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Walther LGV Olympia field test: Part 4

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

Part 1
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.

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.

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.

46 thoughts on “Walther LGV Olympia field test: Part 4”

    • John,

      These are larger. I think if you search you will find several one-inch groups from more powerful springers.

      But let’s just take the .22 caliber Walther LGV Challenger I did several months back. That’s a 12 foot-pound rifle. You were a reader then and you saw the 50-yard groups. They are here:



  1. B.B.,

    Very interesting, and it is similar to results I have seen. In testing a .22-cal Diana 25 and IZH46M (both mid-400’s fps), each can group around a half-inch at 25 yards but at 50 yards the absolute best I can do is 2 to 2.5 inches. A scope was used on both airguns. The flight time of the pellet to 50 yards is almost a half-second – any breeze and groups are radically worse.

    Paul in Liberty County

  2. Boy, these groupings aren’t even within an inverse square rule. This is more of a logarithmic law – as the distance increases, group size increases logarithmically. I’ll let those who still remember this stuff to decide which “base” table will fit.

    Tomorrow for anyone here in the Northeast, Kevin Hull’s Connecticutt airgun show is on. Location is at the Elks Lodge at 130 Deerfield Road in Windsor, CT. I’ll be shopping for a TX 200 🙂

    Fred DPRoNJ

    • I suspect you mean exponentially with distance.

      Logarithmically would imply a 1″ group at 10 yards would be a 2″ group at 100 yard (log10(10) => 1, log10(100) => 2) — and 3″ at 1000 yards (log10(1000) => 3)

      • Thank you, Wulfraed. That should have been what I said. I couldn’t think of the word (happens more often these days) and decided to go with “logarithms”. Been over 40 years since I had to use them and I am sooooooo glad I don’t have to anymore!

        Everytime I’m down here in the basement, I pull out my log-log-decitrig slide rule and wonder how did I ever use the log scales. It’s a K & E 10 Deci-lon model. Older than my children.

        Fred DPRoNJ

        • Oooh…

          I’ve just got:
          Faber-Castell #57 Business
          Faber-Castell 1/54 Darmstadt
          Pickett 1010-ES Trig
          Pickett N803-ES Dual Base Log-Log (still boxed; a minor fortune at Slide-Rule Universe a few years ago)
          Pickett N-515-T Cleveland Institute of Electronics
          Concise 600 circular rule with South American Esso logo
          Concise 200 circular rule (the rules are the same, but the tables and inserts are different)

          I’ve misplaced my 6″ Sterling pocket rule, and regular Sterling log-log.

          The Sterlings, Business, and Trig rules were bought in the early 70s — I think I paid about $7.50 for the Pickett Trig at PX prices. The Sterlings were being sold by a high school math instructor for about $5 each. All the others were bought via Slide-Rule Universe over the last 15, at prices in the $100-$200 range.

          I sometimes wonder what would happen if I filled out and mailed the registration card for the Picketts…

          And I really hate myself for not scrounging up $35 in my second year of college. The campus bookstore was closing out the slide rule collection, and had a lovely Post (I think) laminated bamboo/plastic at half price. but $35 was two weeks of commute gas and one paperback book <G>

          • Wulfraed,

            the number that keeps on sticking in my mind is $47 from the Campus Bookstore that was recommended to me by my Physics Professor, Dr. David Flory. If you google him, he was arrested in 2011 for setting up a website used by call girls to book their assignations! I thought when I read this, “Good for you, Dr.!”. One of my better professors in College. I believe charges were dismissed as he never profited from the site and there were no laws against advertising for this kind of thing!

            Back to on topic, sort of. Scored a TX 200 Mk III at Connecticut today complete with walnut stock, Bushnell 6×18 scope with level for a very fair price. Figure it’s a 95%.

            Fred DPRoNJ

            Fred DPRoNJ

            • Fred,

              You are now a person of interest. As one who wanted and finally did get a TX 200, you are in the perfect position to tell the others what you think of this air rifle. And you have the additional advantage of being able to compare it to the Diana 350 Magnum that you’ve owned for several years.

