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Education / Training RWS Model LP8 Magnum – Part 2WOW!

RWS Model LP8 Magnum – Part 2WOW!

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1


The .177 RWS LP8 pistol is a big, beautiful spring pistol.

Today is the velocity test, so I reckon you’ve guessed why I added the WOW! to the title. If not, read on. You’re about to read the test of the fastest spring-piston pistol I’ve ever tested.

The two-stage trigger, which is not adjustable, breaks at a reasonable 3 lbs. 5 oz. The safety is automatic, coming on as the pistol is cocked. It’s ambidextrous, like the rest of the airgun. Finally, there’s a “Keepa you hands off” screw located at the bottom rear of the triggerguard. I don’t know what it’s for, and the manual doesn’t explain it. The location would seem to make it a trigger screw of some sort, but I’m warning you to leave it alone. I’ll have no pity for those who experiment and wind up with a broken gun.


Leave this screw alone!

The sights are fiberoptic, front and rear. That’s almost a given these days. The front sight is exposed, so you have to grab the barrel below it to avoid damage to the delicate plastic fiberoptic red tube. Normally, I’d say that fiberopotics are incapable of precision, but the huge separation between front and rear on this pistol, which is 16.25 inches, overcomes that to a great degree. The rear sight is adjustable in both directions, and I mentioned the 11mm scope groove in Part 1.


Front fiberoptic sight tube is exposed, so hands off during cocking!

Crosman Premier 7.9-grain pellets
Let’s just dive right in, shall we? After two shots to wake up the powerplant, I first tested 7.9-grain Crosman Premiers in our test RWS LP8 Magnum pistol. They averaged 528 f.p.s. with a spread from 523 to 533. Ten f.p.s. is a pretty tight spread for a new springer, so these are probably good pellets for this powerplant. Whether or not they’re also accurate remains to be seen. The pistol develops 4.89 foot-pounds at the muzzle, on average.

I knew from these numbers that the LP8 I had was a performer. But the next pellet showed me just how hot it might be.

RWS Basic
The RWS Basic is an economy lightweight pure lead pellet. It’s a few cents cheaper than the RWS Hobby that used to be the default pellet used to test velocity, but it weighs an identical 7 grains on the nose, so I try to use either it or the equally economical RWS Club for velocity testing. The average was an astounding 581 f.p.s., with a spread from 575 to 591. This was the highest average velocity I have ever recorded to this point from a stock spring-piston air pistol. And the tight 16 foot-second spread is a good indication that the gun isn’t detonating. That was quite a surprise, but it didn’t earn the WOW.

Gamo Match
Are you aware Gamo Match pellets now come in two different weights? The light ones weigh 7.5 grains and were the ones I used in this test, but there’s a heavier 7.71-grain version as well. They averaged 561 f.p.s. through the chronograph, with a spread from 553 to a high of 571. Even that is only an 18 foot-second spread, and had I chronographed them first, they would have been the all-time fastest pellet I’ve tested in a stock spring-air pistol. Move over, Beeman P1, there’s a new kid on the block and it’s the LP8. But we’re still not at the WOW.

Crosman Silver Eagle hollowpoints
You can’t buy these non-lead pellets anymore. I saved mine for tests like this one, because they out-perform Gamo Raptors by a considerable margin when it comes to velocity. And in this test, they produced the WOW, with an AVERAGE velocity of 755 feet per second! WOW! The LP8 not only met its advertised velocity of 700 f.p.s., it exceeded it by a wide margin. Reminds me of the day Bob Beamon extended the long jump world record by almost two feet in the 1968 Olympics.

Diana and RWS, you’ve done it! You’ve broken the 700 f.p.s. barrier for spring pistols, and you didn’t have to cut down a rifle to do it. The LP8 is easy enough to cock, needing just 32 lbs. of force to cock the breakbarrel. It won’t be easy for younger teenagers, but adults should find it reasonable. Again, I say, “Wow!”

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.

47 thoughts on “RWS Model LP8 Magnum – Part 2WOW!”

  1. BB
    If the accuracy is there it would make
    me want to put a stock on, and use it for
    an ultralight carbine:)
    By the way PA says cocking effort is 19lbs
    vs the 32lbs that you measured.
    Thanks as always


  2. DB
    Sorry to hear you're not happy with the
    953 trigger mod.Did you polish and molly
    the contact points and lighten the spring?
    Shouldn't be any problem to add the 2nd
    set screw,hope that gets ya where ya
    want to be with it.


  3. DB
    By the way,be careful not to trim to much
    off the alignment tab on the clamshell
    it might cause alignment trouble.
    Also if you don't want to solder the screw
    on,I just used JB weld.Cut an ink pen top
    in half (length not circumference)then
    trim the length to the amount of weld you
    need and line with wax paper so it can be
    removed after the weld dries.
    Hope that help's a little:)


  4. BB,

    just out of curiosity, what do those Silver Eagle Hollowpoints weigh?

