The new Walther Lever Action CO2 rifle: Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2


The brushed-nickel version of the Walther Lever Action CO2 rifle is extremely attractive.

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.

General observations
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.

RWS Hobbys
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.


Shooting from 10 meters offhand supported, these eight RWS Hobby pellets made a nice little group that measures 0.698 inches between centers.

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.


Eight Crosman Premier lites made this group that measures 0.615 inches across the farthest centers. It was the best group of the test.

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.


Crosman High Velocity Super Sonic pellets gave this 1.561-inch, eight-shot group. In light of the performance of the other three pellets, I don’t think anything more needs to be said.

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.


The H&N Finale Match Pistol pellet also did well in the Walther Lever Action gun. This group measures 0.835 inches between centers.

Conclusion
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.

41 thoughts on “The new Walther Lever Action CO2 rifle: Part 3

  1. Good Morning B.B.,

    Looks like this rifle should be on everyone’s short list for a fun COP2 repeater–classic lever action looks with excellent accuracy for what it is. Thanks for this review.

    When it’s available how about a review of AirForce’s .25 rifle and pistol.

    Please and thank you!
    Bruce


    • Bruce,

      I really want to review the .25 barrel from AirForce. Every time I go over there I ask when the next batch of barrels will be ready.

      As far as the pistol goes, don’t hold your breath. They are still refining the details and they won’t let it go until they feel they’ve got it right. This is another product I am anxious to test.

      B.B.


  2. This is a good report and what I would expect from this rifle the way you shot it. I would expect to see sub-1/4″ groups scoped and benched at 10m. So, if you can get at least 1/2″ groups at 20yds this should bear this out, right?
    -Chuck


    • Chuck,

      Groups are seldom linear as distance increases. A half-inch 50-yard group will probably grow to 1.25-1.5 inches at 100 yards.

      At closer distances, like between 10 and 20 yards, the groups will be more linear. However, since we have no proof that a 10 meter group will be a quarter-inch, it’s difficult to say yes. You have based your estimate on a supposition. It’s probably close to what you think, but there’s no guarantee.

      Based on what you say, if I can shoot a group measuring a half-inch at 20 yards, then I should be able to shoot groups smaller than a quarter-inch at 10 yards.

      B.B.


  3. B.B., a question.
    I’m looking for an accuracy ‘increase’ in my favorite plinker and am not sure where to begin.
    It’s a Slavia 630. I’t been chronied a year or so ago at right around 525fps with RWS Superdomes, which seem to be one of its favorite pellets.
    Shooting at 30yds with an RWS (some chinese cheapie) fixed 4x scope, the fore stock lightly rested on soft bag.
    At 30 yds with a light breeze (maybe 8mph or so) I was getting 1.5″ groups (10 shots).
    At 10m ten shots can be covered by a dime.
    So…shouldn’t I be getting better grouping than this?
    My thoughs are:
    1. It’s a springer?
    2. 30yds is pushing it for a 500fps gun.
    3. I need more than a 4x scope (suggestions welcome if this could be the problem)
    4. I see to many postings by guys shooting ‘recoiless’ PCP’s/CO2 guns.

    I just don’t know if this is good for this combination or not.

    BTW…funny little incident at the range I shoot at this weekend. The rimfire range (where airguns are welcome) has boards at 15,30,50 and 100 yds.
    A couple of new members showed up, each with their newly purchased .22 scoped Rugers. One of them asked me, as he was setting up, if a good range to start sighting in would be about 300yds.
    I explained to him that the farthest boards were at 100 yds (1/3 the distance) and that even a very good shot likely wouldn’t try 300 yds with a .22, I had to chuckle to myself…we’ve all been there.
    He grudgingly settled on the 50 yd board saying that the gun had just been bore-sighted so ‘I expect a bullseye’ (yes, he said that).
    We left about 10 minutes later. He had fired about 10 or 15 shots by then and hadn’t hit the paper once.
    I think he was starting to realize this sport isn’t as easy as he thought it would be 😉


    • CBSD,

      I’ll never forget the field target match where a man who was on a Virginia police SWAT team thought he’d try his hand at a sport that seemed pretty easy. He brought a springer to his first match and had a “knowing” look on his face that indicated he thought he would do very well…and, oh, how surprised everyone would be.

      As you’ve probably already guessed, he didn’t do well at all. He had no idea what he was in for. After chatting with PCP shooters & other spring-gun users, he realized his fatal mistake: assuming that being an accurate shot with a firearm will transfer all those skills to shooting at itty, bitty field target kill zones.

      He was very nice and was interested in figuring things out. He eventually came back with a PCP and, as I recall, started doing better but not as well as he thought he’d do. He eventually stopped competing after a while.

      Firearms are easy compared to airguns!

      Edith


      • That’s kinda my thinking Edith. I know that on the demon ‘yellow’ a day doesn’t go by that someone claims 50 shot 100yds groups of 1/4″ ctc 😉
        Well not quite, but you know.
        I think I’m happy with the groups I’m getting, but would a better scope improve things much?
        To give you an idea of the one I have now, it is labeled RWS but in the instructions it is called an airgun/crossbow scope and has a wierd reticle that is a bunch of horizontal lines and one vertical.
        Any recommendations of a scope would be appreciated for gun of this type. I’ve looked at the CentrePoint and Leapers 3-9×40…both in my price point with similar features.
        I’m assuming these would be a step up from what I’ve got.


        • RE: The “best” Scope

          This is an interesting problem. I doubt there is one “best” scope for everything. I’d guess that you first must better define how you want to use the scope.

          My observations are that too much magnification is a problem rather than a help. If shooting at a target at 10 meters, then I try too hard to hold the scope steady. Of course that only produces more movement. While shooting at squirrels, the extra magnification makes it hard to acquire the squirrel in the scope.

          Too little magnification is a problem too. At 3X I can’t really see a target at 10 meters well enough to position the cross-hair.

          If you’re shooting at any distance outside then hold over/under (& left/right to dope for wind) will be important. So it would seem that a scope with mildots would be important.

          I’ve also experimentally verified all sorts of other problems. On the Benjamin 392 I had problems with the check weld because the scope
          ends up so high. One of the Leaps bug busters was a problem because the eye relief ended up too far forward. A good AO scope is better than a fixed mag scope since the eye must be positioned better for the image to stay in focus.

          The only real test that would be reproducible is to shoot paper targets. So shoot five 5-shot groups with the scope that you have, then five 5-shot groups with a different scope. You should be able to determine something like a 20% difference at that point.

          —-
          RE: “Exceptional” groups on the yellow

          In regards to the groups on the yellow, I’d agree. I tend to believe that the guys report and photograph an “exceptionally good” group rather than an average group. That is of course why BB has advocated 10 shot groups. It is very very hard to shoot even one lucky 10-shot group. Since the one image of the target with the good group is generally the only image we get, it is important that the single image is representative. Unlike BB, I don’t think most of the guys on the yellow really appreciate the variability of group size. So they get excited by an abnormally good group.

          Regards,
          Herb



      • Edith

        Did you see the first season of the television show “Top Shot”? The resident bad a$$ that had all the right stuff, and exuded calm and confidence, and was eagerly elected as a team captain by his fellow competitors with little to no campaigning, was the very first to get eliminated! Not by popularity contest, but his inability to hit a target. Ha! I loved it.

        Then there was my man Kelly Bachand, who was voted into nearly every elimination round they had. Not because he couldn’t shoot. He shot circles around most of his competitors and ‘team mates.’ Alas, these bootlicking cowards did not like being out shot and out classed by a kid. In spite of their efforts, Kelly made it until the very last round before being eliminated. My second favorite competitor Ian won the contest.

        Anyway, here is a video of Kelly reviewing the CZ 200S, (same as AA S200) the rifle that seems to be setting the airgun world on fire lately.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7O1MT1AIG0Y


        • Ah yes, whatever happened to our review of the S200? I believe that it was derailed by B.B.’s illness. It certainly is a sharp-looking rifle, and as a magazine man, I like the magazine kit that you can insert.

          Matt61


      • Edith,

        Springer’s, in particular, are especially challenging. However, shooting in competition is a whole other story. Practice scores mean NOTHING. The real question is, what can you do under the pressure of real competition, where others score your targets. In some tournaments that I shot, it was said that shooting your qualifying score was good because everyone’s scores dropped in the tournament. Bottom line, there are many things to overcome, so you better bring your A-game to a match because nothing is going to be given to you for free, and there are no “reputation points”.

        Victor


    • CSD,

      The phrase “…the fore stock lightly rested on soft bag.” caught my eye immediately. You aren’t using the artillery hold? That’s what will improve your accuracy.

      Rest your hand on the bag and the rifle on your hand and watch for a half-inch five-shot or a ten-shot group that measures about 0.8″ between centers at 30 yards.

      B.B.


  4. B.B.,

    Once again, an absolutely beautiful gun. It’s what I would classify as “different”, but worthy of being on a short list of “must have” rifles for form and function.

    I wonder how well the front sight might work with a rear peep-sight (as opposed to a scope)?

    Victor


    • Victor,

      This rifle cries out for a tang peep. It’s just the right thing to do. The front sight would be wonderful for it. The only thing better would be a front sight with replaceable inserts and a small front aperture insert.

      B.B.


      • B.B.,

        Oh, boy!!! A replaceable front aperture insert would be my personal dream!

        B.B., I wish you could convince manufacturers like Crosman and Gamo to provide some kind of dove-tail adapter to their springer’s so that industry standard front aperture sights could be added to most models. I’m dead serious! As I’ve said before, that would eliminate the need for testing and breaking scopes on springer’s (especially the more powerful ones). Target aperture sights (front and rear) are the answer to scope problems with springer’s.

        Victor



  5. Back from a conference in Dallas-Fort Worth, my first visit to Texas in awhile. The weather was marvelous, and they certainly had a fine Italian restaurant around the corner. Nice shooting B.B. with the lever-action.

    I was looking in one of the gun annuals/catalogs the other day and saw an article on the TX200 by a Doug Larson I think his name was. He mentioned PA and the artillery hold, so he’d done his homework. But the groups he reported were .3 inches at 10 meters. If the TX200 shoots inside of an inch at 50 yards, I would expect about half of his group size at 10 meters.

    Frank B., good heavens, I didn’t know you were in the midst of the tornadoes in Alabama. Thank goodness you’re okay. I was reading a story about looting. A man said that he saw a guy walking down the street with a power cord that looked oddly familiar, and then realized it was his. So, he said to the guy, “If your conscience will allow you to stand what you just did, then you’ve earned that power cord.” And… the guy kept on walking. Fade out-fade in, the victim was standing guard over his property with an M1 carbine….

    That’s the fullest report yet I’ve heard on Colonel Bonsall. The method is pretty much identical to Bill Wilson’s recommendations except that Wilson does not distinguish between the third finger and the fourth and fifth. All apply pressure. How would an IPSC champ compare to a Distinguished Pistol Badge holder on average?

    This story makes me wonder about fantasy teaching sessions with any person of your choice and any gun and caliber. There could be Lt Col Bonsall and the 1911, Elmer Keith and the Colt SAA, John Browning and any of his weapons, John Garand (who was supposed to be quite a shot) and the M1, Annie Oakley and a Winchester lever-action, Sgt. Snoxall, instructor of musketry for the British army, who hit a target at 300 yards a record 38 times in one minute with a Lee-Enfield SMLE…. My choice: Lyudmila Pavlichenko and a Mosin Nagant sniper rifle. Apparently teaching marksmanship and sniping was her job for most of the war after she was pulled off the line. Victor, I’m reminded of your distinction between the military and civilian shooters at the highest level. I’m a little surprised since actually in endurance competitions, like road racing and triathletes, the military does not do especially well. There is some kind of extreme endurance contest that involves orienteering a great distance over varied terrain and the word is that the Seal team is regularly handed their butts…. The military has a lot of good people but at the highest level, the civilian fanatics do best. From what I read, most of the famous snipers on the Eastern Front like Simo Haya and Vasili Zaitsev of Enemy at the Gates fame were professional hunters who were right at home sniping. And I think the same was true of Alvin York who was some kind of backwoodsman from Tennessee. But Major Pavlichenko was a college kid, except for her military club training in marksmanship where she had done well (and a fondness for parachuting and hangliding for recreation). So, her record is all the more astonishing as an amateur and a newcomer who racked up her numbers without getting killed, especially by the 36 enemy snipers that she took out who were gunning for her.

    It occurs to me that maybe the heavy clothing that the Mosin Nagant was designed for with its short length of pull was supposed to serve a stabilizing function as well…. I’ve added some further modifications to my fantasy Mosin-Nagant. It’s supposed to be difficult to rebarrel the thing because of supply of barrels and the rifle’s design, but one organization that will do it is Benchmark Barrels. They are low under the radar, but apparently, their barrels dominate benchrest competition which is a strong recommendation. So, I could rebarrel with a Benchmark barrel to go with a Huber match trigger, a Pachmayr Decelerator pad, glass bedding and Clint Fowler’s stock finish with a triple coat of urethane. (He claims that a rifle so equipped can sit overnight in a bucket of water without losing its zero.)

    Duskwight, okay, you’ve motivated me to try borscht again, but there are not too many outlets where I am unfortunately.

    And finally, a report on Mike Melick’s spring replacement and tune-up of my IZH 61. He did a terrific job. For $40 including shipping, he replaced the spring, tuned the rifle and did jury rig repairs on my case which had gotten beat up in transit. The first 5 shots offhand with the rifle went into one hole. For a second, I thought something was wrong. Does a broken mainspring affect accuracy, I wonder? The rifle has not felt or shot like this in a long time. Anyway, outstanding job all around. I can’t imagine better.

    Matt61


    • matt,
      Would you send me some contact info on Mike Melick? I have four IZH-61s and would like to see if an upgrade like yours makes a diference before sending them all in. email me at cjrley at gmail dotter com
      -Chuck


    • Matt61,

      The distinction wasn’t because of the athletes themselves, but because of the resources made available to them by the Army. For example, members of the Army Marksmanship Training Unit had their particular barrels (probably selected from a batch) matched to particular lots of ammo. A buddy of mine, a civilian, but former soldier, joined the Army National Guard so that he could leverage what Fort Benning had to offer, and he attributes that move to getting him into the Olympics.

      Competitive marksmanship, especially at the highest levels, is a strong mix of shooter and equipment, including ammo, and facilities. With few exceptions, the best competitive marksmen that I personally knew either joined the Army, or quit competing altogether. I can only think of one notable exception, Vic Auer, who was the first human to ever shoot a perfect 600, and he did that during an Olympics, over a decade before anyone else had done it. Vic Auer was a writer for television.

      Victor



    • Hi Matt! All is well here now.Sadly,everywhere I’ve experienced natural emergencies…..looting is an issue.The word “looting” puts a knot in my stomach like a softball.Bad enough that it is difficult to care for and reassure your fellow humans in a “crisis”.Competent folks can fold under relatively little pressure,if it is something they never considered possible.But then you have to contend with society’s “wolves”…..there to exploit weakness at every turn.You simply turn the tables on them….
      by taking advantage of their every weakness.They are ill equipped, ill advised,and operating on the assumtion that they are not expected.Good perimeter alarms DON’T require power.Night vision is invaluable.Fishing line and cans strung together will give you a good night’s sleep.Angry doesn’t solve anything…..but prepared does.



        • BB,I was on the phone with Kevin discussing him contacting a seller to interupt shipping of (2) Whiscombe barrels so they wouldn’t get lost in limbo.I couldn’t access the internet to notify him direct.Four different times we were interupted by gunfire…..within 1/4 mile.I routinely swept the property at all hours with both the ND3 and the ND5…..which kept anyone uncertain what they would face if they aproached.Add in the occasional coyote howl……they’re all still looking at me funny.So be it.



    • Matt61, almost all standard military rifles have short stocks. One reason is that a big person can shoot a short stock but it’s really difficult for a small person to shoot a long stock. Today, all the body armor and gear also make a short stock needed. You need to buy a Mosin and head for the range!

      Mike


    • Matt,

      The Mosin’s stock length has to do with the polyglot of people the Soviets had to fit. They had many nationalities in their army and they built the rifle for the smallest ones. If you become a reloader this will not present a problem, since you will be able to load the cartridge down to remove 80 percent of the recoil.

      B.B.


  6. Another BIG congratulations To Lloyd!!! I just got an invite to purchase the 9th Bluebook of Airguns
    and lo and behold……The ROGUE is on the cover! What an awesome honor! Way to go Lloyd.


    • Frank,
      Holy cow!, and thank you very much for the kindness. And kudos to Crosman for taking the challenge and risk. I will stay in my shop and keep working…….. actually painting outside this afternoon. I am the guy who is always wondering how quickly I can leave the party after I arrive. LOL. I’m sure a lot of you know exactly what I mean.


      • Lloyd,

        LOL. I know exactly what you mean. As opposed to being known as “the thing that wouldn’t leave”? I’ve known a couple of those. On the other hand, there’s “the thing that wouldn’t let you go”. LOL. I need to adopt your pro-active approach to such things.

        In any case, congratulations for this additional honor. Such an acknowledgement marks a truly historic event.

        Victor



        • Frank

          That is the dilemma, enduring obnoxious drunks, or becoming drunk yourself so you don’t notice. I arrive fashionably late, and leave unfashionably early.


  7. Impressive (tempting!) review and nice shooting, but my opinion differs on one small point…I’ve got to give equal weight to how it looks in this case. I’m glad you say the butt plate doesn’t look so um, butt ugly in person B.B.


  8. Ken,
    Perhaps if the butt pad were brown to match the color of the stock? Or, perhaps if the butt pad were brown to match the color of the stock but the last inch or so was colored black to make a faux butt pad? I wonder if this could pull off a better looking stock.
    -Chuck


  9. I am completely baffled & astounded about the comments on this rifle’s butt. The gun is beautiful in person. It does not need a red tag on the butt that says “wide load” 🙂

    Buy it, hold it, shoulder it. You will love it.

    Edith


    • Edith,
      LOL!!!!
      Forgive us, BUT, I’m sure you realize by now many readers on this blog are very, very critical of aesthetics. Some seem to place aesthetics above all else, i.e.; bluing, appearance of the grain, color of the wood, shape of the trigger, pistol grip/no pistol grip, etc. And notice the pains the air-soft industry takes to make their guns look like the real deal. I agree that the butt pad should not be so distracting but there are those who wouldn’t buy an accurate, fun rifle merely because the stock was not to their liking.

      I am greatly pleased with the accuracy and fun of shooting my previous version of this rifle. I am a very proud owner because of its looks, too. I think others will be greatly pleased and proud to own this newer version for the same reasons. This new one should prove to be every bit as accurate and fun as mine.
      -Chuck


Leave a Reply