              Take some time and get used to your new rifle. But keep this in mind as you do.


              • Huh. BB and Matt, I would have thought the TX 200 would be more in line with a comparison with the RWS 52 – both are underlever cockers and have sliding compression chambers but I can do a comparison with the RWS 350 if you are interested. I shot the TX today at 30 yards with a slight breeze. Boy, those pellets do get blown around and I mean up, down and side to side. Probably shot about 50 pellets. Tried JSB Heavies, H & N Baracudas and H & N Crow Magnums. Even in the wind, I would say the Crow’s are not to this rifle’s taste. I need to get a tin of the lighter, 8.3 gr JSB’s. Now you two are going to make me re-scope the 350.

                Is this a sly request for a blog? 🙂

                Fred DPRoNJ

                • Fred,

                  I wasn’t asking for a comparison between the Diana 350 and the TX 200. I know that you suffered with the Diana 350 for a long time. You bought it, thinking it was one thing and discovering that it was another. Too difficult to cock, too much trouble to shoot, etc. I think you’re going to discover that the Tx 200 is just the opposite — easy to cock and a delight to shoot.

                  That was the comparison I was hoping you would make. But now maybe I have put words into your mouth?


  3. B.B.

    Those groups do not look really all that bad for shooting way beyond this rifle’s practical limits. The tightness of the velocity spreads also shows, in that you did not get a lot of vertical stringing at such a long distance at a very low velocity.

    Personally, I would cut this rifle off to maybe 30 yds max due to trajectory . Maybe even down to 25…..depending on what velocity it is getting with the particular pellet. It would not even matter if it shot one hole groups at 100. Trajectory would require some seriously accurate range estimation , and the wind….. Just not practical.


  4. I just want to make a comment on the excellent new Pyramyd AIR catalog I received yesterday.

    Somehow, two of these were sent to me.

    I sent one of them home with my granddaughter Melanie, with a strong suggestion that her mother read the articles in it.

    Very good advice!

    They can keep on sending me two. I’ll see good use is made of both of them.


  5. Willmore, nice drawings of triangles. I don’t disagree with your reasoning about the diagram you’ve drawn. I disagree with its application to rifling. I don’t see that cutting up a square and rearranging it as a parallelogram is an accurate representation of rifling in a barrel.

    The length of a spiral groove will be longer than a straight groove as demonstrated by B.B.’s string and dowel construction. I don’t see why the width of a spiral groove will be any different from the width of a straight groove as Wulfraed pointed out. If you multiply a greater length by an equal width (and depth) you get a greater volume for the spiral groove than the straight one.

    Wulfraed, nice job with the colors. And your mind appears to be intact arguing for high maturity. Desertdweller, what is your advanced navigation class? I’m now fond of all things to do with maps. I even received a very nice print map of Sequioa groves from the National Forest Service with colors, contour lines, and an interesting waxy coating for use outdoors presumably. Toby T., that’s a good question about what Wulfraed does for a living. Yes, his behavior is being noted. 🙂


  6. The match rifles may not be so fun at 50 yards but boy, are they fun at 20 to 25 yards. When I had my FWB300s I shot a lot of 1/4″ and 3/8″ spinners at 20 yards with a 2×7 scope and it was just easy, and FUN. But, for the second time, I got tired of the heavy weight of the 300S and sold it. An old match rifle is a great gun for a small back yard.