    Too bad the trigger on this pistol is not adjustable at least like the TO1 triggers on RWS' earlier rifles.


  5. B.B.

    I would agree that the FWB 124 would be a fine pick for a single rifle, especially if I was not keeping a PCP also, but I don’t even need the 800fps. I had a 98 – 99% example with an original Blue Ribbon scope on it, which did make it to the final 5 out three dozen rifles, but then I kept going down to one and then none as of a few weeks ago. I would of needed to send it out a second time to tune the trigger and cut the barrel down – which would have been a shame given its time capsule appearance. (Originally I had thought I would keep ten, then five, then three and so on – which meant that some of the possibly ideal rifles were sold earlier on)

    Right now if I am not in the mood to charge up the FX I shoot the kid’s Daisy 499. I do have a few Daisy’s left – they fall into a different category. : ) I really just need something with a little more horsepower then a BB gun. Cocking wise I am hoping for one rather like the Diana 25 I had that was made in the 1930’s. It was effortless even when compared to my R-7. I doubt you recall but I asked your input on the older target rifles at the beginning of spring. I had never given them a second thought before due to what I felt was anemic power. However now that I have 34 ft lbs on tap whenever I need it, I see them in a different light. I had started by looking at the FWB 300 but decided the rifle needed to be lighter; it reminded me of my HW 97 which was a chore to pull out of the rack. So I went with………

    (BG farmer – I ended up giving the QB-78 from Mike M to my nephew. That little rifle shot beautifully and spit Silver Bears in the 790 – 810 fps range. Still wish you would have taken it. Kevin – sorry again about the HW30S, but I was too far into the transaction when you noticed it for sale.)


  6. Volvo,

    Thanks for the reply.

    You're generous in your compliments. Totally unwarranted. I envy your experience with so many guns, especially springers, and am anxious to learn of your latest choice.

    Since you suggested I guess at your next choice and not make a recommendation I know it's not an fwb 124/127.

    Hmmm….no more power than hw30 is necessary, larger size but not too heavy (does that rule out all true 10 meter rifles for you I wonder), good accuracy, nice trigger, classic look.

    I initially thought, like Wayne did, that you might be after a 27. Light, easy to shoot, great indoor gun, ok trigger but now I know that's not it.

    One must consider your appreciation for European fit and finish (Weirauch & FX). But it can't be an hw50 or 30 since you've been there done that.

    I'm going to guess fwb maybe walther. A 300 or a universal? Heavy and not a real classic look so I'm probably way off base.


  7. Volvo, if you can find one I'd suggest a Slavia 630 or 631.
    At a tad over 500fps it is the perfect basement/backyard plinker. At 10m I find my 630 capable of accuracy rivalling my Avanti 853, and it has no problem with pop-can (I use those 1/2 serving sizes, 1/2 the size of a conventional pop can) size targets at 35yards with the stock open sights.
    Very well made, all metal and wood. Very easy cocking, hardly any vibration, a light trigger (mine borders on what I would call a hair trigger), for under $200 new I think it is the best value of any of my airguns.
    CowBoyStar Dad

  8. BB, when you refer to the different weights of Gamo Match pellets are you talking about the advertised weight, or have you actually weighed them yourself?

    Reason I'm asking is that Gamo isn't always, uh, how shall we say, all that concerned about listing accurate weights.

  9. I had some crosman se hp and they were fast but the quality was very very poor. I wonder how their wad cutters performed?

    As for other non lead pellets, there is a 5.2gr rws pellets out now. I think I have some points on order. Only the raptors in certain airguns have given any sign of hope so far. Skenco penitrate well, but are still too unreliable.

    As for lead pellets, I've ordered some lasers 6.5 gr. pellets. They seems to have some good reviews.

    60 cents less for the rws club over hobby pellets, I'll have to check them out. My crosman 1077 loves hobby pellets. They look pretty similiar. Also, the 1077 loves to get rid of poor performing pellets too.

    Didn't the mini 14 get some work done to it? I remember reading something about the front plate/barrel band was redone to fix the accuracy problems of the past.

  10. ajvenom,

    No doubt there is a whole world of tricks that can be applied to the Mini 14 to improve the accuracy. I read on the forums where some condemn it for being inaccurate and others accept it as a minute-of-bad-guy-at-100-yards kind of rifle.

    I personally have a problem with a .22 caliber centerfire being shot in a "spray and pray" weapon. Too little, too loose. I could accept a 7.62X39mm doing that, but fortunately my SKS seems to do much better.

