandon Syn is the Big Shot of the Month on Pyramyd Air’s facebook page.

67 thoughts on “Walther’s new LGV Master Ultra .177 air rifle: Part 5

  1. WOW, 25 yards and it groups like crazy and still like a few different pellets!
    That’s one very nice rifle.
    Is it me or is this PCP accuracy territory? PCP accuracy and springer convenience?

    J-F


    • J-F,

      This IS PCP territory. Today I’m taking the rifle to the range and if the wind will cooperate I’ll shoot it at 50 yards.

      B.B.



  2. Hmm,

    A group of .326 is better than your best group with the TX200. That group was .414 inches. If you could see the look on my face, it would be that of consternation, whatever the heck that looks like. I demand a recount.

    As an aside, both groups (best of the LGV and TX200) were accomplished with the much celebrated, and much maligned Crosman Premier Light. On the whole, it is the most reliable pellet in .177 of the dozen or so pellets I own in my rifles of that caliber. To put it another way, the CPL is my go-to pellet.

    The way I see it, it must come down to the checkering. If your TX had the more recent fish-scale checkering it would have come out on top. That is my theory and I am sticking to it.


    • SL,

      Yep — the checkering and the fantastic blue polis of the TX. It must take something away from the barrel.

      Maybe envy?

      B.B.


    • I have to disagree with the fish scale theory. I used a whole gutted trout to hold the forend of my R7 to test the theory and my groups showed no marked improvement.

      However once I sprinkled it with Old Bay it did make me a tad hungry.

      SL – hope you are well.


      • Volvo

        A gutted trout? You get more of an artillery hold if you leave the guts in.

        It is always good to see you here.


  3. That CPL group brings back fond memories. I for one have always liked H&N, or I should say my CFX liked them. It especially liked the FTT in 4.52mm head. I guess one of you guys are just gonna have to buy me one of these for Christmas.



  4. B.B.

    Pellet head sizes can cause you some trouble. They are not always what they are supposed to be.
    There are other things too, like the actual hardness of the lead, and the shape of the pellet. You can have different amounts of contact between the pellet and the bore between the different shapes. This causes them to feel looser or tighter than other pellets even if they really are the same size.

    twotalon


  5. B.B.

    I looked back at your velocity tests, and the spreads looked wide. You said it was dieseling. Has it smoothed out ?

    twotalon


    • TT,

      Hard to say. It still buzzes when shot. I will have to re-test the velocity after all the shooting has finished.

      B.B.


      • B.B.

        Is it still smoking a bit ? From what I have seen so far, a springer shoots best when it is not smoking . The groups and the velocity spreads tighten up.
        A little buzz does not seem to make much difference. Even a lot of buzz does not seem to make much difference with at least some, as long as it does not keep you distracted when you are trying to make the shot. Knowing what is going to happen when the trigger breaks can make it difficult.

        twotalon


  6. I’ve got my Master Ultra on back order. In stock date has already been pushed back once to 5/15. I think I’m going to try the same optics setup you used, Bushnell Banner 6-18X50 with the one piece BKL high mounts. Though I’d love to put a Hawke Sport Optics Eclipse 4-16×50, but at the price difference I’ve gotta’ go with the Bushnell.

    B.B., if I go with a 50mm objective, then do I need the high mounts? or can I go with a lower mount? The BKL’s are also on back order at PA.

    I’m glad to hear the rifle does well with the CPL’s, I’ve already got a bunch of them in my ammo inventory.

    I’m really looking forward to this gun.


  7. BB,
    As a reference point for comparisons, what would be good groupings of say a PCP M-Rod .177 at 25 yards? .25 to .3″? I’m trying to understand the accuracy gap that remains between the two technologies. Since the LGV has a premium price point, this may be an opportunity for me to jump over to the “dark side” and invest in my first PCP. The LGV looks to be a tuned rifle out of the box, so I don’t expect any additional improvements with custom modifications.


    • TC,

      Yes, any time you can get a quarter-inch for 10 shots at 25 yards, that is a screamer. I would say that 0.35 is about the average great 10-shot group size.

      B.B.


  8. The LGV is an outstanding Break Barrel. Too much weight and cocking effort for moi, but still like to read your Blogs, B.B. Question: Need to J.B. Bore clean a Slavia 618 and a couple of Hy-Score 806 (RWS 23 ). I’ll use a bronze brush ( .177 ) and enter from the breech. Now, after that, do I just push or pull through cotton patches or do I need to use Ballistol or what , next ? Thank you very much !!
    Pete
    California


    • Pete,

      Push the brush through 20 times in both directions. Then use about five dry cotton patches. Then Ballistol-soaked patches until they come out clean.

