Home Blog  
Education / Training Walther LP53: The James Bond airgun!

Walther LP53: The James Bond airgun!

by B.B. Pelletier

A deluxe LP53 is cased but does not have the optional barrel weights. Two spare sight inserts (both front and rear) compliment those already on the gun. This late model does not have the wooden cocking knob.

Fred mentioned he owned a Walther LP53, and I was reminded what a wonderful air pistol it is, so today I thought I’d share my observations.

The LP53 (LP stands for luft pistole – German for air pistol) was an early (1953-1983) attempt at making a .177 target pistol. It copied the lines of Walther’s famous .22 LR Olympia target pistol, and it used a spring piston to compress the air. When you look at the pistol, you wonder where the spring and piston could be, but they are tucked away inside the pistol grip.

Hard to cock
The gun is a breakbarrel, and the triggerguard serves as a long cocking link. The mechanical advantage of the cocking mechanism is not very good, so the pistol is somewhat difficult to cock for the relatively low power it generates. Walther recognized this and provided a wooden cocking knob that fits over the front sight to give you as much leverage as possible. It’s a funky way of cocking an air pistol, and many owners love it for that, alone.

Recoil simulator?
The piston springs almost straight upward inside the grip when the gun is fired. Walther touted this as a “recoil simulator,” making the air pistol feel like a .22 rimfire, but the truth is that it just feels funny in your shooting hand. It’s more like a jolt than a recoil.

James Bond
The LP53 is all metal with beautifully formed plastic grip panels. The early pistols had a beavertail extension that curved down over the web of the hand; later guns also had an extension, but it was straight. The trigger blade is thin and elegant – looking exactly like a firearm trigger. In fact, there’s nothing about the LP53 that doesn’t look right, which is why the movie posters for early James Bond films show him holding an air pistol instead of his service PPK.

Targets, only!
For all its racy looks, the LP53 is a pussycat, generating barely more than 300 f.p.s. with lightweight .177 pellets. The piston stroke is very short and the bore is small enough to fit inside the grip, so there isn’t much air to compress. At 10 meters, however, the low power is all that’s needed to punch bullseyes. Walther included three front sight posts and three rear sight notch inserts with the gun, so shooters could fine-tune the sight picture. While it will never keep up with a real 10-meter target pistol, an LP53 will shoot nickel-sized groups at 33 feet when the shooter does his best.

For those who wanted the best, a deluxe version of the gun came in a blue satin-lined hard case with barrel weights – very similar to the Olympia pistol it copied. The case was small, but it housed a real treasure! Most guns have a fixed trigger, but there is a rare adjustable version that’s known. There is also a very rare LP52 that was made for ony one year.

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

48 thoughts on “Walther LP53: The James Bond airgun!”

  1. I am very impressed with the Legacy in .22 cal,doesn’t seem much different from a .22 rimfire accept quieter,this rifle seems to perform best in its .22 version.For some reson pyramid air seems to be the only place selling it in .22,which I find strange cause like I said it is very well suiteds for .22 cal.

  2. I’ve got the Legacy in .22cal with a Bsquare 1 piece mount and a BSA 3-12x44mm scope I scored off ebay for $50. Killer setup with a 21gr Kodiaks. Hard to beat for ~250USD IMO.

  3. BB,


    Youll find this funny but here I go.You know ive been asking questions about wether .22 is as accurate as .177.Well what happened is that I read on airgunbbs that there is a lot of pellet drop in .22 cal.But then I realised that they were talking about the 12fp versions.And later on I read one that talked about the hw97k and the guy sayed that he got it on pyramid air and out of the box it was doing 17 to 18 FPs.He said something about having a FAC to have that rifle.The point is my question.He also mentioned that there was no difference in acuracy beetween the 2 cals and that that was the case with fac models.He said that the drop happened because of the lower speeds.Can you explain that to me?


    CF-X guy

  4. CFX-guy,

    the slower the pellet is, the longer it needs to hit the target but every pellet has the same vertical speed. If it takes longer to hit the target it will drop more.

    When you shoot with 900 fps both guns have the same drop, but the .22 needs a stronger spring. If you´re not pinned down on 12 fps, the bigger caliber is potentially more accurate and has more smack down power.


