by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier
The LGV Master Ultra with wood stock is what readers have been asking to see. Today, we’ll see how it shoots!
Today, you’ll see the test of the .177-caliber Walther LGV Master Ultra at 25 yards with open sights. This is for all who have an interest in a rifle that I think redefines the breakbarrel spring-piston sporter.
Twenty-five yards is not quite 2.5 times the distance at which the first test was conducted, so I expect to see the groups open up quite a lot. In fact, this is a wonderful distance at which to test an airgun because this is where the real pedigree starts to show through. Let’s see how our test rifle did.
Crosman Premier lite
The first pellet I tested was the 7.9-grain Crosman Premier lite that did so well in the 10-meter test. After confirming the shot was on the bull with a spotting scope, I shot the remaining 9 shots without looking again. Shot 9 was a called pull to the left, and I knew I would see a hole to the left of the main group when I examined the target.
Ten Premier lites went into 1.065 inches at 25 yards. Nine of them made a 0.742-inch group that I feel is more representative of the rifle’s actual accuracy with open sights at this range.
Crosman Premier heavies
Next, I tried 10 Crosman Premier heavies because a reader thought they might do well. They did not — giving a very open and scattered group that measures 1.549 inches between centers.
Ten Premier heavies made this 1.549-inch group at 25 yards. The group is open and scattered — showing not much hope for this pellet in this rifle.
Next, I shot 10 Beeman Devastator pellets. These lightweight hollowpoints surprised me in the Pellet velocity versus accuracy test I did two years ago. And they fit the LGV breech very well, so I had hopes they might be accurate, as well.
Indeed they were! Ten gave a 1.154-inch group, but 9 of them were in 0.746 inches. That’s very much like the Premier lites, though there was no called shot this time.
Ten Beeman Devastators made a 1.154-inch group, but 9 went into 0.746 inches. Very promising!
JSB Exact Heavy 10.34-grain
Next up were 10 JSB Exact heavys. The Exact RS pellets had not done well in the 10-meter test, but these heavier domes often succeed where the lighter ones don’t. This time, the outcome was very telling. Eight of the pellets made an incredibly small 0.518-inch group that’s perfectly round, then the final two shots enlarged the group to 2.147 inches. They made both the largest and smallest group of the session! That small inner group tells me that this may well be the most accurate pellet in this rifle, as it often is.
This group made by JSB Exact Heavy pellets will make you think! I didn’t call any shots, but I think something went wrong with the two outliers. I believe the small cluster is more representative of what this pellet can do in this rifle.
Of course, I could be wrong, but this isn’t the last time I’m going to shoot this LGV for accuracy. Next time will be at 25 yards with a scope mounted. This JSB just won a place in that test.
H&N Baracuda Match
The last pellet I tested was the H&N Baracuda Match, which did so-so in the 10-meter test. I thought I would give them another chance at 25 yards; but, alas, their mediocrity only continued. Ten made an open 2.121-inch group with no pattern or clustering.
Ten H&N Baracuda Match pellets didn’t do so well in this rifle. Group size is 2.121 inches…and, yes, there are 10 shots there.
Am I satisfied?
I am very satisfied with this performance. The naysayers will probably dream up new things to say about the gun; but as far as I’m concerned, it’s on track for a spectacular test.
I will say that the firing behavior was quite buzzy with the Premiers, but much less so with the Baracudas and the heavy JSBs. I think those JSBs are going to turn out to be the pellets of choice in this rifle. I’ll also comment that the trigger now seems as good as a well-adjusted Rekord. It’s not as light, but the wide blade makes the release feel very crisp.
36 thoughts on “Walther’s new LGV Master Ultra .177 air rifle: Part 4”
Good groups with open sights at 25 yards.
I think the caption under the 4th picture needs to be amended. I think the holes in that target were made by JSB Exact Heavys not JSB RS pellets.
I see things that remind me of my slightly oversized bore on the JSB 10.34 grn scoresheet… and on the crosman heavies… Take the good pellets, and try the slightly larger versions?, as in 4.52’s, or select for headsize… but i am prone to seeing things… great groups for open sights!
Even the lighter pellets might get a look-in if you up one in headsize, for FTT and JSB exacts…
This LGV was running a little “hot” during your last test. Do you feel the velocities settled down? I look forward to your scoped results with some decent optics. I do agree with other comments that a wider pellet should be tested as well. The only time I’ve seen H&N Baracuda Match pellets do poorly is when the head size was too small for the bore. How would you rate the loudness of this rifle?