      B.B.


  9. BB and Edith,

    judging from the pink stock and forearm on the rifle and the pink shirt and long hair, is it possible that Brandon, the Big Shot of the Month winner, is a she and not a he?

    Just trying to cause trouble here :)

    Fred DPRoNJ


    • Fred DPRoNJ,

      How come you never brought this up before when other girls were pictured in winning photos and guys were named the winners? You’re right…you’re a troublemaker :-)

      Edith


    • Fred D., ‘ol, buddy, ‘ol pal, ya do realize that if that question was asked anywhere ohther than here amongst all us old coots, ya’d have the DPRoNJ & the federal PC police knockin’ on your door in a heartbeat!?! Just tryin’ ta keep ya outa trouble, son. Now go back inside, put your tinfoil helmet on & shoot somethin’!?! Shoot/ride safe.
      Beaz


  10. It’s good at 25 yards but it’s the beginning of my hunting season and I’m currently set up to take shots at 50-75 yards. How would this gun stack up against my standard hunting rifle at that range. My standard hunting gun is a Condor. I’m rethinking this gun a bit. It might be nice to have a back up springer that I could use when it’s just too hot to pump the condor up. So far I haven’t found one that can do the job quite as good as my condor.


    • John,

      The LGV is a springer. No way will it stack up to a Condor in either power or long-range accuracy.

      B.B.


  11. Okay, now I’m salivating all over my desk.
    My Canadian Dealer expected his shipment in this week…I can’t wait.


  12. I was just shown a Crosman 455 Blaser and I’m amazed.
    It’s a .177 pellet slide that holds a CO2 powerlet that you fit over a 1911 frame. You take the slide off the 1911 and you can shoot pellets all day long!
    With the price and availability of ammo you guys have I think they could bring it back and it would sell.

    J-F



      • Ah but thanks to the internet the world knows you’ve seen and responded to my post at exactly 1:58pm (unless Edith deletes these posts, then I’m toasted).

        Seriously I had never heard of that thing, it looks like a really fun product! Crosman used to make some awesome stuff. Not that they don’t make some nice product now but products that could come out today and still be relevant and I think could sell. The Peacemaker and Crosman 600 come to mind but there’s probably a lot of other cool stuff that I just don’t know about like this model 455.

        J-F



          • Well since you’re the one proposing it…
            I had to google that one too, it looks a bit weird/complicated and fragile in the pics.
            I always like blogs on old stuff especially if it’s made by Crosman or Daisy, we have a better chance of still being able to find them

            J-F


  13. B.B.,

    I read this report last night, and I was honestly left speechless. What an impressive group! Anyone who knows anything about shooting must also acknowledge that the real credit for this kind of performance must go to the shooter, YOU. That is mighty fine shooting B.B.!

    I don’t what else can be said about this rifle. It is in a rare class for springer’.

    Victor


    • I don’t know if you’ve noticed but even more amazing is all these groups were shot upside down!
      All the targets are upside down!!! How amazing is that ;-)

      J-F


      • J-F,

        It’s not so amazing. I just hold the rifle upside-down when I shoot. Shooting the right way has become far too easy for me. :D

        B.B.



        • B.B.,

          Well in that case, I have a suggestion for your next test with the Benjamin Trail NP pistol. Put a mirror on the ground, and aim at the reflection of the target off the mirror while shooting upside down. That will you’re sure to be on target! :)

          Victor



  14. Off Topic.
    Spring has sprung in our little corner of the planet.
    And today one of my clients called and has invited myself and the boys out to the first (outdoor) police sniper practice of the year at the range tomorrow.
    Says he’ll put the boys in the lineup so they can get behind the rifles.
    It’s a good life.


