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Ammo Walther LGV Olympia field test: Part 3

Walther LGV Olympia field test: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

Walther LGV Olympia
Walther LGV Olympia was a top-quality 10-meter target rifle from the 1970s.

It’s play time again, today, for this is the day we shoot the Walther LGV Olympia target rifle at 25 yards in preparation for shooting it at 50 yards. This report is a look at the vintage Walther LGV platform as a sporter, rather than the 10-meter target rifle that it is. With Walther bringing out the new LGV models, I thought it would be nice to see how the original LGV did in the same test.

I have no idea which pellet to choose for shooting at 25 yards — to say nothing of shooting twice as far. So, today’s test was nothing beyond my best guess of what might work well. Because I’ll be shooting at a fairly long range with this relatively low-powered spring rifle, I knew the pellets had to be domes. Wadcutters start to fall off in accuracy after 25 yards, and pointed ones aren’t that accurate to begin with. But good domes can be as accurate as good wadcutters, and they hold their accuracy a heck of a lot longer.

I’m shooting 10-shot groups off a rest at 25 yards, using the target sights that belong on the rifle. Ten shots should show which pellet or pellets are the best. I’ll also try each pellet seated flush and seated deep, so there will be 2 groups shot with each pellet.

JSB Exact Express
The JSB Exact Express pellet is a fairly lightweight domed lead pellet that’s new to me. I tried it in the velocity test for the first time and learned that flush-seated pellets leave the muzzle faster than deep-seated pellets. That was the reverse of what 2 other pellets did in that test.

The first 10 shots were with flush-seated pellets. They made a group that measures 0.657 inches between centers; but within that group, there are 8 shots in a 0.257-inch group. What can we say about that? There were no called fliers, and I feel the 2 shots that strayed from the main group did so on their own, without the rifle contributing. I’m looking at the entire group size and ignoring the smaller group-within-a-group. However, this pellet does merit another chance at 50 yards.

JSB Exact Express group 25 yards flush-seated
Ten JSB Exact Express pellets seated flush went into 0.657 inches, but 8 of them made a 0.257-inch group. Maybe I should try this pellet at 50 yards.

Next, I shot another 10 JSB Exact Express pellets, only these were seated deep with the Air Venturi Pellet Pen and Seater. This time, the group measured 0.778 inches, and you can clearly see the dispersion of the shots. Deep-seating does not suit this pellet.

JSB Exact Express group 25 yards deep-seated
You don’t have to use calipers to see that this group of 10 JSB Exact Express pellets that were seated deep are scattered all over the place. Group size is 0.778 inches.

RWS Superdome
The next pellet I tried was the RWS Superdome, which so many shooters love. I had no idea how Superdomes would do in the LGV Olympia, and this test would be the way to find out. First, I shot them seated flush. Ten pellets made a group that measures 0.695 inches between centers. The group was fairly round, which I took to be a good thing, because it means the pellets are fairly evenly distributed.

RWS Superpoint group 25 yards deep-seated
Ten flush-seated RWS Superdomes went into 0.695 inches at 25 yards.

Next, I shot 10 Superdomes seated deep in the rifling. This time, the group wasn’t as pretty, but it did measure only 0.649 inches, which is slightly better than the flush-seated group. It’s a toss-up between the different seating methods, though deep-seating does seem a trifle better. Perhaps the difference would be greater at 50 yards.

RWS Superpoint group 25 yards deep-seated
Superdomes seated deep made the better group by a small margin. Ten went into 0.649 inches.

JSB Exact Heavy
The final pellet I tested in the LGV Olympia was the JSB Exact Heavy that I included in the velocity test. We wouldn’t normally select a 10.34-grain pellet for a rifle of the LGV’s limited power; but when you shoot out to long distances, the weight of the pellet is more important than its starting velocity.

The first group was shot with the pellets seated flush. It measures 0.354 inches, making it the best group thus far. This group is also very round, which is another point in its favor. I think I’ve found the best pellet to shoot in this rifle at 50 yards!

JSB Exact Heavy group 25 yards flush-seated
Ten JSB Exact Heavy pellets seated flush made this remarkable 0.354-inch group at 25 yards.

I now wondered if could this get any better. The next 10 pellets were shot deep-seated and, alas, the answer was…no. I’d gone as far as I was going in this test. Ten deep-seated Express pellets made a 0.79-inch group.

JSB Exact Heavy group 25 yards deep-seated
When seated deep, the Heavy pellets opened up to a 0.79-inch group at 25 yards. There’s one pellet hole above the main group that may be hard to see, but it’s there.

So, here at the end of the test we have a very clear example of one seating method triumphing over the other. The Express pellets wants to be seated flush in this rifle.

We also have a clear example of one pellet standing apart from the others. The flush-seated Express pellet made a group that was significantly smaller than all the other pellets I tried. That doesn’t mean it’s the best pellet in the LGV — just the best of these 3 that I tested. When I go to the 50-yard range, I need a day with zero wind — and I’ll try the JSB Exact Express first.

Considerable drop
You may have noticed that the groups were all below the bullseye. That was with the rear sight cranked up pretty high. There’s still some room for more height; but at 50 yards, I know the gun will be printing its groups low. I’ll have to compensate for that.

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.

33 thoughts on “Walther LGV Olympia field test: Part 3”

  1. B.B.,

    You said, “he flush-seated Express pellet made a group that was significantly smaller than all the other pellets I tried.”. But it was “JSB Exact Heavy pellets seated flush made this remarkable 0.354-inch group”.

    A 0.354 inch group at 25 yards with such a low powered rifle is amazing! Something tells me that the aperture sights are helping you stress less with less distraction that you might get with a scope.