    David Enoch

  7. B.B.
    I am a little surprised at just how much the groups opened up at 50 yards (actually I’m even more surprised at the pellet drop). Will you please hazard a guess at something for me? Out of curiosity, if I am getting 3/4″ to 1 1/4″ groups at 40 yards with a .177 PCP rifle shooting at a velocity of approximately 800 fps how much would you expect the groups to open up and the pellet to drop at 50 yards? Thanks for listening and I hope this isn’t a stupid question.
    G & G

  8. A Great blog about an even greater gun. I just love these old target springers. They represent the finest in air rifle technology that was available in my youth. Unfortunately, I wasn’t aware of their existence in those days, and it wouldn’t have mattered, as I could never expect to afford one. It took all the money I could scavenge to buy an inexpensive Slavia. I’m not sure of the model no. after 50 years. We sure had a many hours of summer fun, shooting old soup cans and such. Never shot at pop bottles, as they were worth 2cents. There were no malls to hang around, and living in a new suburb in Calgary, Alberta, there was plenty of open country we could walk around for hours on end.
    Sorry for the reminiscing. I lost track of where I was going, and got onto a whole new road of memories. This happens more often, and coincides with the day after my last birthday, when I get a call from my banking institution, congratulating me on being old enough to apply for their no fee seniors account. Actually, I thought it quite funny, and I am just glad to be relatively healthy and fortunate to be able to enjoy the wonderful world of airgunning as we know it today. The guns available cover a whole spectrum of uses and affordability not available in the early 60’s. I was talking to a gentleman of my generation the other day, and he was lamenting on how much better times were in those days. He had a change of mind when I reminded him of how he would be blind because laser eye surgery was just a thing of fiction back then. Antibiotics, CAT scans, PET scans, etc. were all unheard of. I think we need to keep a healthy balance between the past, and the present. As one of my favorite books begins,” It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”
    By the way Matt. When you mentioned the book Macroscope, was it by any chance penned by Piers Anthony? I have read many of his fiction/fantasy novels, and Macroscope is my favorite. I lost interest when he got into the Zanth series of novels. How many books of puns can a person take?
    Thanks for these vignettes of rifles that got us where we are today, B.B. I think it grouped pretty well for being a 10 meter target rifle. Speaking for myself, I could read a few more on the Diana’s and Weihrauchs, etc.
    Caio Titus

    • Titus, yes, that’s the book by Piers Anthony. Considering the rather weird subject matter, including astrology, it holds together amazingly well. And Kevin said that one of the aliens, honking and threatening to blow away a human being on its “repulsive, meaty digits” was a dead-ringer for his mother-in-law.


  9. I always wanted one of the higher end air guns (the German guns) in the early 70’s but I was only 10 in 1971. The only money I had back then was from cutting grass in the neighborhood.
    I had my Crosman 760 and Winchester model 190 though so the money I made ended up going to a new dirt bike that I motocross raced till I got my drivers licence.

    Still wish I would of bought one of those guns.

    And something popped into my mind today after I finished cutting grass today.
    My Dad would cut grass by the house on Saturday and BBQ. He would also set up somethings for me and my brother to shoot at to keep us occupied.

    He was very into guns(and his main hobby though was making all types of guitars; well mostly Italian ones) .
    But this is what popped into the ole brain. He passed away about 11 yrs ago.
    And he never got to see a PCP gun. I think he would of been most happy if he seen one.

  10. Gunfun1,

    your story echoes mine. My father was a Psychology prof, but he built a harpsichord in his spare time, and all his hobbies were never remotely connected to his work. He did make the big splurge back around ’74 and bought an HW 55, and where we lived (and when) – that was considered one expensive toy. He was an expert marksman (military), and we used .22 casings as targets in the back yard for that gun. I have early memories of shooting prone off an old mover’s blanket that was usually in our VW bus. He could shoot a High Standard Supermatic pistol with rifle accuracy, but his dream was a Feinwerkbau 65. I thought he might get a chance to live it when he retired, but multiple strokes kept him from realizing it. I lost interest in air guns somewhere in between (girls and job security being my focus) and was getting back into it just before he died. Now a father, I have my kids out shooting whenever I can – and hope to carry on our tradition. I bought a IZH 46M a few years back ( I know it’s no Feinwerkbau 65.., but it’s certainly a capable match pistol), and constantly feel an urge to share it with the person who would have appreciated it the most. I only hope I can instill the same interest on my kids – especially now that I have a huge air gun arsenal…

    • westernPA,

      What a great recollection. Thank you.