I plan on re-testing the velocity before this is over.
I sure wish you would try some FTT 4.50 or 4.51 in this rifle.
You probably asked me to do that before, but I forgot. I just looked at what I have on hand and all I have are FTT Green, which isn’t the same pellet. I may have to order this one.
I am unsure which sizes to try , so I can’t suggest which ones.
My R9 and 97k both like 4.50 and 4.51 about equally well. I have a tin of 4.52 also, but they fit a lot tighter than I would have expected. I have not made any attempt to measure the exact sizes.
Both rifles like a snug but not overly tight fit. Rifling configuration is with land and groove about equal width.
This information may be completely useless to you, but I have found that FTT hold groups well at some distance and do pretty good in some wind if the rifle likes them in the first place.
We are also talking about roughly the same power level.
Nice job with open sights and a break-barrel, BB! My eyes are so bad that I need optics to duplicate that, even off a rest … I still shoot open sights with my Slavia 634 at 9-1/2 yds for fun though. Shooting with open sights is hard to do with my glasses’ progressive focal lenses due to the very small in-focus spot that isn’t lined up for shooting positions… I’d seriously consider buying this rifle now if I hadn’t just spent my airgun fund on the s410. It looks like a winner so it’s on my short list.
BB, welcome home. I will miss you this weekend in Malvern. I know you are worn out from driving but I suspect that the driving was kind or therapeutic too.
I am only taking a few guns to Malvern, and not much money either. Hopefully I can find at least one new toy to play with before I come home.
Could the sights be part of the problem? Or maybe the special target lighting measures you took (or were going to take) with the fiber-optic ones on the plastic LGV would benefit this one. I know you prefer 6 o’clock hold on target, but I’ve never found that works well with rifles for me, esp. on a round target. Nevertheless, were you using the same sight picture as on the other LGV? The reason I’m blathering on about this is that a couple of the pellets look like mostly sighting error caused a boo-boo or two. It could be a pellet, crown or bore problem causing the fliers, also, but the scope test will show that. My guess is the scope test will be much better. That is not to impugn your shooting, but to analyze the situation. Post and square notch is hard to shoot groups with using a circular sighter, at least for me. In summary, I don’t find shooting good groups with open sights to be universally easy with all sight :)!
One suggestion is what the chunk shooters who use square post and notch sights (similar to the ones on this rifle) make for a sighter: a square that is the same width as the front sight at the target range, and level it on the target board. This allows you to eliminate cant (or at least make it consistent) and is a much easier sight picture — align the flat top of the post and rear sight with the bottom of the square; both windage and elevation are locked in. Worth a try?
Problem? What problem am I having? This rifle is shooting fine.
Do I need to go back to shrinking all the target photos so the dimes are proportional? These groups are actually smaller than they appear on screen — anyone’s screen.
I lit the target for this test exactly as I did for the fiberoptic sights — strong light on the target and dark at the shooting rest.
As for the 6 o’clock hold, it has always worked best for me when the front sight is a post. I know it can be a chore to get the alignment perfect and I guess my targets show that, but I don’t have any other inserts for the front sight and none of the inserts I have on hand will fit.
Do you have any idea what kind of inserts will fit the front sight? There are a bunch on the market.
No, I sure don’t.
Didn’t mean to offend. What I’m looking at is stringing and/or fliers in possibly three of the groups; I’d ignore the Barracuda Match. The other groups are pretty (very, actually — I always forget you do 10 shots) good as is, but until you get a nice round one with no stringers and fliers, there’s still room for improvement, I think. The reason I brought up the chunk sighter technique is because I know that it can produce groups well under an inch at 60 yards with that type of sight. Or just use a scope — that fixes most things very easily, just not as much fun :)! Either way, I’d see what the scope does first.
BG, I like those SX type targets also. The ones with the 2 1/2″ x2 1/2″ black squares with the thin white line X . You are right ,they are great for iron sighted guns. I use them a lot for 25 yard sighting in sessions with handguns.
Another friend of mine recommends those highly for open sights, too. I know they work with scopes very well! With my eyesight, for chunk shooting (which is as close as I usually get to shooting groups with open sights) I use a swiss globe front sight (bead with tapered post) and a narrow, shallow U-notch under a shader, and my sighter is a doughnut shape with a piece out of the bottom to better align the post under the bead. I get a slight ring of white from the inside of the sighter around the bead and it is hard to mess up that sight picture; cant is minimized by the cant block on the rifle also, though it doesn’t make as much difference for me as it should and apparently does for others. The charitable explanation would be that I’m already good at keeping the rifle level; the real explanation is that I’ve got a lot of other ways to improve first :)!