  15. Hello B.B. and Fellow Airgunners. This is the test I was waiting for, and it has surpassed even my wildest expectations. What a gun. And you sir, are one heck of a marksman. I would have considered any group up to 3/4 in., to be acceptable for any good springer. The LGV may shoot tight groups consistently all day, but it needs someone of your calibre to make it possible. I’m waiting to hear what the doubting Thomasa’s have to say now.
    CBSD. You may be drooling all over your desk with anticipation, and rightfully so. It seems the evidence for me to get my PAL keeps mounting up. I think this Walther would look mighty fine in my gun closet along side my Weihrauchs. The neat thing about having over a dozen guns, is the wife most likely won’t notice just one more. I must to remember to get the visa bill before she does though. Oh the tangled web we weave.
    Caio Titus


  16. BB,
    Fifty yards will be interesting with this .177. I’m guessing you can meet or beat the .22 in PERFECT conditions, but the wind will be even more of a concern. Maybe the increased velocity will even things out…

    I note the scope tightened up the 25y groups as expected. Maybe you should try the improved hold with open sights at 25y, though, at least with the CPL’s, now that you know what is possible. I suspect (for the purposes of argument :)) that the sights on the plastic LGV are (somewhat ironically) better than the ones on this one, functionally, however, maybe just a matter of width of rear notch and/or front post.


    • BG_Farmer,

      Hope your weather is as nice as it is here today.

      Had a question that I thought would be right up your alley. I have a Marauder that I added a Boyd’s thumb-hole stock to, needless to say I pd to have it inletted and finished. Issue is the finish is bit shiny and not so smooth. Guessing it is tru oil? Anyway, if I take steel wool and paste wax to it will that knock down the gloss and give it a better feel? I hesitate, as most of what I work on becomes trash.

      ( I still have the SA action I used the vinegar on, had I been more patient – the result is actually really nice – but it doesn’t shoot anymore )

      If you get chance let me know your thoughts, or if someone else wants to offer an opinion feel free.


      • Volvo,
        Very nice weather thanks, but now I have to worry about sunburn and bugs :)!

        Steel wool and paste wax will do the trick. I just use the green Scotchbrite pads (from the kitchen), usually — a little less agressive and doesn’t leave so much junk on the stock but still gets the job done. With either, you have to walk the line between not enough and breaking through the finish, just go a little at a time. When you are done, the surface will be kind of a hazy white, wipe it down with damp rag carefully, then wax or whatever on top will fill the scratches, but (with luck) it won’t be so shiny and it will feel a little more close to the wood (I think it is psychological more than real, but it works). FrankB does some amazing work on stocks these days, so maybe he’ll chip in as well. Make sure the finish is pretty hard: 2-3 weeks after finishing at least. Maybe I’m superstitious, but the modern finishes seem cure harder for some time.

        What’s wrong with the SA? I wish you were closer, as I bet we could hack it back to operational; glad you kept it. I feel guilty for mentioning the vinegar, but a little better now that I know it did work pretty much like I said, eventually :).


        • Very nice weather thanks, but now I have to worry about sunburn and bugs :) !

          Steel wool and paste wax will do the trick.

          Sounds rather masochistic for handling sun&bugs…

          {Yes, you did carry on with a change in subject, but the juxtaposition just hit me…)


        • Here is a thread that shows what I’m talking about, though he is braver than I am using a power tool for the job:
          http://www.mylespaul.com/forums/epiphone-les-pauls/17007-dulling-poly-finished-guitars-pic-heavy.html
          Note he does things two different ways — a slightly higher polish on the front and back (additional step), and a duller finish (what I expect without the polishing step) on the neck.

          On the stock I did this on fairly recently (mostly poly but a long oil one, minwax), I did just the green pad. The haze cleared up on its own from handling fairly quickly, though I added some furniture polish later since it was hanging up when the inlaws visited :).


      • Hey Volvo,

        Assume you’re talking about a custom inletted boyds blaster stock you put on your marauder?

        If you bought it from boyds direct the finish is a satin urethane that is shiny. If you bought it second hand it’s anyones guess. Hopefully not a tru-oil finish since that linseed oil based finish can de-laminate a laminate stock.

        If it’s the factory urethane type finish think of it as a plastic coating. Good finish for laminate stocks. Shellac is better but I digress.

        Using steel wool on a coating that is similar to plastic (urethane or shellac) to knock down the sheen will result in lots of scratches. It will knock down the sheen but you’ll end up with a finish that just has lots of scratches in it. Steel wool is too abrasive even with a coat of paste wax on it.

        Would suggest that you use a light abrasive like mothers mag chrome polish, rottenstone, brownells stock rubbing compound, birchwood casey stock sheen & conditioner, etc. LIGHT ABRASIVE.

        The compound should knock down the sheen in your finish not your applicator (opposite of your suggestion).