  5. Yes you are right I love the 21 grain Beeman Kodiaks in the Legacy,it has to be the best for price range if you ask me.I have never seen an a air rifle that is as accurate and powerfull as the Legacy for $162,the gun compares to alot of other springers that sell for 250 to $300.That is why I am glad crosman owns Benjamin/sheridan,I just hope they keep it separate because you can get some really nice air rifles for low prices from Benjamin.I truly think this gun is made for the .22 cal not .177

  6. B.B.

    you must have been using a very anemic version of the LP53. Mine was new in 1961 and still scopes at about 400 fps in 7.7 gr Beeman Laser sports. I have not so much as replaced the breach seal on her. Agreed, its not a power-house, but this is a long way from 300 fps. Also, you did not mention its feather-light trigger. Give the old girl her due!


  7. just seen your site and the talk of walther AIR RIFLES I have just retrieved my LGR Match rifle after 20 years of storage..can any-one tell me where to purchase a set of seals and whether I can fit them myself ?

    is this my lucky day?

  8. Walther seals have been a problem for 40 years. Walther has never had a good support network here in the U.S. That may change with Umarex USA, but they are just ramping up and I bet vintage parts will be one of the last things they do.

    Contact . He may have the seals you need.

    Also contact Scott Pilkington at http://www.pilkguns.com. Scott repairs a lot of 10-meter equipment.


  9. BB
    Can you compare the LP53 to the Avanti 747 for accuracy and noise?
    Is the LP53 a practical gun for target practice or should it be left in the display case and use the Avanti for actual shooting?

  10. MCA,

    Ther 747 is more accurate. Both guns have similar noise levels. If one is noisier, it’s the 747.

    The LP53 is fine for casual target practice, but it cannot shoot as well as the 747. Expect groups the size of a dime at 10 meters with the 53, assuming a good hold.


  11. Thanks! I’m new to the world of air guns (who knew James Bond would be poseing with a BB gun!). Could you give me some sites where to start? I live near Atlanta; is there a store front around here you know of?

  12. Chris,

    I’d start with Airgunning Atlanta. They are a field target organization and they are very active in your aera.

    Also consider attending the Roanoke airgun expo the first Friday and Saturday in November. You’ll probably see several LP53s for sale there, if you haven’t found one by that time.

    Finally, go to http://www.airguninfo.com


  13. The LP 52 is covered in the Blue Book and I have held one.

    The Walther company in Ulm, which I visited this year, has a very small museum. They freely admit they do not have many of the guns they made, nor do they serve as the source of information for them, due to lost records.


  14. Hi, your statement about james bond pictured with the air pistol is not correct.

    He attended the photo shoot for the film, but he did not have the original gun with him. He was loaned an air pistol belonging to one of the photo shoot people.

    You can check this out by doing a search.

  15. “There is also a very rare LP52 that was made for ony one year.”
    “The LP 52 is covered in the Blue Book and I have held one.”

    What an outrageous claim to make – that you have held one. Not a single specimen of such an air pistol has ever been documented by any of the major airgun collectors worldwide. Not a single airgun collection worldwide contains such a specimen – including the Beeman collection. In fact, there is not so much as a bona-fide photograph of an LP52, nor any factory literature to document it.

    It seems that you and Dr Beeman are the only two people in the world that still believe that such a mythical airgun exists, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Shame on you for perpetuating such nonsense with such a ridiculous statement.

  16. Sorry pal, but you’re not going to shout me down on this. I have held an LP 52– and I don’t care what urban legend you have been listening to. It was brought to the Roanoke airgun show several years ago and the owner looked me up to show it to me.

    Had I known then that there would be a controversy I would have taken a picture.


  17. "I have held an LP 52– and I don't care what urban legend you have been listening to."

    The existence of the LP52 is the urban legend.

    I have correspondence from the Walther factory historian stating that the "LP52" does not exist.

    I also have Walther factory advertising from 1951 through 1954, and nowhere in any of this rare, period Walther documentation is the LP52 so much as mentioned. The LG51, LG52 & LG53 rifles are all covered in their many different forms and options, as is the LP53 – but no LP52.

