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.

57 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.


            • RR,

              The nice thing about Honeycomb (besides a bowl for breakfast) is that there are hundreds (thousands?) of targets in a box.

              If you find them to be too easy you can try Cheerios or Froot Loops LOL!

              Nothing against Ritz crackers for targets but I would rather have them with a bit of brie cheese.


  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.


      • RR

        Count me in for enjoying looking for the best pellet for an airgun. And yeah, best hold, best optics/sights. I can spend lots of time even with gun that can’t compete with these fabulous old match guns.

        Deck


        • Deck,

          I was reading that in 2008 a young lady won the Pan Am games with a FWB 601 SSP. She was competing against PCP air rifles. I used to have one of these. I believe it. Like I say about my Izzy, if I miss, it is me.

          BBs best ever group would not qualify for the Olympics. Those folks will shoot an entire match with groups that are better than he can pull off. That is why I only compete with myself. My ego can take enough of a hit there without outside influence.


          • RidgeRunner,

            No knock on B.B.’s shooting in his seventies (I’m there too!) but these are young shooters in the prime of years and physical condition. Granted most of us shoot from a bag/rest/bench and without the stresses of competition so every great group is still a bringer of joy regardless of age!

            Shoot CLEAN!
            shootski



    • 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.


      • RidgeRunner,

        If a rifle or pistol shoots best with a certain pellet and we have the funds to buy them it makes no sense not to get them…how much more does it really cost to shoot a more expensive pellet. One fewer six-pack, one fewer trip to Moonbucks or even one fewer tin of Hubs :^)
        When we have the time to shoot make it the best experience we can have!
        Life is way too short to pinch pennies on ammo.

        Beware of the shooter who knows which ammo works best in what gun!

        Shoot CLEAN!
        Shootski


        • Shootski,

          I have been holding off on that (related) comment. If something shoots well enough,…. people are/will be willing to pay for it. I would. No,… I am not flush with cash,… but just sayin’. I can get R & D cost and can get more expensive raw materials,…. but in the end, it (has) to perform to justify any added cost.

          Chris



        • Shootski,
          I agree 100% with your philosophy. I won’t even consider buying big box store pellets. Also, Amazon does not have a clue on properly packaging pellets. They place the tin in a box ten times bigger than needed with no packing whatsoever. I bought some H&N FTT pellets from them and returned them because the tin was dented. Pyramid really knows how to do it right and it’s very much worth the added cost to receive the pellets in good order.
          Geo


  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



      • B.B.,

        We can no longer use lead pellets or bullets for hunting in California. So I ordered four tins of the .22 caliber Sig lead free pellets. It looks like they are also just about out of stock. It is too bad these quality pellets are not available from PA. I think they were just on the cutting edge and got cut. There must have been a high cost of developing these pellets, hopefully they will come back soon.

        Don


      • B.B.,

        Sad!
        See my post above to R.R. about not shooting the best pellet (ammo) considering only the price difference. I guess we need more pellets (ammo) to throw downrange to get frustrated with ;^)

        PA needs to point out the value of Pinwheels (one-hole-groups; not the toy!)

        shootski


  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.


    • RR,

      100 yard kills with 12 fpe? That can not even be close to being right,… can it? 50 might even be pushing it for the lightest of small game,…. and that would be with a very well placed shot. Personally,…. I would hold it to 40 and lean towards 30 for maximum range.

      Chris


      • Chris,

        You would be surprised at how little force is necessary for a clean kill when properly placed. I can recall reading in a Virginia hunting pamphlet years ago that more deer have been killed with a .22 LR than any other round. I myself have proven that to be true many years ago.

        If you hit a rabbit or squirrel in the right place, you do not have to go in one side and out the other. This is why you should limit your maximum range to how far you can place a shot within a 1″ circle. This is also why I like to shoot at a 3/4″ spinner all of the time.


        • RR,

          I understand that it is not necessary to go in one side and out the other. In fact,… often less desirable. 3/4″ is a good rule. Most springers won’t do that at 100. If they do,… it is more luck than anything. Still,.. I would hold a 12 fpe to 50 yards and under for hunting light game. Maybe just me.

          The local news had a recent feature on bullet proof back packs. They had a police officer demonstrate the effectiveness with various live rounds,… including shotgun (slug?). The biggest takeaway was that even though the round may not penetrate,…. the continued shock wave from the distortion of the ballistic shield would still cause a fatal injury. So yes,… pass through is not required nor even is penetration. Hand gun rounds looked to be a viable application. Rifle and shotgun,…not so much.

          Chris


          • Chris,
            Have you ever tested what a shotgun with slugs can really do? At short ranges they are extremely deadly. As I recall, the FPE exceeded 2000 ft-lbs. I used to hunt deer with a Remington 20 gauge semi-auto. I was doing some target shooting with my .22 LR in the gravel pit across the road from me. There was an old milk can in the gravel pit. They were made of pretty heavy steel back then. When I shot the milk can with my .22 LR the bullet didn’t even totally penetrate through one side. Then just for fun I shot the milk can with my 20 gauge with slugs. I was amazed to see that the slug had penetrated complete through the milk can and actually tore a big chunk of metal out on the exit side. That told me a lot about the power of a shotgun with slugs.

            Later I took a nice buck with my 12 gauge Remington 870 with a slug barrel, non-rifled at that time. I could consistent shoot a 2-qt milk carton at 75 yards with it. The buck I shot was a bit over 100 yards and I aimed about 4″ over his back. The 12 gauge slug penetrated completely though making a 3″ exit wound. That big buck dropped instantly from the impact of that slug.
            I don’t think there is a bullet proof vest made that would stop a shotgun slug. Even if it stopped the penetration, the impact alone would surely be fatal.
            Geo


            • Geo,

              It all comes down to the FPE,… doesn’t it? I totally agree. I was just passing along what I saw on the news. 100 yards with a 12 fpe for hunting just seemed to be way too extreme for my liking,…. but,… at the same time acknowledging RR’s point that shock impact/shock wave can do plenty of damage all by itself. We have all seen the expanding shock wave/damage shown in ballistic gel,… with or without exit.

