Posts Tagged ‘BKL 260 high one-piece mount’

Walther’s new LGV Master Ultra .177 air rifle: Part 6

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

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

Walther LGV Master Ultra 177 air rifle
The LGV Master Ultra with a wood stock is what readers have been asking to see. Today we shoot it at 50 yards.

This is the final installment on the Walther LGV Master Ultra. When combined with the 6-part review I did of the .22-caliber Walther LGV Challenger, that’s 12 separate reviews of the new LGV rifle. I think that’s more than enough information to help anyone make up their mind.

For this report, I took the rifle to my outdoor rifle range two different times. The first time, the wind kicked up as I was shooting the first group, so I only managed to shoot one 10-shot group that day. It took a long time because I had to wait to shoot between wind gusts. The second day at the range, the weather was perfect. It was one of those rare days where the wind never gets up to one mile per hour all day long, so I feel the rifle has gotten as fair a test as I’m able to give.

To remind you of the way it’s set up, the LGV Master Ultra is scoped with a Bushnell Banner 6-18X50 AO scope mounted in BKL 1-piece rings. Nothing special about the scope or mounts, except that they both work very well with this rifle.

Today, I’m shooting at 50 yards. Two things about this are exceptional. First, I’m shooting a spring rifle at 50 yards. If you’ve never tried it, don’t knock it. You can’t just double the size of a 25-yard group and get what it’ll look like at 50. Second, I’m shooting 10-shot groups. They’ll always be 40% larger than 5-shot groups. So, factor that in as you read my report.

Day one on the range
This first day began okay; but before the first group was finished, the wind picked up. I waited between gusts, and I’m pretty sure the wind did not account for any increase in the group size. I shot 10-shot groups, as is my custom. That way, I seldom wonder if the results are anything but representative of the rifle. Yes, it’s harder to shoot 10 shots well, rather than 5; but I find that if you start thinking that way, the next thing you know is that you’ll be looking for only the best 5-shot groups among all you’ve shot. That’s harder to do with 10-shot groups because they take so long to complete.

The shooting at 25 yards had convinced me that I needed to rest the forearm at the end of the cocking slot, instead of with my off hand touching the triggerguard. That gives the rifle a very stable hold without the normal shakes you get when you hold it the other way.

I got just one group this day. There were more shots, but the wind picked up enough that I found it impossible to say that it wasn’t influencing the size of the groups. The single group I shot was with Crosman Premier lites, the 7.9-grain pellet that had performed so well at 25 yards. At 50 yards, 10 pellets made a group that measured 1.509 inches between centers. So I brought it home, to await the perfect day for another test.

LGV Master Ultra 177 air rifle Premier lite group 1
The first group of Premier lites went into 1.509 inches at 50 yards. Due to the wind rising, this was all I could shoot this day.

That day came last week. It was supposed to be raining, but the skies were dry and overcast. As mentioned, there was barely a breath of air the whole four hours I was at the range. The first group was shot with the Premier lites, for which I had so much hope. Ten went into a group measuring 1.561 inches between centers. It was time to face facts — this was the best the rifle was going to do with this pellet at 50 yards. Now, it was time to experiment.

LGV Master Ultra 177 air rifle Premier lite group 2
This second group of Premier lites was shot on a perfect day. It measures 1.561 inches between centers. The first group was also the best group.

Next, I tried Beeman Devastators — a lightweight hollowpoint pellet that has no hope at 50 yards, except when the conditions are perfect, as they were this day. Ten went onto a group that measured 1.852 inches between centers. I think that’s pretty good for a hollowpoint at 50 yards, but it probably doesn’t look too good in the photo.

LGV Master Ultra 177 air rifle Beeman Devastator group

Beeman Devastators did very well for hollowpoints at 50 yards. Ten went into 1.852 inches.

The day was still dead calm, so I thought I’d keep shooting. The next pellet I tried was the H&N Baracuda Match that hadn’t done as well as I’d hoped at 25 yards. At 50 yards, 10 of them made a 1.637-inch group…but this group was strange. Six pellets landed high in a tight 0.829-inch bunch and the other four landed low, making a 0.777-inch group of their own. This result would bear some further investigation, if I owned this air rifle.

LGV Master Ultra 177 air rifle H&N Baracuda group
H&N Baracuda Match pellets printed these two groups. Six on top and 4 below, for a total size of 1.637 inches between centers. There are no holes under the dime.

I can see sorting these pellets by weight and being very selective of each pellet, rather than just shooting everything straight from the tin, as I did in this test. I make no promises; but when you get results like this, there may be a good reason.

The last pellet I tested was the JSB Exact heavy, a 10.34-grain dome. I had high hopes for these, as well; but when the first 6 landed in 1.586 inches, I stopped because the final 4 had no chance of tightening that.

LGV Master Ultra 177 air rifle JSB Exact Heavy group
Six JSB Exact Heavy pellets went into 1.586 inches. I didn’t complete this group.

So that was the test at 50 yards. It didn’t turn out as I’d expected. The 12 foot-pound .22-caliber LGV Challenger produced better groups that hovered around one inch. The wind cannot be blamed for this, so the 12 foot-pound rifle just turns out to be more accurate at long range.

