Posts Tagged ‘Walther LGV Master Ultra’

Walther LGV Olympia field test: Part 3

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

Part 1
Part 2

Walther LGV Olympia
Walther LGV Olympia was a top-quality 10-meter target rifle from the 1970s.

It’s play time again, today, for this is the day we shoot the Walther LGV Olympia target rifle at 25 yards in preparation for shooting it at 50 yards. This report is a look at the vintage Walther LGV platform as a sporter, rather than the 10-meter target rifle that it is. With Walther bringing out the new LGV models, I thought it would be nice to see how the original LGV did in the same test.

I have no idea which pellet to choose for shooting at 25 yards — to say nothing of shooting twice as far. So, today’s test was nothing beyond my best guess of what might work well. Because I’ll be shooting at a fairly long range with this relatively low-powered spring rifle, I knew the pellets had to be domes. Wadcutters start to fall off in accuracy after 25 yards, and pointed ones aren’t that accurate to begin with. But good domes can be as accurate as good wadcutters, and they hold their accuracy a heck of a lot longer.

I’m shooting 10-shot groups off a rest at 25 yards, using the target sights that belong on the rifle. Ten shots should show which pellet or pellets are the best. I’ll also try each pellet seated flush and seated deep, so there will be 2 groups shot with each pellet.

JSB Exact Express
The JSB Exact Express pellet is a fairly lightweight domed lead pellet that’s new to me. I tried it in the velocity test for the first time and learned that flush-seated pellets leave the muzzle faster than deep-seated pellets. That was the reverse of what 2 other pellets did in that test.

The first 10 shots were with flush-seated pellets. They made a group that measures 0.657 inches between centers; but within that group, there are 8 shots in a 0.257-inch group. What can we say about that? There were no called fliers, and I feel the 2 shots that strayed from the main group did so on their own, without the rifle contributing. I’m looking at the entire group size and ignoring the smaller group-within-a-group. However, this pellet does merit another chance at 50 yards.

JSB Exact Express group 25 yards flush-seated
Ten JSB Exact Express pellets seated flush went into 0.657 inches, but 8 of them made a 0.257-inch group. Maybe I should try this pellet at 50 yards.

Next, I shot another 10 JSB Exact Express pellets, only these were seated deep with the Air Venturi Pellet Pen and Seater. This time, the group measured 0.778 inches, and you can clearly see the dispersion of the shots. Deep-seating does not suit this pellet.

JSB Exact Express group 25 yards deep-seated
You don’t have to use calipers to see that this group of 10 JSB Exact Express pellets that were seated deep are scattered all over the place. Group size is 0.778 inches.

RWS Superdome
The next pellet I tried was the RWS Superdome, which so many shooters love. I had no idea how Superdomes would do in the LGV Olympia, and this test would be the way to find out. First, I shot them seated flush. Ten pellets made a group that measures 0.695 inches between centers. The group was fairly round, which I took to be a good thing, because it means the pellets are fairly evenly distributed.

RWS Superpoint group 25 yards deep-seated
Ten flush-seated RWS Superdomes went into 0.695 inches at 25 yards.

Next, I shot 10 Superdomes seated deep in the rifling. This time, the group wasn’t as pretty, but it did measure only 0.649 inches, which is slightly better than the flush-seated group. It’s a toss-up between the different seating methods, though deep-seating does seem a trifle better. Perhaps the difference would be greater at 50 yards.

RWS Superpoint group 25 yards deep-seated
Superdomes seated deep made the better group by a small margin. Ten went into 0.649 inches.

JSB Exact Heavy
The final pellet I tested in the LGV Olympia was the JSB Exact Heavy that I included in the velocity test. We wouldn’t normally select a 10.34-grain pellet for a rifle of the LGV’s limited power; but when you shoot out to long distances, the weight of the pellet is more important than its starting velocity.

The first group was shot with the pellets seated flush. It measures 0.354 inches, making it the best group thus far. This group is also very round, which is another point in its favor. I think I’ve found the best pellet to shoot in this rifle at 50 yards!

JSB Exact Heavy group 25 yards flush-seated
Ten JSB Exact Heavy pellets seated flush made this remarkable 0.354-inch group at 25 yards.

I now wondered if could this get any better. The next 10 pellets were shot deep-seated and, alas, the answer was…no. I’d gone as far as I was going in this test. Ten deep-seated Express pellets made a 0.79-inch group.

