Walther LGV Olympia: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Walther LGV Olympia
Walther’s LGV Olympia is one of the last recoiling spring piston target rifles.

Part 1
Part 2

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The test
  • RWS Meisterkugeln
  • RWS Superdome
  • H&N Finale Light
  • Qiang Yuan Olympic
  • And then a miracle happens
  • RWS R10 Pistol
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
  • Discussion
  • Summary
  • One last thing

Thanks for being patient. I still have more articles to be written about current airguns, but today I will address the accuracy of the Walther LGV Olympia at 10 meters. Remember — I’m doing this because I want to test the rifle with some modern pellets that weren’t around years ago. Let’s get to it.

The test

I shot the rifle off a sandbag rest at 10 meters with the airgun resting directly on the bag. The LGV is so smooth as to almost be recoilless, so a direct bag rest helps the accuracy. I shot 5 pellets at each bullseye, which is how many shots are in the test target that comes with 10-meter target rifles. I didn’t adjust the sights throughout the test. Let’s see how she did.

RWS Meisterkugeln

First to be tested was the RWS Meisterkugeln rifle wadcutter. I normally wouldn’t use this pellet in a target rifle, but in the LGV it did pretty good. Reader Yogi asked me to try them. Five pellets went into 0.193-inches at 10 meters and the group is nice and round, in addition to being small.

Meisterkugeln group
Five RWS Meisterkugeln rifle pellets went into 0.193-inches at 10 meters. At less than 0.2-inches between centers it merits the 13mm gold dollar.

We’re off to a good start. Next up is a pellet I would never choose for the LGV, but I thought a reader had asked for it. Upon inspection, though, I can’t find anyone who did, but just the same I tested it.

RWS Superdome

Next to be tried was the RWS Superdome. Imagine my surprise to see 5 of them disappear into a 0.185-inch group! Of course this pellet cannot be used in a match because it isn’t a wadcutter, but it’s still very accurate.

Superdome group
Five RWS Superdome pellets went into 0.185-inches at 10 meters. Another gold standard. This target appears smaller than it is because domed pellets don’t cut round holes.

H&N Finale Light

Here is a pellet that didn’t exist when I last shot the LGV. The H&N Finale Match Light is labeled as a match pellet and Finale is the name that H&N uses for their match pellets, so I wondered how it would do. Five pellets went into 0.131-inches at 10 meters. This pellet is worth consideration for the LGV.

Finale Match group
Five H&N Finale Match Light pellets went into 0.131-inches at 10 meters. One more gold standard!

It’s getting better and better! This is quite different from the test I did with the Beeman P17 pistol yesterday. I think the sights have a lot to do with it.

Qiang Yuan Olympic

The next pellet I tried was the Qiang Yuan Olympic pellet. This is another one that wasn’t around years ago. So this is the first time I have tried it in the LGV. Five pellets made a 0.113-inch group at 10 meters. This is serious accuracy!

Qiang Yuan Olympic group
The LGV put 5 Qiang Yuan Olympic pellets into a 0.113-inch group at 10 meters. Gold for sure!

And then a miracle happens

You have probably noticed that every pellet tested so far has produced a group that’s smaller than 0.2-inches. Now we come to one that goes even farther.

RWS R10 Pistol

The RWS R10 Match Pistol pellet was the most accurate in today’s test — putting 5 into 0.098-inches at 10 meters. That is quite a bit smaller than the next smallest group! When you test pellets in target rifles this is what you look for.

R10 Match Pistol group
The LGV put 5 RWS R10 Match Pistol pellets into this 0.098-inch group at 10 meters. This group is considerably smaller than the next largest group! This one is solid gold.

When 10-meter rifles are shipped they come with a test target that has been shot with them at 10 meters. This is as small as some are. Sure there is some luck in the group, but it was shot after 20 other shots for record had already been fired, so it wasn’t like I was fresh. And, when you see the next target, I think you will see the value in testing pellets this way — no vise to hold the rifle is needed.

Sig Match Ballistic Alloy

The last new pellet I tested was the Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellet that Pyramyd Air no longer carries. This pellet is usually at the front of the best pellets for any airgun, but today in a rare departure from that record it turned in the largest group of all. This was the only group where I used the dime in the picture for scale. Five pellets made a group measuring 0.345-inches at 10 meters. {Ironically, had this been any other air rifle this group would have been considered good.}

Sig Match Ballistic Alloy group
Five Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellets went into 0.345-inches at 10 meters. Clearly this pellet is not right for this Walther LGV. Sorry for the blur. I took this picture with the camera hand-held.

Discussion

All but one of the 6 pellets tested shot groups smaller than 0.2-inches. One group was smaller than one-tenth of an inch! That’s very small.

Did you notice how the pellets moved around the center of the bull? Only the Meisterkugeln were more-or-less on target. The others went where they wanted, and all them went together.

This LGV Olympia is performing as well as it can. For a recoiling spring-piston air rifle from the 1960s to shoot a group that’s smaller than 0.1-inches is astounding! As I mentioned the rifle does recoil, but only slightly and obviously that doesn’t affect accuracy negatively.

One final point. The LGV is a breakbarrel, yet it just out-shot many PCP target rifles. I’m not saying it is better. I’m just saying that a breakbarrel can be just as accurate as any other kind of rifle.

Summary

Okay, the fun stuff it out of the way. I guess the next time I shoot this rifle it will be scoped.

One last thing

I have one last target to show you. Reader Skillet asked me to try the Smith & Wesson 77A multi-pump with an RWS Superdome pellet. So I did that today at the same 10 meters. Resting the rifle on the sandbag and using 6 pumps per shot, the scoped 77A put five Superdomes in 1.757-inches at 10 meters. I guess Superdomes are not the pellet for my rifle, Skillet.