    There is a great deal of credible evidence to refute the existence of the LP52, and many prominent airgun authors are in agreement that there is not a single shred of evidence to support the existence of the LP52. Your vague, yet adamant "say so" hardly constitutes definitive proof of anything – other than perhaps a failing memory.

  18. Anonymous,

    Re: The Walther LP52

    Your correspondence with Walther in Ulm, Germany doesn’t mean much since they freely admit that most of their older records are lost. Because you have some old ad’s that don’t mention a short production run of LP 52’s isn’t conclusive proof that these guns don’t exist.

    Dr. Beeman, Dennis Hiller (in his Collectors Guide to Air Pistols) and Tom Gaylord (who says he’s handled one) are all experts in the airgun field and all agree the Walther LP 52 exists.

    Who are you?


  19. This is the last comment I will answer. I held the gun in my hand. I don’t know why you cannot comprehend that.

    The Walther FACTORY historian told me in 2006 when I toured their museum in ULM that their knowledge of Walther is full of gaps from WW II.

    Not going to get sucked into a shouting match here.


  20. Hi, I have just aquired an LP53, unfortunately one side of the plastic grip is missing and also I think the piston is missing , can anybody help with parts or a drawing to help me get it working.

  21. I have the exact gun you show … any idea what it's worth. It's in mint shape and belonged to my father-in-law who recently passed away.


  22. Wish to purchase Walther LP53, excellent condition, in case – live in London but coming to US Feb 6-21 – please email me on alex@alexfoleypr.com with your contact details if you have one for sale or let me know where I can purchase one – or details of airgun shows

    Alex Foley

  23. I have the deluxe version of the lp53, in blue satin case with the wooden cocking knob, barrel weigt and all the sights.
    It is in very good condition, a gift from my grandfather who bought it when it was new, how much is this "deluxe" model worth? cant find it anywere

  24. Anonymous with the deluxe version of the lp53,

    According to the blue book of airguns seventh edition the lp53 in 95% condition is worth $350.00, in 90% condition $300.00. Add 35% for fitted case, blue and gray inside. Add 25% for fitted case maroon inside. Add 10% for original brown factory cardboard box. Add 30% for original smooth blue finish. Add 25% for straight back receiver. Add 15% for barrel weight. Subtract 5% for missing sight inserts.

    I think the blue book is a little high.

    About 90 days ago I saw an LP53 at a gun show. It was in the maroon case, had the smooth blue finish, straight back receiver and sight inserts. No barrel weight. Seller was asking $525.00 and I passed.

    Hope this helps.


  25. Tom,…i thought you and your readers might be as facinated as i was at the entirety of the performance enhancing work performed on this S&W 78G by Eric.

    I wasn't able to post the pics in the link to this blog,….maybe you can do so along with the work as outlined.

    For sure a top class act. I was especially intreagued with the interior valve work to increase the volumn and smoothness of gas flow. Add it the other work and i am in love! lol

    I will be sending out my pistol on monday to have a similiar job done.

    Joe T


  26. Hi Tom, yep,…i did add a comment at the end of your 3rd part in the series you did on the S&W 78G, so at least when folks search out info on that pistol they will also see what can be done to enhance the performance.

    • hi Joe

      can you help me to get in contact with Eric for his 78G tuning?

      have you got the pics that are now missing on the thread in the house of homite thread
      about the rework Eric made on the 78G?


  27. Hi,
    great site. However I wish these fine air guns could be separated from S. Connery for once and for all. Connery was allied to the Snowdrop Campaign after 1997 which stripped British shooters of all their cartridge pistols. He gave his time and expertise for free- the intent was to punish all shooters for the deranged actions of just one man after the tragedy at Dunblane. Connery made his name with a gun in his hand. Please get rid of him from this site- he is not worthy.

    • Harry V,

      Welcome to the blog.

      If that is Sean Connery’s viewpoint, this association with a GUN has to bother him. I think I will keep right on bothering him.

      Besides, Connery is just an actor. James Bond is the character being remembered.