JSB Exact Heavy group 25 yards deep-seated
When seated deep, the Heavy pellets opened up to a 0.79-inch group at 25 yards. There’s one pellet hole above the main group that may be hard to see, but it’s there.

So, here at the end of the test we have a very clear example of one seating method triumphing over the other. The Express pellets wants to be seated flush in this rifle.

We also have a clear example of one pellet standing apart from the others. The flush-seated Express pellet made a group that was significantly smaller than all the other pellets I tried. That doesn’t mean it’s the best pellet in the LGV — just the best of these 3 that I tested. When I go to the 50-yard range, I need a day with zero wind — and I’ll try the JSB Exact Express first.

Considerable drop
You may have noticed that the groups were all below the bullseye. That was with the rear sight cranked up pretty high. There’s still some room for more height; but at 50 yards, I know the gun will be printing its groups low. I’ll have to compensate for that.

Walther LGV Olympia field test: Part 2

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

Part 1

Walther LGV Olympia
Walther LGV Olympia was a top-quality 10 meter target rifle from the 1970s.

Don’t get confused. The title of this blog is the Walther LGV Olympia field test, but the first part was titled, We interrupt our regular program….I used that title so I wouldn’t give away the topic that first day. This report is, indeed, about the Walther LGV Olympia of history, but this is a new take on it. I already reported on it two and a half years ago, but that report was about the rifle as a vintage 10-meter target rifle, which at that time was all the LGV had ever been. Only in 2012, when Walther brought out their new line of sporting rifles under the LGV model name, was the LGV anything except a breakbarrel target rifle.

We’ve now looked at the .177-caliber Walther LGV Master Ultra rifle and also at the .22-caliber LGV Challenger (which I now own), so I thought it might be nice to see how the original LGV stacks up to these new rifles. This test will look at the vintage LGV Olympia at 25 yards and at 50 yards. At both distances, I’ll use the rifle’s target sights. I mentioned last time that when I tested the FWB 300S at 50 yards, it didn’t seem to matter that much whether target sights or a scope was used, so I see no need to switch the sights on this rifle.

One thing I have learned in the two and a half years since testing the LGV target rifle is how deep-seating the pellet often has a dramatic affect on accuracy. We have seen that with other airguns, but this will be the first time I think I’ve tested it on a vintage target rifle. This should be an interesting test. And, because the LGV is a breakbarrel, it plays right into the test plan, because breakbarrels are the easiest type of guns in which to seat the pellets deep.

Naturally, I’ll use the Air Venturi Pellet Pen and PellSet seater to seat the pellets. It’s so easy; because once you set the optimum seating depth, it never changes until you change it. If you don’t have a tool, you can seat pellets with a ballpoint pen…but the seating depth is not adjustable.

Today, we’re just going to see how well the rifle performs with some sample pellets that might get chosen for the 25-yard test. I’ll test the velocity of all pellets both seated flush with the end of the barrel and also seated deep. That will be a good comparison.

JSB Exact Heavy
You must wonder if I’ve lost my mind, testing the 10.34-grain JSB Exact Heavy domed pellet in a rifle this weak. No, that’s one of the types of pellets I expect might do well at 50 yards. It certainly has the capability to buck the wind, so I thought it might be a good one to test. I have almost no experience shooting airguns of this low power level out to 50 yards, so this is just a hunch.

JSB Exact Heavys averaged 500 f.p.s when seated flush with the breech. The low was 499 f.p.s., and the high was 501 f.p.s., so there was a total variation of just 2 f.p.s. That’s remarkable for a spring-piston air rifle — I don’t care what type it is! This pellet generates 5.74 foot-pounds of muzzle energy.

When seated deep, the same pellet averaged 511 f.p.s., with a low of 509 f.p.s. and a high of 512 f.p.s. The spread opened up to 3 f.p.s., which is still astonishing. Deep-seated pellets averaged 11 f.p.s. faster than flush-seated pellets. The average muzzle energy was 6.0 foot-pounds.

RWS Superdome
The second pellet I tested was the ever-popular RWS Superdome. This is another pellet that I believe might do well at long range when fired from this air rifle. When seated flush, they averaged 552 f.p.s., with a 17 f.p.s. velocity spread from 543 f.p.s. to 560 f.p.s. The average muzzle energy this pellet generated when seated flush was 5.62 foot-pounds.