      Your airgunning roots with the HW55 go back to a time when many of us were alive but never got a taste of that fine wine in airgunning.

      You mentioned in your post that you now have a “huge air gun arsenal”.

      Would you mind sharing what your 3 favorite airguns are currently? Thanks.


  11. Seems that we always hear how guys wanted a high end airgun back in the day… Me too! I only had a Stevens .22 which was a hand me down and 1 Crosman 760 (after wearing out the Daisy 1894….) until I was out of high school and out of the house. And when I was young, I lived in town, so getting to shoot the Stevens was a much rarer treat! I didn’t even know better airguns existed back then. If I had, I would have wanted one.

    So many parents these days don’t know that all airguns aren’t alike and they aren’t just toys. I can go on a rant about the low cost guns having such obvious (to us) defects that we wouldn’t want them, but if they work and hold a new shooters interest, what is wrong with that? With the internet, a new shooter has the resources to eventually find out that there are better options to be had and they grow from there. They’re lucky to grow up with such easy information sources! Back in the day, a guy had to hear about something, have neighbors that knew something, go to the library or local bookstore or news stand for information. Now it’s all right here on my phone! Stuff is getting better, cheaper, faster, and yet still we complain that a cheap gun doesn’t live up to our expectations! Kind of reminds me of the Israelites in the wilderness…. I guess people don’t change all that much and what we remember will always be remembered through the rose colored glasses.


  12. BB, off subject, but I just noticed that PA has Webley Typhoon Air Pistol. They say it’s back! I don’t know much about this pistol. Have you ever test the old one? It looks very interesting. It’s a springer, but since the velocity is not too high, I take it will not be too hold sensitive. I see it’s in 22 cal also. Do you think with a velocity of just 330 that the 22 would be ok or do you think the 22 cal would be better in this power range (450 fps). I’m not into “velocity” like the new kids are, but I do want enough to shoot cans at say 30 yards. Thanks again for all the good reads! Bradley

    • Bradley,

      The Webley Typhoon is not back. They have taken the Typhoon name and stuck it on a Hatsan breakbarrel.

      The original Typhoon was a break-foraward springer that looked a lot like the Hurricane.

      That being said, this pistol might be alright. The power has been reduced to the point that it will be a better shooter, I believe. I will probably look at it.


  13. You can shoot cans at 30 yards with a slingshot… but consider the arc…

    RWS Superdome 14.5gr at 330fps muzzle and a 30 yard zero… Chairgun Pro… “scope height” set to half an inch to substitute for open sights. 1″ circle (that is, acceptable range is from 0.5″ high to 0.5″ below the point of aim)

    First zero is ~1 yards — point blank range from 0.0 to1.9 yards. Second zero at 30 yards, PBR 29.2 to 30.8 yards.

    At 17 yards, the pellet is almost FOUR and a HALF INCHES above the line of sight.

    Boosting to 450fps… PBR 0 to 3.5yard, 28.4 to 31.5 yard. Mid-point trajectory is only 2.25 inches high.

    At 850fps the +/- 0.5 inch trajectory is 0 to 35 yards.

  14. Bradley,

    The Typhoon does not warrant a return. I bought one before it was tested by BB, and to date – it’s been my greatest disappointment in an air pistol. Overhyped original velocity, fair to poor accuracy, poor trigger, over abundance of plastic. The Browning pistol that looks surprisingly similar has gotten fairly good reviews, and it apparently can deliver in the velocity department even in .22 cal. There is similar Hatsan as well, and it appears better to be a performer.. The new Benjamim BB recently tested sounds relatively safe as well. They’re all pretty close in price, too. Steer clear of the Webley, unless there was some sort of design change up, but the numbers sound about the same..

  15. Interesting test. But if the Walther is shooting 10 inches at 50 yards, how the heck did the one guy repeatedly ding a can at 80 yards with his IZH 61?… Anyway, the Walther still outshot a Mosin sniper rifle on a YouTube test which shot something like 15 inches at 50 yards. But the video producers said it was not a scientific test as I can well believe since the shooter did not seem to know how to load his rifle.

