by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
This report covers:
- First up — JSB Exact RS pellets
- RWS Hobby pellets
- RWS Superdome pellets
- Cocking effort
- Chronograph problem solved?
- What’s inside?
- Evaluation so far
Today, we’ll see how fast the .22-caliber Walther Terrus breakbarrel air rifle shoots. We’ll also learn some other things about the state of this Terrus’ tune as it comes from the box. There’s a lot of interest in the Terrus, both because of the price and also because it comes from Walther.
First up — JSB Exact RS pellets
The first pellets I tested were the 13.43-grain JSB Exact RS domed pellets. They fit the bore loosely and averaged 649 f.p.s. for 10 shots, with a range from 646 to 658. The spread was 12 f.p.s. At the average velocity, it generates 12.55 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle.
RWS Hobby pellets
The next pellet I tested was the RWS Hobby, which weighs 11.9 grains in .22 caliber. They fit the breech very tight and averaged 722 f.p.s., with a range from 710 to 729 f.p.s. That’s a 19 foot-per-second spread. At the average speed, Hobbys produced 13.78 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle.
RWS Superdome pellets
The last pellet I tested was the RWS Superdome, which weighs 14.5 grains. They weren’t as tight as Hobbys, but they did fit tight. Superdomes averaged 654 f.p.s. The range went from a low of 638 f.p.s. to a high of 660 f.p.s. So, the spread is 22 f.p.s. At the average velocity, Superdomes produce 13.77 foot-pounds.
Before we move on, let’s consider this for a moment. The heaviest pellet produces almost the greatest amount of muzzle energy. That’s backwards for a spring-piston gun. Usually the lightest pellets produce the greatest energy. This suggests that perhaps the Superdomes might be a good pellet for this rifle, if they’re accurate.
We now know the test Terrus is a 14 foot-pound rifle. Knowing that, we can estimate that a .177 Terrus will produce around 12 foot-pounds — give or take. Individual rifles should be close to these numbers.
I mentioned in part 1 that the Terrus I’m testing buzzes a little when it fires. I also mentioned that the buzz seemed to be calming down, the more I shot the gun. Well, today I fired the rifle many times and by the end, the buzz was noticeably reduced. This may be something that goes away as the rifle breaks in. I’ve seen older Gamos and Webleys that did the same thing; and by 3,000 shots, they were shooting very smooth.
The Terrus has an easy cocking effort up to the final few inches of the stroke. That’s when the mainspring stacks (increases in effort noticeably), and the cocking effort jumps from 20 lbs. to 30 lbs. Fortunately, the barrel is in the ideal position for maximum mechanical advantage when this happens.
The 2-stage trigger breaks around 3 lbs. It varies from 2 lbs., 9 oz. to 3 lbs., 4 oz. I sometimes feel just a hint of creep in the second stage, but usually not. Creep is when the trigger moves with a jerky motion. Like the powerplant buzzing, I think this trigger needs to break in before it’s at its best.
Chronograph problem solved?
I’m testing the Terrus with a Shooting Chrony Alpha Master chronograph. Pyramyd AIR gave me this chronograph to replace the Alpha model I shot during a recent test. The Alpha Master’s control unit and display is a separate box that can be separated from the skyscreens by an 18-foot cable. That cable makes my work at the outdoor rifle range much easier and safer.
The first time I used the new chrony, I noticed some of the velocities were hundreds of feet too low. I thought that might have been due to the first skyscreen triggering too soon from the shockwave of the shot. The shockwave travels faster than the pellet and gets in front of it almost immediately. It’s a wave of compressed air that’s apparently visible to the skyscreen.
During this test, I fired one shot that was 200+ f.p.s. too slow. Seeing that, I backed up to make 2 feet of separation between the muzzle and skyscreen 1. The manual says you should allow 3 feet, but my office doesn’t have the room to permit that. After backing up, there were no more slow velocities. I said I would test for this when I reported on the chronograph, but I decided to do it today, since I think the problem has been solved. I still plan to report on the chronograph.
I’ve had a lot of questions about how the Terrus is built. Does it have such-and-such a trigger? Is the powerplant made from such-and-such parts? Many people are hoping that the Terrus is the rifle that Walther decided to pour all their best parts into and charge much less for. I’m sorry to break your hearts, but it doesn’t work that way. This air rifle is being built with the slimmest of profit margins, and it cannot contain the same parts as the LGV and LGU families of rifles. The Terrus is not a “poor man’s LGV.” It stands apart as a stunning value that, if accurate, could set the airgunning world on its ear. It is what it is, and it’s not a cheaper version of anything.
As I mentioned in part 1, if I buy it, I do intend tearing into this one to see what’s inside — and also to see what can be done to it.
Evaluation so far
The Terrus is turning out the way I hoped it would. If it’s accurate, we’ll have a new best buy in a spring rifle.
I like the rifle for its light weight, easy cocking, nice trigger and general fit. How nice it will be if we find it’s also accurate?