When seated deep, the average velocity increased by 10 f.p.s. to 562 f.p.s. The spread ranged from 557 to 565 f.p.s., so it tightened up to just 8 f.p.s. The average muzzle energy was 5.82 foot-pounds.

Beeman Kodiak
Next, I tested the Beeman Kodiak pellet. This is another heavy pellet that I plan to try at 25 yards; and if it does well there, at 50 yards, too. At 10.65 grains, this is the heaviest pellet in today’s test. When they were seated flush, Kodiaks averaged 483 f.p.s. in the LGV Olympia. The spread went from a low of 478 f.p.s. to a high of 487 f.p.s., so 9 f.p.s. in total. That’s still pretty tight. The average energy was 5.52 foot-pounds.

When seated deep, the average velocity for Kodiaks increased to 501 f.p.s. The spread now went from a low of 479 f.p.s. to a high of 515 f.p.s., so a total of 36 f.p.s., which is on the high side. The average muzzle energy was 5.94 foot-pounds.

JSB Exact Express
The JSB Exact Express pellet is one I haven’t tried before. It’s a dome that weighs 7.87 grains. Normally, I would try the JSB Exact RS pellet in a rifle like this; but when I tested it in the past as a 10-meter rifle, I did try the RS pellets and they didn’t seem to do very well at 10 meters. So, I welcomed the opportunity to include this new JSB dome in the test.

Although it’s heavier than the RS, this Express pellet is still the lightest pellet I tried in this test. When seated flush, it averaged 585 f.p.s., with a spread from 569 to a high of 593 f.p.s. The average muzzle energy was 5.98 foot-pounds.

Of course, I expected this pellet to go even faster when seated deep, but it didn’t. In fact the relationship between deep-seating and velocity turned around 180 degrees with this pellet. The average for deep-seated Express pellets was 547 f.p.s., with a range that went from 545 to 553 f.p.s. The average muzzle energy was 5.23 foot-pounds. So, just like we have seen in some tests of deep-seated pellets in the past, here’s another surprise. I wonder what will happen in the accuracy test?

The Walther LGV Olympia has an adjustable 2-stage match trigger. The one on my rifle is set very nicely, and stage 2 breaks at 10.5 to 11 oz. I can do very fine work with a good trigger like this.

Impressions thus far
I was surprised by how consistent the rifle is with JSB pellets. The fact that 3 pellets increased when seated deep, while one decreased, is also something curious. It just points out the need to test a gun in as many ways as you can think of, I guess.

Best of all, this test gives me one more opportunity to shoot and handle this rifle. I own many nice airguns, but my work doesn’t often afford the chance to play with them; so, tests like this one are a refreshing change for me. And I know that many of you get enjoyment from reading about a fine vintage airgun. It’s a nice change of pace.

I do hope the newer readers will see how nice these older airguns are and maybe use the links to explore them more thoroughly. If you’re new to the shooting sports, this is where a lot of the fun is found.

We interrupt our regular program…

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

…to have some fun. I mean, that’s what this is all about, isn’t it? Don’t we all shoot airguns for fun?

So, there I am at the range last week with the new Walther LGV, and I’m shooting these groups on a perfect day and all the time I’m wondering the same things most of you wonder right back at me. Things like, “I wonder what my R8 would do at this distance? Could it really group this far?”

But you don’t want to hear about my R8, because you can’t have one of your own. They’re rare birds and hard to come by these days. And, heaven forbid, they cost money — something that makes airgunning a real drag. But I still want to shoot something fun, instead of sticking to the script.

Then it dawned on me. I’m shooting an LGV. And I shot another LGV very recently. Both rifles were great fun. and fun is what I’m looking for today.

But I have another LGV that I haven’t shot in over a year. That LGV is the original LGV Olympia target rifle that was popular back in the 1970s. I reported on it two and a half years ago, but back then I was looking at it solely as a target rifle — lumping it in with the HW55 and the FWB 300. It was a target rifle, to be sure; but in light of the new LGV sporting rifles, might it also be something more? Might it be a low-powered sporting rifle that can shoot at 50 yards? It would certainly be fun to find out. There’s that word, again — fun.

