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

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Part 2
Part 3

by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier
Walther LGV Olympia was a top-quality 10-meter target rifle in the 1970s.

The weather cooperated yesterday and gave me a perfect day at the range, so I was able to shoot the Walther LGV Olympia at 50 yards. I also shot the Talon SS with the 1:22″ twist barrel before the wind kicked up and stopped all airgun shooting, so I’m on the way to the final test of the different twist rates.

I knew the LGV Olympia was never going to hit the target no matter what I did to the rear sight, so I placed two 3-inch bulls on a 2×4 piece of target paper and used them for sighting. The shots landed far below these bulls, of course. How far is an eye-opener. I took a picture so you could see.

Walther LGV Olympia 50-yard groups
The pellets landed about 18 inches below the aim point at 50 yards. The sights had the pellets hitting the center of the target at 25 yards, so this is how far they drop in the second 25 yards. Notice that the center of the group of JSB Exact Jumbos on the right is about 2 inches lower than the center of the RWS Superdomes on the left.

I fully expected this to happen, so I stapled the bullseye targets to a huge piece of target paper so the pellet holes would show. Knowing they could well go to the same point, I used two separate bullseyes as aim points; and from the picture, you can see that was a good idea.

I selected the two best pellets from the 25-yard test for this. They were the JSB Exact Heavy, which was the best pellet at 25 yards, and the RWS Superdome that took second place.

I shot off a sandbag with the rifle rested on the flat of my hand in the classic artillery hold. The flight time of both pellets was extreme. Although I couldn’t see them in flight, the flight time told me they were dropping rapidly as they moved downrange.

JSB Exact Heavy
The first pellet I tried was the 10.34-grain JSB Exact Heavy. It’s by far too heavy for the LGV Olympia powerplant; but in the 25-yard test, 10 Exact Jumbos went into a group that measures 0.354 inches between centers. A novice might expect that, since the range was doubled, the group size would be as well. That would give us something like a 0.70-inch group for this pellet.

Walther LGV Olympia air rifle with JSB Exact Heavy pellets
The 50-yard group was larger than expected. Ten JSB Exact heavys went into 2.285 inches.

What I actually got was 2.285 inches between the centers of the two pellets that were farthest apart. That’s roughly 6 times larger than the 25-yard group and more than 3 times the expected size if you simply tried to extrapolate straight from 25 yards to 50 yards. This is why you have to be careful when making generalizations about accuracy.

The shooting conditions were perfect for this test. There was no breeze to speak of; and if I felt something, I always waited it out. I also had no shots that were called as anything but perfect. What you see here represents the best I was able to do with the LGV Olympia at 50 yards with this JSB pellet.

RWS Superdome
The second-best pellet at 25 yards was the RWS Superdome, which gave me a 10-shot group measuring 0.695 inches. Multiply that by 6, and you’ll get an anticipated group size of 4.17 inches. I’m doing that because of what happened with the JSB Exact Jumbos.

Walther LGV Olympia air rifle with RWS Superdome pellets
RWS Superdomes opened up even more than JSB Exact Jumbos. This group measures 3.062 inches between centers.

What Superdomes actually did was put 10 shots into 3.062 inches, so it was better than predicted (if you use the 6x predictor) but certainly much larger than simply double the 25-yard group size.

The lesson here is that group size does not simply increase linearly with distance. We hear that all the time. If a certain gun shoots 1-inch at 100 yards, we say it should shoot 2 inches at 200 yards. I’m saying that rarely happens. The group usually opens faster as the distance increases. Not always, but usually.

Evaluation
The Walther LGV Olympia is a remarkable airgun. Out to 25 yards, it’s extremely accurate, plus it’s very easy to cock and quiet to shoot.

Beyond 25 yards, though, the LGV Olympia quickly gets outside its comfort zone. There just isn’t enough power pushing the pellet to hold the group size to what you might expect.

These results are consistent with the results I got when shooting the FWB 300S at 50 yards. Installing a scope helped in that test, but only marginally. So, I’m not going to put a scope on this rifle. I’m satisfied and that’s as far as I’m going to test this rifle in a field setting.