Walther LP2 target pistol: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Walther LP2 left
Walther LP2 single stroke pneumatic target pistol.

History of airguns

This report covers:

History
LP3
Pumping an LP2
Lookalike
What the LP2 was
Next

Today we start looking at a Walther LP2 single-stroke pneumatic target pistol. I recently acquired one for a reasonable price, but when it arrived it did not pump. That is the bane of the LP2 โ€” their valves were not robust and they tend not to work.

History

The LP2 was Walther’s first commercial success with a single stroke target pistol. It was produced from 1967 through 1972. Was there ever an LP1? There might have been, but if there was it didn’t last long enough to be officially recognized or to enter the market.

LP3

The LP2 was replaced in 1973 by the LP 3 that remained in the Walther lineup until 1985. The two pistols look quite similar, but as mentioned there were improvements made to the valve.

Walther LP3
The Walther LP3 looks much like the LP2, but has significant improvements to the valve. Speaking of the valve, let’s look at a single stroke pneumatic valve now.

SSP valve
This drawing shows why only a single pump of air can be put into an SSP gun. The moment the pump piston seal clears the air inlet hole on the second pump, all the compressed air from the first pump is lost through the hole.

Pumping an LP2

To pump the pistol, a lever is pulled down and back. It withdraws the piston and cocks the action at the end of the stroke.

LP2 pump lever back
The pump lever has been drawn down and back to cock the action and prepare to pump the pistol. The barrel is broken open, though it doesn’t do so when the pistol is pumped. A lever underneath at the rear is pushed up to open it.

Lookalike

The LP 2 and 3 pistols are copies of Walther’s famed Olympia target pistols from the 1920s. They were rimfire target pistols that competed in the Olympics.

Walther Olympia
The Walther Olympia target pistol is the basis for the LP2 and LP3 air pistols.

What the LP2 was

The LP2 was a very accurate air pistol with good ergonomics for the time, It had a good trigger  and decent power for a target arm. Don’t compare it to target airguns of today. Compare it to other air pistols that are not as precise, well-made and accurate.

What the LP2 was not

The LP2 was the first of many single-stroke pneumatic target pistols that probably culminated in the FWB 103 and the IZH46M. The FWB is a world-class target pistol and the IZH 46M has many of those aspects, though they are not as refined. The Walther LP2 is far from such refinement. It has a good trigger, not a great one. It is reasonably accurate, not world class. Its ergonomics are primitive by today’s standards.

The LP2 was an important step on the path to world class target pistols, just as the Model A Ford was an important step up from the ubiquitous Model T. But no one would compare a Model A to an automobile of today. That is how the LP2 should be viewed.

Next

If Scott Pilkington can revive my LP2 I will conduct a traditional set of tests and make their reports for you. If not I know of another LP2 in working condition I can borrow. Stay tuned!

88 thoughts on “Walther LP2 target pistol: Part 1



  1. Hi folks…

    I’ve been shooting the Weihrauch HW75 a lot more. It should now have a few hundred shots on it.

    The trigger has improved already. I have actually set it to 500g since this is almost a 10 meter pistol. Then I adjusted the second stage to my liking. It feels great now.

    I have also gotten used to the grip which I like a lot.

    Cocking still feels harder than the HW45… Maybe it’ll break in some more.

    I currently have a red dot sight installed in order to test the accuracy. I shot the group you see here two-handed with the grip rested on a bag. I think it’s pretty impressive given that I used RWS Club pellets which cost less than a cent a piece.

    I’m sure a better shot could get even better results.

    You can probably tell that I like this pistol a *lot*.

    Kind regards,
    Stephan



  2. BB
    If anyone can do up your pistol it would be Scott.

    When I first got my FWB 300 I had some conversations with him about the 300. He had a lot of good info about the guns and was very quick to respond to getting some parts to me. They was used but he basically gave them to me. It probably cost him more to ship them to me than what he charged me for them.



  3. BB,

    I guess that is why it was reasonably priced. Bugga. Scott should be able to bring it back to life. It would be nice to have one of the FWB 100 series air pistols, as they are pretty much the pinnacle. One is supposed to be willed to me, but I really do hope it is at least 30 more years before it comes my way. I guess I just have a soft spot for these old gals.



  4. BB,

    These are great shooters . Pilk is a good choice to reseal this . I believe on some of the older pistols they had a molded on seal and the piston might have to be replaced to allow the new type seal to be installed . JG Airguns has the piston seal .
    Gene Salvino



  5. BB,
    What a beautiful pistol!!! While it does look like the Olympia target pistol, I can’t help but also thinking of some Colt and even a little High Standard rimfires. With airguns, I think of my Daisy 200’s. Love it! I wish there were even more single stroke pistols (and rifles!). I also wish some were a tad more powerful. Not talking about a lot, say maybe 450 fps for a pistol and 550 for a rifle.

    Doc


    • Doc,

      See if you can find one of the FWB 100 series 10 meter SSP pistols, they are awesome shooters when tuned to 494 fps. And the FWB 600 series 10 meter SSP rifles are incredible as well; my FWB 603 is shooting at 565 fps.