I would like to know how accurate this LGV can be, when a scope is mounted and used for the accuracy testing.
Me, too. So that’s what I’m going to do next.
For me, this premium priced rifle must be accurate and not so pellet specific that you are limited to only a few types. The .22 performed well, so I have high hopes for a scoped .177 . I’ve been looking for a well engineered break barrel that is not hold sensitive and feels like it has an “ultra” tune. So far the TX200 has been the closest I’ve found, but I keep walking away from it (don’t like how it loads and still has mild hold sensitivity). I feel there is a market for the LGV, especially if they are successful in reducing some nasty break barrel side effects.
I think I’m already convinced. As soon as PA gets this gun in, I’ll be all over it. Hopefully the BKL mounts will be in soon to mount the Bushnell Banner 6-18X50 I plan to put on it.
When you said “I’ll be all over it.” Does it mean you’ll buy this new LGV?
Joe: Yes, that’s exactly what I mean. As soon as PA shows it in stock I will be buying it.
My dealer in Canada just put them on their website.
I ordered the LVG Challenger in .177 today.
I expect it in my hands within the next few weeks if everything goes according to Hoyle.
cbsd. I’m green with envy. I must wait for the darn PAL. I’m sure they won’t get dusty from staying on the shelf too long. This is one anticipated, and talked about airgun. I must wish you a hearty congratulations too, on a choice well made. I’m sure your boys are going to want theirs too, when they try this one out.
I just pre-ordered it from PA. If it comes in as expected on the 28th. I should have it in my hands Tuesday or Wednesday next week. Keeping my fingers crossed.
Oops…”it” being the Master Ultra.
Nice shooting, B.B. Sad to say that an alarming amount of my shooting with firearms takes place at the not much greater distance of 50 yards because of circumstances.
I’ve heard the comment before about how truly accurate rifles reveal themselves at long range. I understand that a lot of long range accuracy depends on matching bullet weight with twist rate. But if that’s what we’re talking about then we’re talking about those things and not the accuracy of the rifle.
If we are talking the rifles, why would this statement be true that the more accurate rifles will stay accurate at longer ranges while the others with an equivalent performance at shorter range will tail off? All I can guess is that whatever details of receiver stiffness or barrel quality or general design that goes into accuracy starts to fall off at some exponential rate with distance. The only other possibility is the mysterious “self-compensating” rifles like the Enfield No. 4 is supposed to be that I’ve never understood.
What I was referring to was and is the difference between 10 meters and 25 yards. And I was referring to pellet rifles, not firearms. This is where a pellet rifle reveals whether it can shoot or is a bust.
I’m not sure what you mean in regards to the “self-compensating” Enfield No. 4. Enfields while good battle rifles were never known a “Tack Drivers”. Some do shoot very well, others, especially some of the war production versions, don’t. The “Long Branch” and “Savage” production rifles tend to better than most.
This rifle is very impressive, and so are you. I think we got a hint of what this rifle can do, being that you used iron sights. These iron sights are not so forgiving because they provide the minimal amount of information, as opposed to aperture sights, or a scope.
For those who don’t care for under-levers, because of the loading process, and want the ease of a break-barrel, this is a great rifle! Cant’ wait to see how well it shoots with a scope.
Edith, has Pyramyd looked into carrying the 16 oz size of Ballistol Lube? The 6 oz spray is just too small.
Very impressive rifle. I have one if Walther make em in high power .22! I will be a loss to the airgun world if Walther leaves that model out. I am sure however that modders will fit a .22 barrel to this version and tweak the transfer port. That I am sure is beyond my skill grade.
BB has tested the .22 version. It’s on the way! 🙂
I’m waiting to see a review on the new condor ss. I’m very curious about that gun and am seriously looking at that one to add to my condor that I have all customized to my liking. $700 is a bit pricy for me but it would be well worth it if it’s as quiet as they claim and as accurate as my condor. I’m also curious about the new trigger/safety they brought in. I like my old safety now that I’m used to it plus I can decock the gun if I decide not to take the shot I understand the new trigger group can’t decock the gun.
That condor ss needs a good hard look at it before I start saving up for it.