by B.B. Pelletier
Today, I’ll shoot the gun downrange and find out if this newest Walther Lever Action rifle has the same pinpoint accuracy as the first model. Many readers have written in to support this latest offering, so I think I should share some personal observations with you.
For starters, the new buttplate doesn’t look that bad in person. When you’re shooting the rifle, you don’t have time to look at it, and it does feel right in your hands. How it holds is far more important than how it looks, but I’m telling you now that it doesn’t look that bad.
Next, I want to convey the absolute butter-smoothness of the action. If Marlin or Winchester rimfires worked this smooth, they would sell a lot more of them! The lever doesn’t have much work to do, so it can move unimpeded through its arc. It even sounds right when it cycles, with a satisfying snick-snick.
Finally, I now know the trigger a lot better than before. There’s an ever-so-slight hint of creep in stage two, but it still releases crisply.
I’m back to open sights
My eyes suddenly became better last week, so I was able to shoot the rifle with open sights. I tried it at only 10 meters, because the bull was beginning to get fuzzy, but I wanted to see how well I could do without the aid of a scope. I surprised myself — or, I should say, the rifle surprised me because it stepped up to the mark and did all that was asked of it. I remembered my older Walther Lever Action was very accurate with open sights, but with all I’ve been through getting other guns to shoot well recently, this was still a pleasant surprise.
All shooting was done offhand, with a support. Like the strong-side barricade position for practical handgun shooting, I supported the rifle against a door jamb to steady myself.
The first pellets tested were RWS Hobbys, which fit the circular clip very tight. I used the pellet seater tool that comes with the rifle to seat every pellet, but Hobbys were the only ones that actually popped forcibly into the chambers when their skirts were sized down. All the others slid in without a complaint.
Seeing that tight group of Hobbys gave me some confidence that I could shoot with open sights. At least at 10 meters, things were clear enough using the reading glasses I described in several past reports.
Crosman Premier 7.9-grain pellets
The next pellet I tried was the Crosman Premier 7.9-grain domed pellet. This is the so-called “lite” pellet in the .177 caliber Premier line. Domed pellets don’t mark a paper target as distinctively as wadcutters, but with the Walther’s velocity ranging in the mid 550 f.p.s. region, they leave holes that are clear enough to see. Any slower, and you’ll get ripped holes that are very difficult to locate.
Let’s get crazy!
Just for fun I decided to shoot 8 Crosman High Velocity Super Sonic Pellets, to see what they might do. We tested them for velocity in Part 2, and it seemed only right to give them a chance here, as well. And they didn’t disappoint.
Crosman High Velocity Super Sonic pellets
As anyone with experience using Crosman High Velocity Super Sonic lightweight pellets knows, they scatter like shot from a blunderbuss. That’s not a criticism of Crosman pellets; all lightweight, non-lead pellets have this tendency. Only when a lot of manufacturing care (and a lot of additional cost) is put into their making can they keep up with lead pellets — and even then only out to about 25 yards.
H&N Finale Match Pistol pellets
After the Super Sonic pellets I loaded H&N Finale Match Pistol pellets, so we’re back to a lead pellet with some hope for accuracy. Sometimes, these will be the most accurate pellets of all. I used the pistol pellets instead of the rifle-weight pellets because of the rifle’s available power.
Although the Premiers and the Hobbys outshot the H&N Finale Match Pistol pellets in this test, I would have to group all of them into the same category of accuracy because I didn’t shoot that many groups. The non-lead pellets, on the other hand, are clearly in a different category.
I’m not done with this rifle. I’m going to mount a good scope and shoot again at 25 yards. Then, we’ll have a complete picture. I’m not saying this is supposed to be a target rifle, but from past experience I know that its accuracy is well above average. I just want to show that to everyone, plus I really like shooting this one. It’s like an R7 that’s easy to cock.
Oh, one last comment. After at least 150 shots, I’m still shooting with the first 88-gram CO2 cartridge I installed.