      Both those airguns are ultra precise (capable of .040″ groups at 10 meters), extremely well made with superb triggers.

      Hank



        • Doc,

          Hank is spot on. Those 600 series air rifles are awesome accurate. Carel is the dude to contact either of those FWB airguns. Right now he has a couple of the pistols for sale.


          • I have a 602 that was factory detuned to just under 500fps so it didn’t require a firearms license in Canada – apparently there were some ordered that way for a youth shooting program that wanted to avoid the extra work that rifles requiring a license would present. It is extremely accurate and really pleasant to shoot.



    • Geo
      I don’t know why but it still feels like it happened yesterday.

      Another crazy terrible day in time. Just think of all those people that it affected back then and they will be reminded every year for the rest of their life. Sad.


  6. For anyone interested in the Air Venturi Avenger airgun, here is a YouTube video by Air Velocity Sport. He completely disassembles it and makes some modifications. I found the tear down interesting. He makes some comparisons of the Avenger to the ATI Nova Liberty as well. The video is an hour and seventeen minutes.
    “Air Venturi Avenger 25 – Review/Tear Down/ Mods/100 Yards with AVS .254 Slugs”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHhMJxPzwq4
    Geo


    • Geo,

      I was watching that earlier today. He knows the Nova Liberty inside and out. The Avenger is based on it and comes from the same factory. The UX Origin is also a descendent of the Liberty and comes from the same place. Some of the Chinese are finally figuring out how to make a decent airgun.



      • The tear down was quite interesting. He praised some of the design, but there were some areas that he was not impressed with too. Seemed like there were plastic in parts that should have been metal. For the price point, there probably had to be some compromise on materials. It kind of shows the difference between a quality gun like Air Arms, or Daystate, and these entry level guns.
        Geo.


        • Geo,

          Even some of the “top enders” have gone over to plastic parts. The HW110 series of air rifles has a plastic receiver block. I may be mistaken, but I think the HW44 is also.

          Like yourself, I could do with less plastic. Quite a few of the old gals around here are machined steel and walnut. One of them is using a bronze ring for a piston seal.


  7. About BB’s airgun design challenge… Some improvements on the original boiler idea…
    How about a 12 gram steel alloy miniature boiler built in the air rifle – just like CO2 guns, but there is a little build-in boiler instead of a removable cartridge โ€“ after a lot of alterations and modifications, considering there would be water and steam involved? The rifle will have a pump lever like the Avanti 753S has. The pump will vacuum air from the boiler โ€“ a single shot design. Here is how it may possibly work – in theory:
    The water can be boiled by vacuuming the air in the boiler. Before every shot, the air gunner fills the little boiler halfway with water and then uses the pump on the rifle to vacuum the air in the boiler. Water can be boiled without heating by increasing the pressure on the surface of water inside a closed insulated vessel. By doing so, the boiling point of water can be decreased to room temperature. After quickly removing enough air from the steel alloy boiler, the boiling temperature will fall below the water temperature and boiling will begin without heating. When enough steam is produced – or in other words, when the steam produces enough pressure in the boiler -, the shooter gently pulls the trigger, and the trigger sprays enough steam into the barrel to propel a BB or a pellet. Just add some water into the rifle and pump the lever a few times / even single stroke could do the job, who knows…
    Still, I donโ€™t think this can be safely built, so donโ€™t try this at home.


  8. Steam,

    Once the steam starts to build pressure. The temperature to boil goes up. You will need a heat source. My thermodynamics class was back in the stone age but I think you will need heat. Think about a pressure cooker.

    CO2 boils at room temperature. One of our previous members Reb was working on a dry ice gun. We lost track of him and I hope it had nothing to do with dry ice.

    Don


  9. How about a fully automatic BB gun powered by a Scottish bagpipe? The Great Highland bagpipe could be a continues air power source. You can even shoot and make some warning noise at the same time – can’t get any safer than that!



    • The popgun one reminded me of a Patrick McManus story about how he and friend started homebrewing black powder guns when they were kids and never got the firing mechanism down right. As he said anything between a second and a few minutes could elapse between triggering one of their creations and it actually firing so if they ever wanted to hunt with one they would have to squeeze the trigger and hope something came along before it fired.


  10. Although it’s the subject of “ideas” blog I now can’t resist saying that I would love to see the original Girandoni back in production with today’s standards. AirForce Condors and Evanix Rex are good platforms but they didn’t make the next step to have a magazine, not to mention the looks. Maybe we need to go back to the past in order to see the future.


  11. How about an auto BB airgun on a bicycle?
    The BB gun is attached to the handlebar aiming forward. There is a pump that pumps air into the barrel and activates the auto shooting mechanism. There is a clutch on the hub of the front wheel. The clutch connects the front wheel hub with a gear that has a chain that goes to the pump with a faster gear.
    When the rider squeezes the clutch lever on the handle bar, the clutch engages and the chain activates the pump – The pump then auto fires the BB gun. The bike has to be riden at a certain speed for the airgun to function. The FPS and BB per second are proportional to the speed.
    Don’t try this at home.


    • