Walther’s new LGV Master Ultra .177 air rifle: Part 2
by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier
Okay! I’m in Maryland with Mac, and today you’ll get to look at the .177 Walther LGV Master Ultra. This one has a big surprise — well, it was a big one for me.
First, the rifle. I told you in Part 1 that this .177-caliber LGV feels just like the .22-caliber rifle I tested earlier. As it turns out, that will be important to note — but I’ll get it that in a bit.
I believe I mentioned that this rifle felt like it took a little more effort to cock than the .22. The bathroom scale says this one takes 40 lbs., where the .22 took 38 lbs. The cocking action is bank-vault-door smooth. A Mercedes should be so nice!
The test rifle dieseled on the first few shots. They were also going supersonic, so I wore electronic hearing protectors because the noise in my office was so loud. The .22 I tested didn’t diesel at all, but I have a theory about that. I think the .22 may have been shot more times by Umarex USA, and this .177 never did get shot. I suspect all the new guns will diesel a little at first.
The hearing protectors I was wearing allowed me to hear the action that much better (I have bad ears and the electronic earmuffs amplify sounds between shots), and it sounded extra crisp. Everything works exactly the way it should, and all the springs and locks are crisp and exact. So, the dieseling gave me the chance to hear the action like a person with young ears.
The 2-stage adjustable trigger on this test rifle is glass-rod crisp. Walther calls it a match trigger, and on this rifle they aren’t far off. I measured the pull and it broke consistently at 1 lb., 10 oz. That’s identical to the trigger on the .22 rifle. All that’s different is this one has no creep in the second-stage pull.
Okay, now for the interesting news. The first pellet I tested was the H&N Baracuda Match that weighs 10.6 grains in .177 caliber. I fired a long string of them and made sure the gross dieseling was over before taking the average. The average was 831 f.p.s., which is way more than I was expecting. Had this been a 12 foot-pound gun, the average would have been around 700 f.p.s., so this one is clearly more than that! In fact, it produced 16.26 foot-pounds of muzzle energy to my great surprise.
The velocity ranged from a low of 812 f.p.s. to a high of 843 f.p.s. — a 31 f.p.s. spread. The 812 was an anomaly, though, and the next slowest shot went 821 f.p.s. I do think the gun will settle down more after 1,000 shots have been fired through it, and I would look for the spread to get tighter.
The test rifle isn’t a 12 foot-pound gun at all, and yet it feels no harsher than the .22 I tested before. Cocking is slightly harder, but you won’t notice it. That is what I meant when I said I would get to it later — you get 16 foot-pounds but it still feels as smooth as 12!
Crosman Premier lite
The second pellet I tested in the rifle was the 7.9-grain Crosman Premier lite. They averaged 893 f.p.s. in this LGV. The low was 888 and the high was 907 f.p.s. — for a 19 f.p.s. spread. At the average velocity, Premier lites generated 13.99 foot-pounds of muzzle energy.
JSB Exact RS
For a lightweight pellet I decided to try the JSB Exact RS dome. They weigh 7.3 grains, but are smaller than many other lightweight pellets. I figured they would go just as fast, but I was wrong. Though they fit the LGV breech very relaxed and easy, they averaged only 888 f.p.s. for an average energy of 12.79 foot-pounds. And the spread was from 872 to 901 f.p.s. — 29 f.p.s. They don’t give me confidence in this rifle — especially after seeing what the H&N Baracudas did.
Maybe a retest is in order?
Because this gun seems to need a break-in more than most I’ve tested recently, I’m thinking I’ll come back and revisit velocity after all the accuracy testing has been done. The rifle will have several hundred more shots on it, and the numbers may change a little.
Future testing with this LGV
Here are the accuracy tests I plan on doing with this rifle.
* 10 meters with the installed open sights
* 25 yards with the installed open sights
* 25 yards with a peep sight (if possible)
* 25 yards with a scope
* 50 yards with a scope
Sights removable? What inserts fit?
Someone asked me if the open sights are removable. As far as I can tell at this point, they are. I hope to remove them both for the scoped rifle test.
Someone also asked me if Anschütz sight inserts fit the front globe. Well, I don’t know, because I don’t know if I have any Anschütz inserts. I have plenty of sight inserts, but none of them say Anschütz.
I can tell you this: Neither Weihrauch front sight inserts nor FWB (300S) front inserts fit this rifle’s front globe. The projections on the sides of the front sight inserts don’t seem to align with the slots they’re supposed to fit into. I’m not done checking, so don’t take this as the final word.
Impressions so far
I’ve seen enough to know this LGV is just as good as the .22 I tested. I’ll be very surprised if it doesn’t group just as well. And now there’s a happy surprise that this gun produces well beyond 12 foot-pounds of muzzle energy. I can’t wait to shoot it!