        For an applicator you want something that is smooth and firm but not too firm so it will be able to conform to your various stock contours. A felt pad (like those sold by brownells and others) cut down to 1/2″ X 1″ makes this easy. A clean all cotton piece from an old tee shirt can work if you back it with something like a small gum eraser that kids use in school.

        The key to this process is to use light and uniform pressure because even with a light abrasive like the ones mentioned above you can cut through the finish quickly and you don’t want that.

        kevin


        • An excellent felt applicator can be made from the upper part of worn out felt winter boot liners. I ‘ve used them with the rotten stone for years. You can also use the felt on the face of a soft wood block for flat areas that need polishing.


        • Kevin,
          The steel wool or green pads leaves a very matte finish which can be pleasing on its own or can be polished further to various levels of gloss/sheen; it is a bunch of scratches, as left by any abrasive, but they are too small to be seen as scratches :). I think you are underestimating just how hard poly is when it has set up — I use only long oil poly and I cut it more with oil (for more elasticity on a gun stock), but given a couple of days or more to harden, it can be rubbed with 4-0 steel wool quite vigorously without cutting through easily, though care is advisable. My current favorite technique is to build a solid film of gloss poly/spar varnish/oil mix until it is solid (no dry spots) — that doesn’t take too many coats, just wiping it on (thinning as needed); then I scrub it back/scratch it up thoroughly with 4-0 steel wool or a scrub pad and finish with one coat of mostly Minwax antique oil finish (BLO with hardcore driers). It gives much of the look and feel of oil, though much tougher in my opinion.


  17. BG Farmer, Kevin, and Robert,

    Thanks for all the tips.
    Going to try and digest the info before I jump in, for a change.

    I’ll let you know how it goes.


  18. Nice shooting with the crosman premiers!!!!!!!!!

    Now I am going to have to get my springer out and practice up. I’m lucky to do that at half the distance, maybe 20 yards on a good day.

    I still like springers for hunting. You can shoot all day with no extra equipment to worry about and generally have good power for the money. If you have a good one that shoots well, hang on to it.


  19. Wow, 10-shot group 0.326 inches between centers at 25 yards, that’s great. Normally you get this size group with 5-shot groups. But still, at $700. I don’t know.


  20. I have an HW98 break barrel air gun. I’d be surprised if the accuracy of this new Walther was better, even if I’m guessing it must be smoother. Have you tested the HW98? I’d be curious about the comparison. Thanks for you efforts with real world tests.


    • Dave,

      I have tested the HW 98 — twice, in fact. Both times the gun left me wanting something. It shot okay, but wasn’t as accurate as any HW77 I had tested and yet it was larger and bulkier.

      Having said that, I must be in the minority, because as many people like the 98 as like the TX200. It is an extremely popular air rifle.

      B.B.


      • I liked it because it was a break barrel, and we had the Air Venturi Bronco first. Just liked the action. Shoots well enough too. Do you think the companies other than Walther will respond in the market to this new air gun?


        • Dave,

          I said I had tested an HW 98, but I was thinking of an HW97 as I was writing. I haven’t tested an HW98.

          So, it’s a good gun, then?

          B.B.


          • I don’t have your decades of experience to answer that question. It is the first higher end air gun I’ve owned. I’ve shot field target with it all of twice in Tennessee, and mostly plinked in the back yard with it otherwise. It is easy to get less than 1″ groupings at 25-30 yards, and mine is not pellet fussy. You can find reviews of it online, but I think it is a hole in the mass of reviews you have done if you have missed this one.


  21. BB-
    You discussed your hand placement changed with the more powerful .177. Can you describe if the placement now is where the balance is about equal or more muzzle/breech heavy? And I believe you stated, your overall preference to be muzzle heavy and does that seem to depend more on power levels of a gun? Such as 7-12FPE I like “balance” and >12FPE muzzle heavy or ?


    • John,

      I like a muzzle heavy gun, period. Always have. Both handguns and long guns, I like ‘em to be muzzle heavy.

      Where I placed my hand for the best results gave a neutral balance with this rifle.

      B.B.


      • The reason I asked is that I find it hard to “always” be in the same position unless my palm is touching the trigger guard or in the “balanced” position (which would fall muzzle-heavy). To me, muzzle heavy, could vary a lot from shot to shot. I was also thinking that if “balanced,” that the artillery hold may be more straight forward and backward.


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