Walther LGV Olympia

Walther LGV Olympia target rifle was a top-quality 10-meter rifle from the 1970s.

What would be fun about shooting a 10-meter rifle at 50 yards? Well, first, could you do it? Of course you could. I know the gun will shoot that far. I even tried shooting my most accurate 10-meter target rifle — an FWB 300S — at 50 yards once. Remember that? It was in Part 5 of the report on the FWB 300S. In fact, it was also in Part 4 of the same report.

But when I reread that report, I discovered that my mindset wasn’t how accurate the rifle could be. It was more like, “How accurate could a 10-meter rifle BE at 50 yards?” (Said with sarcasm) I see that I didn’t even try to pre-qualify pellets at 25 yards before moving out to 50 yards. I went straight from 10 meters out to half a football field in one jump.

But the recent test of the two new LGVs included a 25-yard intermediate stage where I was able to qualify certain pellets and let others fall by the wayside. Shouldn’t that be done for the 10-meter rifle, as well? And that doesn’t even address the possibility of deep-seating the pellets, which we’ve seen in other recent tests can have a profound effect on accuracy.

The LGV Olympia
The Walther LGV Olympia is a vintage wood and steel airgun that does have a plastic triggerguard, but no other plastic on the exterior of the gun. The design is a conventional breakbarrel spring-piston powerplant with one of the lightest cocking efforts and softest recoils ever produced in a factory air rifle. The test rifle cocks with just 13 lbs. of effort. I measured it at 15 lbs. in the lest test, so perhaps my technique has changed or maybe the mainspring has weakened, but I’ll test the velocity and we can make a comparison.

Speaking of comparisons, how does this vintage LGV stack up against the modern rifles? Well, it’s about a pound heavier, and has the capacity for being even heavier by inserting lead weights in the stock. The barrel is enclosed in a heavy steel sleeve that adds about 2 lbs. to the overall weight. And it was weight that Walther used to temper the recoil when this gun was new.

The LGV represents the high-water mark of recoiling spring target rifles from Walther. They built several models in their 50-series, with the model 55 being the last and most well-developed. Then the LGV topped them all. After that, Walther moved into the single-stroke technology that they developed in their LGR rifle and LP II pistol.

Like the modern LGVs, this vintage target rifle has the same barrel latch that locks the barrel shut during firing. It works the same way as the modern barrel latches do; but since it has probably unlocked the gun several thousand times more, it’s a little smoother.

Walther LGV Olympia barrel latch

Like the current LGVs, the target rifle has a barrel latch.

Shooting the LGV Olympia will come as a bit of a shock to anyone unfamiliar with the golden age of spring rifles because there’s almost no recoil. A tuned HW55 can be very calm, but the LGV has no equal when it comes to soft recoil. You feel a pulse but are hard-pressed to say that the rifle actually moves. There’s a very subtle spring twang that will remain on my rifle forever, ’cause ain’t nobody gonna see the insides as long as she’s a-workin’.

The trigger on the Olympia is lighter than the sporting trigger, but not by that much. And the wider trigger blade on the sporting guns makes their triggers feel lighter than they are. So, the triggers are a wash between the vintage guns and the modern sporters. Both are great.

The sights on the Olympia are target aperture sights — front and rear. I plan on keeping the peep sight mounted for this test, as I demonstrated with the FWB 300S that I can shoot just as well with a peep as with a scope.

Walther LGV Olympia barrel jacket nut

The front sight is a hooded globe with inserts.

Walther LGV Olympia rear sight

The rear sight is a precision adjustable aperture sight.

Finally, the finish on the vintage Walther is the one place where hand work shows. The metal is polished smooth and deeply blued in the manner of fine firearms. And the stock is made of walnut rather than beech. It harkens to an earlier time when such things were both possible and expected.

The plan
What I plan to do is shoot the rifle at 25 yards to find the best pellets for long range. I’ll try them both seated flush and deep, and we’ll hopefully get one or two that really shine. Then, we’ll take those to the 50-yard range on a perfect day and see what this baby can really do.

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 Master Ultra .177 air rifle: Part 4

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

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

LGV Master Ultra .177 air rifle
The LGV Master Ultra with wood stock is what readers have been asking to see. Today, we’ll see how it shoots!

Today, you’ll see the test of the .177-caliber Walther LGV Master Ultra at 25 yards with open sights. This is for all who have an interest in a rifle that I think redefines the breakbarrel spring-piston sporter.