    So I'm on the fence over the Mini 14. Do I keep it and go the same route as I did with the Taurus PT 1911, or do I get rid of it because my SKS will do the job! I have a single-shot .223 that is accurate, so the caliber isn't a deciding factor.

    I do like the Mini 14 action that's been scaled up from an M1 Carbine. Such a little jewel!


  11. I lost the second part of my post..

    in genral: good luck DB.

    as for my 953, polish, lube and lightening the verticle spring in front of the trigger made the biggest diffence. Under 2lbs now, not world class but for me it's a lot more enjoyable.

    btw, I asked Daisy for a parts list diagram too. It's the only diagram I haven't asked for or download for my airguns.

  12. I talked to a freind of mine, he said the mini 14 580 were built after retooling and redesign of the gas block at ruger.
    He said now you could possibly hit 2 inch groupings at best at 100 yards. Not too impressive in my book, but for an affodable semi auto .223 maybe.

    I almost bought an sks in 7.62×39, but stuck to rim fires because of ammo costs.

  13. BB, I suspect that if you weigh the pellets you'll find no significant difference. A couple of years ago I used to wonder why the Gamo "8.4gr" Hunters always went so dang fast!

  14. CowBoyStar Dad –, I appreciate the suggestion, but as Kevin implies I am already in the middle of the transaction for the rifle. And if we were playing hot and cold he would be on fire. I went to the vintage forum for this one. My disclaimer is I have never owned this particular rifle before, so I could have missed the mark. However I feel good about it as the enthusiast who is putting it together is certainly one of the most knowledgeable collectors out there.
    Kevin, you didn’t cheat and peruse the forums first did you?

  15. B.B.

    So, does this pistol break the 30 yard range limit you have described for air pistols? Would it make it out to 50 yards effective range?

    The fiber-optics should be good for something in principle if they're so popular. My guess is that they are supposed to optimize hunting in different light conditions. Is that right?

    I didn't realize the Mini-14 was that inaccurate or the M1 carbine for that matter. Given the close copy of the M1 Garand action, you would think that more accuracy would be possible. Clint Fowler tells me that he gets his Garands below 1 MOA only with his adjustable gas system, so you would think that anything short of that would be possible with the usual accurizing procedures. Ruger has a target version of the Mini-14 which is supposed to be just barely sub MOA by virtue of a barrel harmonic tuning system.


  16. Matt,

    With this kind of power the question becomes what kind of accuracy you can get from this pistol at any range.

    Yes, the M1 Carbine was supposed to hit a man-sized target at 300 yards, but they were never used that way. Most carbine engagements were well under a hundred yards. I have long thought that the resemblance to the Garand did a great disservice to the carbine, because it raised people's expectations. It was just a short rifle shooting a powerful pistol round, after all.

    The real fascination of the carbine comes from its weight. It's still more than two pounds less than the Mini 14, a rifle it sired, by the way.


  17. B.B. and Kevin,

    Yes it is a Walther. The 53 was nice but I believe it may be a 55? I am letting the seller pick what he thinks would be best. He is going to install a fresh spring and seals. Also I think he said he would take out the lead weight? Anyhow, he has such an extensive collection that it will take a little time to just pick one out and send some pictures. From the pictures all the members posted, the old Walther's seemed to have nice classic lines along with the other attributes I am hoping for. Time will tell.


  18. Volvo,

    The Walther 53 is a smaller informal target rifle. The LG 55 is a full-sized target rifle that ruled until the LGV took its place. The lead weight is in the forearm to add weight for stability. You don't need it.

    You will get a rifle that's extremely easy to cock, a wonderful trigger and of course superb accuracy. I think you will like it.


  19. For those who would like to see a Walther LG55, copy and paste this link in your browser. This is not the actual rifle I am getting or the person it is coming from, but a nice example of one:


    Here is the LG53 – on the top that B.B. spoke of above. Very nice too. I have never held either, and can hardly wait.


    B.B – thanks for additional information. I have high hopes for it.


  20. Volvo,

    So your choice is an LG55? With a sporting stock or a bavarian style like the one in the picture you linked?

    I am VERY interested in your opinion of your choice after you've shot it for awhile.

    B.B. got me interested in these vintage target guns when he did the series on the Burgo he found. I've been keeping an eye open for an LGV Olympia (bavarian style stock). These are like hens teeth unless you're willing to go the egun route and that's too much brain damage.

    Please keep us posted.


  21. pretty sweet little walther there Volvo.

    I was just looking at a disco .22 with a few mods and the stock was finished up a bit…..in the yellow classifieds…..terrible place to be if your addicted to airguns.

    I've noticed Winchester/Daisy has a couple of new models. A 820 .22 cal. break and a 1100 .177 under springer. My guess Hatsans. I've also noticed they've got AO scopes on them. wtg!!!