The final word
I said the Walther LGV is the TX200 of breakbarrel springers at the end of the other test, and I’ll not change that assessment. The action is incredibly well-built, the trigger is fine and the accuracy is better than average for a good spring-piston rifle. I like the barrel latch, and I no longer need the last foot-pound of power to validate an airgun’s worth. What I’m after is a wonderful shooting experience that this Walther delivers.

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.

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 Brandon 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.

Walther’s new LGV Challenger breakbarrel spring air rifle: Part 6

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

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

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

Okay, so fire me! This is like eating dessert and I can’t stop. Today, I’ll share the results of the 50-yard test of the new Walther LGV Challenger with you. And don’t worry — Umarex USA knows I’m still working on a feature article for the July Shotgun News, so they don’t expect their LGV back soon. They’re even sending me another LGV with a wood stock that I’ll test for you as soon as it arrives.

It was one of those rare perfect windless mornings at the range. They’re the perfect days to test air rifles at long rangesbecause there’s nothing to disturb the pellet in its flight. And 50 yards is plenty long when you’re shooting 10-shot groups. Yes, the shooter is part of the equation, but I really have to say that this LGV is so neutral that it holds like a PCP. Not a lot of skill is needed as long as the basic artillery hold is employed.

I decided to start with the pellet that proved to be the best at 25 yards. That was the 13.4-grain JSB Exact RS dome. It seems to be perfectly matched to this powerplant and compliments the 12 foot-pounds that the rifle develops.

Walther LGV 50 yards rest
Shooting the new LGV at 50 yards on this calm day was like shooting a precharged pneumatic! Yes, I’m shooting at those wee teeny black dots — not the larger one.

Pellets drop
When a 12 foot-pound rifle is sighted-in for 25 yards, the pellet will drop a lot as it goes out to 50 yards. A lot means as much as a foot more than at 25 yards. So, I cranked in some elevation and proceeded to start the test. The first group was still hitting about four inches low; but it was on the target paper, so I just continued to shoot. Pellet after pellet went to the same point. By the time I’d fired 5 rounds, I knew this rifle was a shooter. Of course, the earlier testing did give me a lot of confidence that the LGV could shoot; but when you stare at a bullseye that’s the size of a small pellet tin lid 50 yards away, things look very different!

Walther LGV 50 yard group 1
The first group measures 1.099 inches for 10 shots at 50 yards. This is a great beginning for the test.

After finishing the first group, I adjusted the scope up some more to compensate for the 50-yard distance. The second group landed at the correct elevation, but slightly to the left of the aim point. Ten more JSB Exact RS pellets made a second group that measured 1.35 inches between centers. This group was much taller than it was wide, and I wasn’t satisfied that I was holding the rifle steady enough.

Walther LGV 50 yard group 2
The second group measures 1.35 inches for 10 shots at 50 yards. The verticality was somewhat disturbing.

After the second group, the wind was still calm so there was time for one more good attempt. I adjusted the scope to impact to the right and started the third group.

I shifted in my seat so I was completely relaxed when holding the rifle. And the third time was the charm because this time the crosshairs stayed within 1/8-inch of the center of the bull all the time. When the last shot was fired, there was a group measuring 0.989 inches between the two widest shots. That may not sound like a big deal, but it’s one of the best 50-yard 10-shot groups I’ve ever shot with a breakbarrel air rifle. And you can’t equal it with a brand-new Ruger 10/22 that today costs almost as much as this air rifle — to say nothing of the cost for the ammo. Nine of those pellets landed within 0.634 inches of each other.

Walther LGV 50 yard group 3
The third group measures 0.989 inches between centers. This group is reasonably round and good-looking. Nine of those are within 0.634 inches.

After this third group, the wind picked up just a bit and I shifted over to Beeman Kodiak pellets, but they were dropping a foot below where the RS pellets were striking. So I tried only a few shots before giving up for the day. The wind had picked up to the point that it would affect the flight of the pellets, so I declared the test finished.

That may seem like a short test of the rifle at 50 yards, but the gun is so smooth and right that it doesn’t take a lot of special handling to deliver results. It’s what you think all spring-piston airguns should be…only many of them aren’t.

Final evaluation
If you’ve read every report on this rifle, you know what I’m going to say: It’s the finest sporting breakbarrel spring rifle I’ve ever tested or shot — and that covers a wide range of airguns. I came into this test with a chip on my shoulder about Walther using their classic LGV name for a new offering that wasn’t even a 10-meter target rifle, but it took only a couple shots before all that was forgotten. This LGV Challenger stands on its own merits and even reminds me of what I like about the old target rifle.

Cocking is smooth and light. The firing cycle is light with just a hint of buzz at the end. The trigger, while a bit creepy, is light and reasonably crisp. It isn’t a target trigger, but it’s one of the better sporting triggers I’ve tested — short of a Rekord or Air Arms unit.

Even the open sights — while they do have fiberoptic tubes — can also be used as precision open sights as long as the target is properly lit.

For those who are looking for the highest quality in a spring-piston airgun — this is it. Breakbarrels don’t normally handle as well as this one. If you fancy one and care about accuracy without a lot of hassle, here it is.

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.

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