by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Walther LGV breakbarrel air rifle
Walther’s LGV Challenger breakbarrel was a short-run success in 2013.

Part 1

History of airguns

This report covers:

  • Tune in a Tube
  • LGV improperly greased by factory
  • Moly used improperly
  • Cocking effort
  • Firing behavior
  • Summary

Today I test the velocity of the Walther LGV Challenger. This modern classic breakbarrel has a lot to recommend it, but it does shudder with mainspring vibration. I will see if I can fix that today and what it will cost in terms of performance.

Tune in a Tube

Out comes the Tune in a Tube applicator. Mine was almost empty, so I refilled it from a 14-oz. cartridge of Almagard 3752 grease, which is what it is. But when the pistol was pushed the grease would not come out of the spout. The grease was migrating back around its internal piston and coming backwards, so it was clear this applicator was shot.

I used a cotton swab to spread the grease around the mainspring, but before we get to that I have some other things to tell you.

LGV improperly greased by factory

To grease the mainspring I had to remove the barreled action from the stock. When I did that I discovered two interesting things. First, there is a spring-loaded plate in the bottom of the stock to keep the articulated cocking link aligned. The end of the link passes through the cocking slot to connect with the piston, but it isn’t retained inside  the spring tube.

stock plate
The spring-loaded plate inside the stock channel keeps the two-piece cocking link aligned.

plate in stock
The spring-loaded plate (arrow) holds the cocking link against the piston.

Moly used improperly

The factory greased the mainspring with moly. That was the last thing I expected to see in this powerplant. Moly does nothing to dampen vibration and should only be used for friction reduction. It isn’t correct for this powerplant that has some looseness.

moly
Moly grease does nothing to dampen vibration. It is incorrect for this application.

As I said I used a cotton swab to apply some TIAT to the mainspring. Then I assembled the rifle and test-fired it. It was better but still not what I wanted. So out of the stock came the barreled action once more and I put in more TIAT. This time I was successful.

Velocity

Back in 2013 the LGV shot RWS Hobbys at an average 664 f.p.s. Today after applying the TIAT grease the average wa 631 f.p.s., but I want to show you the string, so you can see what I saw.


Shot……..Average
1…………..628
2…………..625
4…………..623
5…………..632
6…………..626
7…………..644
8…………..631
9…………..650
10…………625

The velocity spread went from a low of 623 to a high of 650 f.p.s. That’s a difference of 27 f.p.s. In 2013 the spread for Hobbys was 21 f.p.s.

What I see in the string is the velocity is increasing the more the rifle is shot. It may not return to 664 f.p.s. with Hobbys but an average of 650 might be possible.

Find a Hawke Scope

Cocking effort

In 2013 it took 33 lbs.  to cock the LGV. Today it takes 32. That’s too close to call. I’d like to add that the barrel lock means you don’t have to slap the muzzle to break the barrel down for cocking.

Firing behavior

The rifle is relatively calm now. It isn’t the best I have shot but it’s ahead of where it was. It should feel good when I shoot for accuracy.

Summary

As far as I’m concerned, the LGV Challenger hasn’t changed that much since I last tested it. Therefore I plan to bypass the 10 meter test and go straight to 25 yards