    BB – are walther and perhaps spare air 88 gram co2 cartridges compatible with airguns that use 88 gram co2 airsource cartridges?

  22. A couple of things.
    First, for all you firearms shooters…is there as much inconsistency with ammo as with pellets?
    I ran about 500 RWS Superdomes through my new Nightstalker on the weekend. If functioned flawlessly. But man are those pellets hard to seat into the circular clips. So much so that I ordered the Crosman clip loader for the thing.
    Yesterday I picked up some pellets for this weekend, but decided to save a bit of money. My dealer had a 750 tin of Gamo Promagnums for the same price as the 500 tin of RWS. But when I got home the Gamo's are so loose in the clips that if you turn the clip over the pellets all fall out.
    Kinda gives me an insight as to all the complaints about pellets jamming in the Nightstalker. It would be easy to see these things backing out of the clip and causing problems with it advancing to the next round.
    Is there a similar problem with, say for example .22 rimfire ammo?

    Next, not really a question but an idea that I think would be great if it could be done.
    I don't like to leave CO2 cartridges in my guns for extended periods…worried about the seals and such.
    With my Walther pistols it's not problem…how can you not shoot 60 shots through the PPK 😉
    But the .88gm cartridge on the Nightstalker is good for 300 shots. No problem in the weekend, out at our shooting spot, but it would sure be nice if there was some kind of adapter where you could replace the .88gr with the smaller .12 gr for a nights shooting in the basement.
    CowBoyStar Dad

  23. CSD,

    Yes, the firearm cartridges have problems very similar to what you are encountering with pellets. Some .22 rimfire like Remington high speed is very unreliable. Having 5 or 6 fail to fire in 100 isn't unusual. And some of the Wolf ammo gums up the gun with a bullet sealant.

    Size usually isn't the problem that you had, but sometimes it is and shooter just don't notice because they aren't pushing the bullets into the rifling like you are pushing the pellets.

    So, yes, there are problems. That's why the best advice it to find a cartridge that works and stick with it. Same as with pellets.


  24. Right now the 12 grams are pretty economical and I use them all the time. But, I feel when I want to shoot a lot, the 88 grams would be nice.

    There only a few gamo pellets I've seen consistency in manufacturing. They are the .177 gamo, .177 hunter and .22 magnum points.

    There can be differences in sizes of pellets too…..sometimes it's just their design. Reading reviews can sometimes give you a good place to start when buying pellets, but you never know what an airgun is going to like until you shoot it.

    BB – Will the am. airgunner episodes be viewable on the internet someday? I'm sure we'll be seeing DVDs for sale?

  25. CowboyStarDad,

    I wouldn't worry about leaving an 88g in the Nighstalker. I had one stored half-full in my gun for several years (oops!) and it worked fine right away.

    There is a 12g adaptor for the Hammerli 850 on PA, but it's $99 and I'm not sure it'd fit the Nightstalker.

  26. BB,

    Your blog claims that the LP8 is the first spring piston airgun that broke the 700 fps barrier. How can you make that claim without testing the same Silver Eagle pellets on a Beeman P1/HW45. I have a feeling that you just might hit 800 fps with that pistol using the same pellet.

    Best Regards,

  27. Sixto,

    I made that comment because the LP8 out-shoots my P1 with both Gamo Match and with RWS Basic. My P1 gets 559 f.p.s. with Hobbys, which are like the Basics that the LP8 averaged 581 with.

    However, just for you I will test my P1 with Silver Bear HP and report on the results in the next report on the LP8.

    As I said in this report, this LP8 is the fastest spring pistol I have ever tested, and I have tested P1s extensively since 1996.


  28. Thanks BB,

    Looking forward to your next report on the LP8, looks like RWS has a winner with this one. I would like to suggest that you test the P1 with the RWS Basic as well, because in every spring gun that I have tested the RWS Basic always outshoots the Hobbys by as much as 20 to 30 fps.

    Best Regards,

  29. B.B.

    I'm glad to hear that. I have yet to own a RWS anything. The nicest airgun in my locker is the Discovery. I am still surprised by it's accuracy. My first PCP. One of these days I will own a RWS and it just might be the LP8. Then again, the Crosman PCP pistol is coming out soon. If I could buy them all I would. More than likely it will only be one. Shall I wait out the storm? I do not know. Can I wait? Unlikely. The Browning is the lowest cost. But do I want another low cost airgun? Would that suffice? These are the things that keep me awake at night. Ever since re-discovering airguns I've become a Minotaur Hunter. Hunting something I can't not see, touch, hear, or smell. I only know it is there. The wild beast within. Okay I'm going to stop. For real, I am looking forward to that follow-up.

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