Twenty-five yards is not quite 2.5 times the distance at which the first test was conducted, so I expect to see the groups open up quite a lot. In fact, this is a wonderful distance at which to test an airgun because this is where the real pedigree starts to show through. Let’s see how our test rifle did.

Crosman Premier lite
The first pellet I tested was the 7.9-grain Crosman Premier lite that did so well in the 10-meter test. After confirming the shot was on the bull with a spotting scope, I shot the remaining 9 shots without looking again. Shot 9 was a called pull to the left, and I knew I would see a hole to the left of the main group when I examined the target.

LGV Master Ultra .177 air rifle Premier lite target
Ten Premier lites went into 1.065 inches at 25 yards. Nine of them made a 0.742-inch group that I feel is more representative of the rifle’s actual accuracy with open sights at this range.

Crosman Premier heavies
Next, I tried 10 Crosman Premier heavies because a reader thought they might do well. They did not — giving a very open and scattered group that measures 1.549 inches between centers.

LGV Master Ultra .177 air rifle Premier heavy target
Ten Premier heavies made this 1.549-inch group at 25 yards. The group is open and scattered — showing not much hope for this pellet in this rifle.

Beeman Devastators
Next, I shot 10 Beeman Devastator pellets. These lightweight hollowpoints surprised me in the Pellet velocity versus accuracy test I did two years ago. And they fit the LGV breech very well, so I had hopes they might be accurate, as well.

Indeed they were! Ten gave a 1.154-inch group, but 9 of them were in 0.746 inches. That’s very much like the Premier lites, though there was no called shot this time.

LGV Master Ultra .177 air rifle Beeman Devastator target
Ten Beeman Devastators made a 1.154-inch group, but 9 went into 0.746 inches. Very promising!

JSB Exact Heavy 10.34-grain
Next up were 10 JSB Exact heavys. The Exact RS pellets had not done well in the 10-meter test, but these heavier domes often succeed where the lighter ones don’t. This time, the outcome was very telling. Eight of the pellets made an incredibly small 0.518-inch group that’s perfectly round, then the final two shots enlarged the group to 2.147 inches. They made both the largest and smallest group of the session! That small inner group tells me that this may well be the most accurate pellet in this rifle, as it often is.

LGV Master Ultra .177 air rifle JSB Exact heavy target
This group made by JSB Exact Heavy pellets will make you think! I didn’t call any shots, but I think something went wrong with the two outliers. I believe the small cluster is more representative of what this pellet can do in this rifle.

Of course, I could be wrong, but this isn’t the last time I’m going to shoot this LGV for accuracy. Next time will be at 25 yards with a scope mounted. This JSB just won a place in that test.

H&N Baracuda Match
The last pellet I tested was the H&N Baracuda Match, which did so-so in the 10-meter test. I thought I would give them another chance at 25 yards; but, alas, their mediocrity only continued. Ten made an open 2.121-inch group with no pattern or clustering.

Walther LGV Master Ultra .177 air rifle H&N Baracuda Match target
Ten H&N Baracuda Match pellets didn’t do so well in this rifle. Group size is 2.121 inches…and, yes, there are 10 shots there.

Am I satisfied?
I am very satisfied with this performance. The naysayers will probably dream up new things to say about the gun; but as far as I’m concerned, it’s on track for a spectacular test.

I will say that the firing behavior was quite buzzy with the Premiers, but much less so with the Baracudas and the heavy JSBs. I think those JSBs are going to turn out to be the pellets of choice in this rifle. I’ll also comment that the trigger now seems as good as a well-adjusted Rekord. It’s not as light, but the wide blade makes the release feel very crisp.

Walther’s new LGV Master Ultra .177 air rifle: Part 3

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

Part 1
Part 2

LGV Master Ultra air rifle
The LGV Master Ultra with a wood stock is what readers have been asking to see. Today, we see how it shoots!

Now that we know how powerful the new .177-caliber Walther LGV Master Ultra is, people are lining up to see it shoot. We get to that today. I’ll start at 10 meters because I’m using the good open sights that come on the rifle; but as I mentioned in the last report, there will be other accuracy tests yet to come. While I’m not keeping this rifle like I did the .22, I don’t mind having it around awhile. Also, I’m writing a feature article about these new rifles for Shotgun News, so I have to do the testing anyway. I love my job!