              Chris


            • Geo,

              Just about any bullet proof vest will stop a slug. The question is whether it will spread the energy over a large enough area to prevent serious injury.

              Years ago I hung an under shirt vest panel on a hay bale. I shot it with a 9mm. The bullet penetrated 3-4 layers and made a slight dent in the bale. I then shot it with a .45 ACP. It did not penetrate a single layer of the vest, but shoved it about two inches into the bale. Which do you think I prefer for self defense? How deep do you think that vest panel would get shoved into the bale by a 12 gauge? The vest will stop it, but the trauma is still going to be massive.


        • RidgeRunner,

          22 LR IS the Poacher’s round of choice. Fair Chase is certainly a good way to go…unless your family is going hungry.

          CCI Stingers: a jacketed hollow point 22 LR is one of my favorites for taking out critters guilty of depradation if an airgun can’t do the job. I haven’t shot much of it up :^)

          shootski


      • ChrisUSA,

        How/why did the FAC Limit get in this discussion? Maybe R.R. can clue us in!

        Accurate shot placement is of course vital. Terminal balistics for a kill on a rabbit or squirrel typically require 5-8 ft-lbs (6.78-10.85 Joules) be delivered on target (pump house/ventilators) perfectly! Most of the hunting airgunners in the UK must have/use FAC power level Guns 12+ ft-lbs (16.27+ Joules) or they are shooting pellets that we have NOT seen out to 100! FAC+ Power makes it is easy to deliver that amount of power to 100 yds/meters. And…what caliber are these Nimrods using? .177, .20, .22, .25? In a non FAC airgun the pellets in .177 (that I know of) will be low on energy much past 40yards, and .20 & .22 not much beyond 50 a .25 might carry out to 75 and beyond but with such a loopy flight path at 100 that you better know the range down to the cm. Still doubting? Just think of Field Target and the max range of targets. I didn’t bother to run this through a program…I guess I should have to be really accurate ;^)
        The question as always is on target skill; are they ALL that good?

        shootski


        • Shootski
          Sounds like time for you to get you some small bore pcp’s and do some shooting.

          Put you a soup can or Ravioli can out at 50, 75 and a 100 yards and do some shooting.

          If the guns you give this a try with penetrate even just one side of the can it will probably be a pass through on a bird, maybe not on a squirrel. But maybe so on a rabbit.

          Give the small bores some more shooting time that you have and let the big bores have a rest. You might get surprised. And remember as you said shot placement does matter.


          • Gunfun1,

            But the Big Bores are so much fun…and they are beautiful to feel and look at to boot!

            I may need to go for the Chefboyardy :^) I much prefer home-made soup and much prefer Maultaschen over ravioli ;^)

            My small bore PCP rifles are a 10m Hämmerli AR50 and the, .22 Discovery & Marauder and .25 caliber bottle rifle that puts out 85+ FPS (Probably not fair to use that!) The only one that is under 12FPE is the Hämmerli that has only shot wadcutters (R-10 heavies.) I guess I’ll be using that rifle on the Chef, Lol!

            shootski


      • ChrisUSA,

        I ran the numbers for 800FPS(12 ft-lbs) at the muzzle with a JSB Exact and at 45yds it is less that 6.7 by the time it gets to 100 it has only about 4 left and is dropping like a rock. I won’t hunt rabbit or squirrel with that power profile beyond 40 yds even if I can keep them inside 1″ all the way to 100.
        I hope one of our UK hunters is reading this and can give us a on-the-ground factual take on this topic.

        shootski


  12. BB,

    ” I think you will see the value in testing pellets this way — no vise to hold the rifle is needed.”

    If you don’t have the years of shooting experience that you have, I think a vise is helpful in getting the most accurate assessment of a gun’s POTENTIAL accuracy with various pellets. It does, admittedly, take the ergonomics and balance of the gun, as well as the trigger’s characteristics out of the TOTAL accuracy equation, but those things are not, IMHO the most important factors for accuracy. You can acclimate to them but not a pellet / barrel combo that sprays all over the target due to incompatibility between the two.

    In several videos and photographs that I have seen of the inside of an airgun factory’s test station has shown them using a vised barreled action as the final test before mounting the stock. Break barrel rifles are clamped by the barrel, upside-down and get cocked and loaded by cranking the spring tube up in the air. The photos I’ve seen of pellet factories have included mounted barreled actions to give a standard, quantifiable result to compare the pellet quality over the course of a production run. I assume they do it because, even if they could find an expert enough shooter to sit and shoot a target for each gun or the sample pellets they produced, day in and day out, he could have a bad day that would taint the results.

    You said you have a number of new gun tests backed up. Is one of them the Umarex underlever Synergis? I saw it reviewed on AGD’s website, but they left many of the questions that you usually address unanswered in their report.

    Half


  13. BB

    I enjoy this rifle so much I just read the report again. You pointed out that a breakbarrel rifle can be as accurate as any other. That is a good reminder for us. Now getting it to perform as well as a PCP or some totally recoiless invention is another matter. I share Ridgerunner’s view on the manual locking latch. I wonder if it is more inportant for consistent lockup than designers realize. Perhaps the ASP 20 key lock does the same thing. Do you think it could shoot groups as small as your Olympia? But that may have more to do with other variables like the barrel itself.

    Just wondering.

    Deck


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