    It might surprise you a little to know that I shot my best scores in small-bore prone using aperture sights, versus “any” (scope) sights.


  2. Really Incredible groups, and through diopters to boot! What was more difficult, shooting the JSB heavy group or measuring it? When you use these pellets, it looks like you’re going to need to place your aiming target 20 inches above poi. That’s some drop!
    This is great stuff, thanks.

    • Hank,

      I have give this some thought. At 50 yards I will use these same targets, but stapled to the top of a 2-foot by 4-foot sheet of plain target paper. I expect the groups to drop as you indicate. I will just cut the groups from the target paper when I’m done and save the targets for later.


  3. Do not be surprised if your groups at 50 yards open up horizontally a little bit. That pellet is sooooo slooooow going out that far that just a little ffffft of a breeze will throw it off. You can watch that pellet all the way in.

    It is really fun to shoot a 10 meter rifle at 50 yards. That is why so many people are starting to get into mini-sniping. You can set up and shoot almost anywhere with these low powered rifles and not bother most reasonable human beings.

    • My boys and I shoot at paint balls off golf tees at 25 yards . One boy has a Bronco, the other a Gamo Recon, and I use my Diana 24. All of them have scopes . The Diana and Gamo’s have only basic 4X power ones. The steel .308 casings from the cheap Russian Bear ammo are also fun.

      • Robert…

        I have a cheap “shop helper” with the roller removed and replaced with a long strip of wood that has holes drilled in the top for golf tees. Works when you have to get your paintballs up where you can see them. Have to set it at an angle and shoot the farthest paintball first, otherwise the splat will knock the next ball off the tee.

        Get bored with that and start shooting the tees . Shoot the stems, not the heads. Use the cheapest tees you can find.


    • RR,

      I simply do not know! I thought about using them before and immediately after I shot, but not when I had everything set up — of course.

      I will take them with me to the 50-yard range and hopefully I won’t forget to try them this time.


  4. B.B.

    Would a riser block fit if you really need one for the 50 ? Or are you just going to hang the target high and let ’em land where they land ?


  5. B.B. I think you’ve been at this air gun thing for quite awhile. I’m coming off years of shotgunning, some pistol experience, and will look forward to learning a bunch from your blog about air guns. Right now I’m enjoying my Crosman Nitro Venom and will start ‘experimenting’ with different pellets as soon as the mailman arrives. Thanks for your expertise.

  6. Nice shooting B.B. As for the long range shooting, some guy online claimed that with an IZH 61, he could regularly ding a soda can at 80 yards. I don’t know how you would convert that to shooting with firearms–maybe a 2000 yard shot?

    Are field target rifles ever shot standing in competition. I’m guessing not. That B30 is a beast to hold, but it’s still accurate, even in that position.


    • Matt61,

      I’ve read some really wild claims about what people can do with certain airguns. I think when a guy says that he can shoot a 3 inch group at a 100 yards (a real claim that I’ve read) with a certain airgun (that I know won’t group that at 50 yards), I’m guessing that he means that he once shot a 3 shot 3 inch group, and it happened once out of over a dozen attempts. So many claims of what people can do beyond 50 yards with a springer I’m sure need to be qualified somehow.


  7. Hello Everyone,
    My subject today is a little off topic but not completely. B.B., you may remember a couple of weeks ago I was looking for a PCP sporter rifle that would be able to hang in with a 10 meter competition rifle at 10 meters (although I understand that such a competition does not exist) and also be able to shoot 1″ to 1- 1/2″ groups at fifty yards.Well about a week ago I pulled the trigger (pun intended) on my decision and ordered the Air Arms S400 MPR FT. with a Hawke Nite-Eye 6-24 x 50 scope. (It can get dark in my backyard).

    The rifle arrived this morning. Needless to say I was a bit anxious about my decision and couldn’t wait to get it on my backyard range. Of course I read the manual first and then the only change I made to the gun out of the box was to add two spacers to the butt stock (it came with 3 extra spacers).

    To make a long story short I shot it at 10 meters, 25 yards and 40 yards which is the farthest I can get in my backyard. The rifle met and exceeded all of my expectations for accuracy right out of the box.

    Where I’m on topic is that I used my go to pellet, JSB Exacts, Heavy Diabolo 10.34 Gr. I used this pellet for all 3 distances and as I said the accuracy was dead on. The fact this was the most accurate pellet in your test for the LGV does not surprise me in the least.

    Needless to say I am thrilled with the rifle, up to this point anyway. I expect it to get better with break-in.

    Thanks all for listening.

    • G&G,

      I think we have all experienced the joy you are describing. That beautiful rifle that exceeds your expectations, and does so effortlessly. What’s not to like?

      Air Arms airguns are very fine examples of the very best that can be made, so your experience does not surprise me. And the good thing is — you get to continue to enjoy it from now on, because you have a rifle that’s built to last.

      I think many of us are enjoying your entry into airguns vicariously. We have many of the same memories.


  8. B.B.
    It gives me great pleasure to know that I can help bring a smile to someone that has been participating in our hobby for many years. I really have come to love this wonderful world of air gunning that all of you have helped to create.

    I will let you in on a little secret. I am new to this sport, but I’m not new at all. In fact, I am 60 years old. I wish I had begun this hobby many years ago. I really think I could have been very good. However, I’ll give myself a pat on the back and say that for having just started shooting less than a year ago I’m not too shabby.

    I will happily admit that I owe much of that to what I have learned from this wonderful blog. Please continue to inform and instruct people like me for many more years to come. You and others on this blog are invaluable resources.
    As for me, I will continue to participate as much as I can. Even if it is only to bring a smile to someone’s face.

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