by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Walther LP2 left
Walther LP2 single stroke pneumatic target pistol.

Part 1

History of airguns

This report covers:

  • LP2 valve weak?
  • Differences between the LP2 and LP3
  • Velocity
  • RWS Hobby
  • Gamo Match
  • H&N Finale Match Light
  • Trigger
  • Pumping effort
  • LP3 velocity
  • Accuracy
  • Summary

As you learned in Part 1, my new/old Walther LP2 target pistol did not work when I got it. So I sent it to Scott Pilkington for repairs. Scott had to disassemble it first to see what it needed and then order the parts. I received the pistol back this Wednesday and it is now working fine — thanks, Scott!

LP2 valve weak?

I have always heard that the LP2 has a weak valve that’s subject to failure. It was apparently corrected when the LP3 came out. Whether that is true or not I can’t say, because this is the first working LP2 I have seen and handled. I have owned two LP3s in the past. The first was the model that had the full target grips and the second one had the sporter grips that look like the grips on this LP2. I have seen several LP2s at airgun shows but they were always non-functional.

Differences between the LP2 and LP3

I mentioned in Part One that the LP3 replaced the LP2. John McCaslin loaned me his LP3 for comparison. Now let’s look at some of the differences.

LP2 and 3
LP2 above and LP3 below. The 3 has the optional target grips.

valve access
Not only was the valve changed in the LP3, the method of access was, too. LP2 above and 3 below.

barrel profile
The barrel profile changed, as well. LP2 on the left. The LP3 round barrel is less expensive to profile.

Velocity

This is velocity day, so let’s get started. I know the LP2 powerplant is weak, so I will shoot lighter pellets and also no lead-free pellets, as they can stick in the bore of a weaker airgun.

RWS Hobby

The first pellet I tried was the 7-grain RWS Hobby wadcutter. Four of the first 5 shots were in the 330 f.p.s. range, with one going out at 290. That was on the low side of what I expected. But the Hobby pellet has a large skirt and I wondered whether that was slowing the pellet. So the next 10 shots were all seated deep with a ballpoint pen.

Hobby deep
A ballpoint pen seated each Hobby pellet about a quarter-inch into the breech.

When I did that the velocity increased by over 20 f.p.s. The average of 10 deep-seated Hobbys was 354 f.p.s. The low was 342 and the high was 364 f.,p.s. That’s a spread of 22 f.p.s. I know it’s not very fast, but it’s about what I expected from this pistol. It’s in the Daisy 777 range and perfectly acceptable.

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Gamo Match

Gamo Match wadcutters weigh 7.56 grains. Ten of them were seated deep and averaged 336 f.p.s. with a low of 325 and a high of 350 The spread was 25 f.p.s. 

Sometimes Gamo Match pellets are surprisingly accurate and I hope this is one of the times. I did note while deep-seating them that that their skirts are smaller and they fit in the breech easier than the Hobbys.

H&N Finale Match Light

The last pellet I tested was the 7.87-grain H&N Finale Match Light wadcutter. They fit the breech about the same as the Gamo Match and I deep-seated them with a ballpoint pen as well. 

Ten pellets averaged 339 f.p.s. with a spread from 318 to 350 f.p.s. — a difference of 32 f.p.s. Eliminate that one slow pellet and the other 9 stayed in 11 f.p.s. (339-350 f.p.s.).

Trigger

The LP2 trigger is adjustable for letoff weight (the point at which the pistol fires), length of first stage, weight of first stage and overtravel. In all it’s a dandy trigger that was probably world-class in its day.

On the pistol I’m testing I lightened the trigger pull until stage two broke at exactly 1 pound.  It’s as crisp as a glass rod breaking, so even though it’s too light for competition, I’m leaving it where it is.

Pumping effort

The Walther LP-series pistols have always pumped hard — or at least that’s what I always thought. But when I measured the pumping effort for this one on my bathroom scale I was shocked. This one takes just 15 lbs. of effort to pump. I would have thought it was over 30 pounds. I guess the difficulty is because of the short pump lever.

LP3 velocity

Just for fun I also shot 10 RWS Hobby pellets with the LP3. I will show you the whole string because of what happened.

Shot………Vel.
1………….342
2………….340
3………….344
5………….351
6………….394 — WHAT?
7………….391
8………….395
9………….387
10………..349

I guess the piston seal needed to warm up. Or something. This is the hottest LP3 I have even seen.

Accuracy

No, this is not accuracy day. But there is something to see.

The pistol I bought came in the original serial-numbered box with two original owner’s manuals — one in English and the other in German. The one in German has a test target that shows what to expect and it’s serial-numbered to the gun, as well. I measure that group at 0.145-inches between centers.

test group
The test group that came with my LP2 measures 0.145-inches between centers.

Summary

Of course we still have to test this pistol for accuracy, so it remains to be seen what old BB can do with it.