Superdome 77A group
The Smith & Wesson 77A multi-pump put 5 RWS Superdomes into 1.757-inches at 10 meters. Another hand-held photo.

24 thoughts on “Walther LGV Olympia: Part 3

  1. B.B.,

    This should put another nail on the coffin for the naysayers regarding breakbarrel accuracy! What was the gold standard back then as far as target size was back in the day?

    For handheld shots I usually use the timer to aid in minimize camera shake when taking pictures. Thinking again you probably did this too.

    Siraniko


  2. BB,

    Oh yeah. I myself am not surprised by this performance. I learned a long time ago that with these 10 meter guns, if I miss, it was me.

    I do wish more manufacturers would use a barrel lock. Yes, I do understand the additional cost of such, but it can be quite an asset to performance as we can see here. I was shooting the Millitia this weekend with my grandson who was using his HW30S. I was repeatedly flipping the 3/4″ spinner at 10 yards. So many sproingers would benefit from a barrel lock.

    By the way, my grandson would occasionally hit the 3/4″ spinner also. Not bad for a ten year old.




        • RR,

          Honeycomb cereal suspended on a string make a fine target that “explodes” nicely when hit. I like the way they move around in a breeze. I use a bent paper-clip as a hook to hang the cereal on.

          Its biodegradable to though the critters usually clean up for me.


          • Hank,

            That is a great idea. In the past I have thought of Ritz crackers or having Blanny make some small flour and water biscuits. I will need to revisit these ideas in the near future. Thanks.


  3. BB
    Will be waiting to see how it does with the scope. And maybe a group or two with the two best pellets from the 10 meter groups at 25 yards.

    And yep that’s what I like to see at 10 meters.




  4. BB

    Your targets attest to the accuracy of this fine oldie. The group sizes really are typical. I predict this will carry over to 25 yards easily if there is no wind. But do you think wadcutters can compete with dome pellets at 50 yards everything else being equal? Not knocking the Superdomes but I do get better accuracy with some of the JSB dome shape pellets in most of my rifles.

    I especially am wondering how your rifle will do at 50 yards.

    Have a good day and keep your spirits high!

    Deck


    • Deck,

      I use Superdomes in my Millitia as I get the best results with them in it. My BSA prefers JSBs. I have not yet found the right pellet for my Webley, but it is looking like the Sniper Lights.

      I very much enjoy sitting down with a particular air rifle and spend the afternoon finding what works best for it. I usually do this two or three times before I settle on one. Of course when I get a “new” pellet I have to give it a try.



    • Kevin,

      I use these exclusively in my Izzy. When I ordered them, Neal asked me what I was going to use them for. I told him mostly plinking. He told me there were cheaper pellets I could use for such. I told him I was very serious about my plinking. If I miss with the Izzy, it is me.


  5. Jeez loweez, no dis, but why do i even bother!? I know apples to oranges and all, but my pcp pistol and me with a nice scope at 10 full paces and not even close to that great shooting display with such a beautifully made springer.
    I think i want an Ultra in .22 now. On top of everything else now, way to go!
    Best, Rob


  6. It’s my LG-53 that shoots Superdomes really well. My notes show 0.07 group for five shots at 10 m. Some H&N and RWS wadcutters were just as good across five shots. But in the best 10 shot group, the Superdomes walked away with top honors at 0.26, about a tenth smaller than the next best pellet. The JSBs shot well, just a bit less well. For those not familiar, the Walther LG-53 is an antecedent to the LGV design, and something of a light sporter / informal target model. Mine has the same Walther peep sight as the LGV on test.


  7. B.B.,

    Great shooting. Both you and the gun. It shows a quality old target gun can still hold it’s own.

    I wonder why the .177 Sig pellets are no longer available. Maybe they just didn’t sell. I see some in .22 cal. maybe they are leftover stock.

    Don


  8. B.B.,

    Have you stopped smiling yet?
    SIX (6) one (1) hole targets in a day should certainly have caused you some small measure of joy!
    Wishing you many more.

    shootski


  9. B.B

    Just wanted to say ” THANK YOU ” to you and everyone I have had the opportunity to chat with over the last several years!!!!!!! The way this summer has been going so far, I would probably be sitting in a corner looking up at a bright light, waving my fingers in front of my eyes. It’s much better to bring up the blog and forget about about life for awhile!

    B.B., just keep on a shootin and keep on a writing ! And please stop shooting those tiny little groups. It’s starting to make me feel inadequate!

    Have a good one!

    BobF


  10. Great shooting BB! I confess to be a bit envious, as I have never been able to make groups as small as those. No excuses here, I need more practice.

    On the technical side, it is very satisfying to see a high quality rifle such as this Olympia in action. In the search for speed, many shooters forget that precision is the name of the game. A good design ages very gracefully.

    Henry


  11. BB,

    I am sure that you understand, but this air rifle and others like it is why there is a RidgeRunner’s Home For Wayward Airguns.

    What many do not seem to grasp, most especially the newbies, is how difficult it is to have such precision with power. Sproingers are especially difficult to find the proper balance of power and accuracy with. Sig Sauer seems to have done it with the ASP20, but it comes with a good size price tag.

    The Europeans have known this for quite some time. Many countries restrict the power level, so they have focused on accuracy. In the UK airgunners are frequently killing rabbits, squirrels and birds at 100 yards with less than 12 FPE. You do not need 1000 FPE if you can place your shot properly.


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