For today’s report, I shot the rifle rested at 10 meters. Although that is an easy test for what we assume will be an accurate rifle, it is sensible because the open sights are being used. If the rifle really is accurate, I may also shoot the rifle with open sights at 25 yards because I’ll have confidence that it can do it. I haven’t mentioned this yet, but I shot the other couch in our living room about a month ago (I shot the first couch a few years ago), and we have since bought two new couches that I’m absolutely not allowed to shoot. So, any rifle I test has to be accurate…guaranteed.

I’m going to write a report this week for Jim H. on how to pick a good pellet, but let’s get that started today with how I selected the pellets for this rifle. I picked three for this rifle based on the power I thought it might have, which the velocity testing had demonstrated varied widely from 13 to 16.25 foot-pounds. I chose the JSB Exact RS dome because it’s been a wonderful pellet in lower-powered airguns, though in this one it’s up pretty high. I chose the H&N Baracuda Match because it often proved accurate in .177 rifles of wide-ranging power. Some say this spring rifle is too underpowered for a pellet this heavy and that the mainspring will suffer from shooting it, but I strongly disagree. I’ve used them in many rifles of this same power, and they usually worked well. The last pellet I tried is the 7.9-grain Crosman Premier lite, which has always been an accurate pellet. Sometimes, it’s even the absolute best in rifles of this power.

That was my pellet selection criteria for this rifle. It’s not scientific — it’s based on experience and some other factors I’ll talk about. I could just as easily have chosen 3 or 4 other good pellets for this test, but that would have been about all for this rifle, in my experience. Be sure to read that pellet-selection report later this week.

The test
The rifle was shot off a rest at 10 meters. The rest was a sandbag on which I rested my off hand, then I rested the rifle on the flat of my palm, with the heel of my hand touching the triggerguard.

H&N Baracuda Match
The first pellet up was the heavy H&N Baracuda Match. The first shot was made without adjusting the sights. The pellets landed low but centered, so I dialed the rear sight up about 5 clicks. The next shot landed in the black, so I settled in and fired 9 more pellets without looking through the spotting scope. After the 10 shots, I knew we had another winner and how this report was going to end. This rifle is great, just like the .22, only more powerful.

LGV Master Ultra air rifle Baracuda Match open sights 10 meters
No more mystery! This LGV is accurate. 10 shots with open sights at 10 meters in 0.422 inches.

Now, we’re on a roll. I expected great things from it, and the Premiers were up next.

Premier lites
After making certain that the first pellet was on target, I shot the other 9 without looking. When I went down to change the target I came upon a near-screamer of a 10-shot group. Ten Premier lites went into 0.325 inches. Yes, I’ve shot smaller groups at 10 meters, but maybe not with open sporting sights — I don’t really remember. This is justification for including this pellet in the test.

LGV Master Ultra 177 air rifle Premier lite open sights 10 meters
Now, THAT’S a group — to paraphrase Crocodile Dundee. Ten Premier lites in 0.325 inches at 10 meters.

JSB Exact RS
The last pellet I tested was the light JSB RS dome. Again, the first pellet landed in the bull, so I stopped checking. Nine more went downrange, then I walked down to pull the target. This time the group wasn’t very good, which was something of a surprise. The group measures 0.666 inches between centers. I’ll shoot this pellet again at 25 yards, but I’ll be careful when I do.

LGV Master Ultra 177 air rifle JSB Exact RS open sights 10 meters
JSB Exact RS pellets didn’t do as well as I’d hoped. This group is twice the size of the Premier group; and because this is 10 shots and not 5, it’s not just an estimate of accuracy: It’s the final word.

The trigger on this rifle continues to excel. And the sights are exceptional. The firing cycle is smooth and relatively free of buzz. But I imagine that will vary, rifle by rifle. And as it breaks in, I think it’ll become increasingly smoother.

I like the shape of the stock. I said that about the synthetic-stocked Walther LGV Challenger in .22 caliber I tested before, but this stock has a more conventional shape. The balance is slightly muzzle-heavy, which I find ideal.

Next, I’ll back up to 25 yards and test it there with open sights. But you already know how this is going to turn out. The new Walther LGV family of sporting spring rifles is a very refreshing change to the usually similar new airgun models.

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