    My Mosin is finally finished at the gunsmith after 8 months and is on its way back to me, and I have ammo for it. I am truly excited. Accuracy tests by the gunsmith are good although he admits he is not a shooter but an armorer. To what in the design would you attribute the accuracy of the Mosin sniper rifle? I’m guessing its relative weight; its barrel length; a certain amount of care put into the manufacture by the Izhevsk Arsenal at least of the older ones with the octagonal receiver; and a multi-part bolt which mimics the effect of a floating bolt head in enclosing the cartridge. I don’t know what else the accuracy could stem from since everything else about the gun gets roundly criticized.


  16. Hi Kevin,

    my 80 year old mother has a hoarding disorder, which I nag her about. And then I have a lot more airguns than I probably need.. I don’t get around to shooting them near enough, as I’m only middle-aged and still working more than I’d like. But I try and get them all out in order and shoot and maintain them as regularly as I can. A few hand-me-downs, like my father’s HW 55 (one of the favorites), Crosman 600, various bb guns and multi-pump pneumatics. But the bulk of the collection came after I discovered the blog and Pyramyd AIR.. (how’s that for a plug?). I gambled on a IZH 61 after reading a review and went on to buy 4 of them (I gave three of them away to family members). After that, I was hooked on those Russian airguns (I’ve yet to purchase a Drozd). I doubt my collection is a fraction of the size of our blog leader’s, but it’s enough to overwhelm my two kids should I go in a hurry. Shortlist: HW 55, my original Sheridan Blue Streak with a pistol scope mounted scout-style, IZH 61 (heavily modified, and my “go-to” fun gun), Webley Eclipse .22 (garden’s savior), and my IZH 46M. I have a new HW 98 in .22 that I’m pretty sure will make the cut, but sentimentality wins out for me. I’ve started watching “Hoarding: Buried Alive”, which infuriates me – but then I can relate with some of those guys because I’m constantly seeing new airguns I wouldn’t mind owning. I guess I wouldn’t buy them if there wasn’t room for them… Then I see the new Walther LGV…

  17. Sorry Kevin,
    TMI. I use a 5 gun rotation, and the 10 meter guns go away until I’m shooting indoors in the Fall. I’d hate to pick a top 3. The IZH 61 is the gun that gets the most pellets…

  18. BB,

    since we have about run out of room, I’ll type a response here about comparing the 350 to the TX 200. The 350 was my third air rifle and first breakbarrel. I found it in the “BARGAIN COVE” at a Cabelas’. All the screws from the scope to the stock were loose so it was easy to figure out why it was returned. The 350 has a ferocious recoil, decent trigger (the T-05) and pretty good accuracy, but it is a struggle to shoot accuractely. That is ,1″ groups at 30 yards is not a repeatable situation for me. The TX 200, on the other hand, is extremely smooth to shoot with avery controlled recoil, a marvelous trigger – perhaps the best of my collection – on par with the Rekord in my opinion. Even with a slight breeze blowing, enabled me to do a .8″ group with JSB heavies (10.3 gr) and I was told the pellet it likes is the 8 gr JSB. I don’t have any on hand so I anticipate even smaller groups. Cocking is easy compared to the RWS but I never really had a problem with cocking the RWS. It was just another exercise to do to build up my trapezius (?) muscles. As for speed and power, I haven’t put the TX through a chronograph yet – perhaps this week so I have a baseline for what it’s supposed to do. The seller did tell me he had re-sealed it in the past week.

    I have a ways to go to “learn” all about the TX but it really is the epitome of top of the line spring piston rifles. I guess I’ll ultimately have to have a shoot-off between the TX, my Diana 52 and Beeman R–9. One last item, the Diana 52 is not an underlever – my mistake. It’s a side lever, as you are all too well aware, with a sliding compression chamber. Just wanted to set the Rekord (pun intended) straight.

    Fred DPRoNJ

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