  28. Old post but I have to agree that you underestimate the power of the LP53. I just bought a like new 1955 LP53 and I got 405 fps with 7 grain pistol pellets. I think many are buying worn out guns and seeing poor performance. Great thing about this pistol is very little can go wrong with it, and it is very accurate for what it is.

  29. Using some of the tips provided by ‘clarky’ on airgunbbs, where he performed various experiments to both increase power and smooth out the recoil/jolt of the LP53, I managed to get mine up to the mid-460’s using 7gr match wadcutter pellets. A small lathe to make a delrin sleeve for the spring guide and to modify a QB57 air rifle spring (filing the outside of the spring flat while mounted on a wooden dowel and polishing it to fit), a couple of bits of steel added inside the piston to increase driving mass, and it’s a smoother shooter. Cocking effort not significantly increased and it is easier to shoot tighter groups now, the factory setup as I received the old pistol shooting 7gr at about 350fps and very messy recoil.


Leave a Comment

Buy With Confidence

  • Free Shipping

    Get FREE shipping on qualifying orders! Any order $150+ with a shipping address in the contiguous US will receive the option for free ground shipping on items sold & shipped by Pyramyd AIR during checkout. Certain restrictions apply.

    Free shipping may not be combined with a coupon unless stated otherwise.

    View Shipping Info

  • Shipping Time Frame

    We work hard to get all orders placed by 12 pm EST out the door within 24 hours on weekdays because we know how excited you are to receive your order. Weekends and holiday shipping times will vary.

    During busy holidays, we step our efforts to ship all orders as fast as possible, but you may experience an additional 1-2 day delay before your order ships. This may also happen if you change your order during processing.

    View Shipping Times

  • Shipping Restrictions

    It's important to know that due to state and local laws, there are certain restrictions for various products. It's up to you to research and comply with the laws in your state, county, and city. If you live in a state or city where air guns are treated as firearms you may be able to take advantage of our FFL special program.

    U.S. federal law requires that all airsoft guns are sold with a 1/4-inch blaze orange muzzle or an orange flash hider to avoid the guns being mistaken for firearms.

    View Shipping Restrictions

  • Expert Service and Repair

    Get the most out of your equipment when you work with the expert technicians at Pyramyd AIR. With over 25 years of combined experience, we offer a range of comprehensive in-house services tailored to kickstart your next adventure.

    If you're picking up a new air gun, our team can test and tune the equipment before it leaves the warehouse. We can even set up an optic or other equipment so you can get out shooting without the hassle. For bowhunters, our certified master bow technicians provide services such as assembly, optics zeroing, and full equipment setup, which can maximize the potential of your purchase.

    By leveraging our expertise and precision, we ensure that your equipment is finely tuned to meet your specific needs and get you ready for your outdoor pursuits. So look out for our services when shopping for something new, and let our experts help you get the most from your outdoor adventures.

    View Service Info

  • Warranty Info

    Shop and purchase with confidence knowing that all of our air guns (except airsoft) are protected by a minimum 1-year manufacturer's warranty from the date of purchase unless otherwise noted on the product page.

    A warranty is provided by each manufacturer to ensure that your product is free of defect in both materials and workmanship.

    View Warranty Details

  • Exchanges / Refunds

    Didn't get what you wanted or have a problem? We understand that sometimes things aren't right and our team is serious about resolving these issues quickly. We can often help you fix small to medium issues over the phone or email.

    If you need to return an item please read our return policy.

    Learn About Returns

Get FREE shipping on qualifying orders! Any order $150+ with a shipping address in the contiguous US will receive the option for free ground shipping on items sold & shipped by Pyramyd AIR during checkout. Certain restrictions apply.

Free shipping may not be combined with a coupon unless stated otherwise.

View Shipping Info

Text JOIN to 91256 and get $10 OFF Your Next $50+ Order!

* By providing your number above, you agree to receive recurring autodialed marketing text msgs (e.g. cart reminders) to the mobile number used at opt-in from Pyramyd AIR on 91256. Reply with birthday MM/DD/YYYY to verify legal age of 18+ in order to receive texts. Consent is not a condition of purchase. Msg frequency may vary. Msg & data rates may apply. Reply HELP for help and STOP to cancel. See Terms and Conditions & Privacy Policy.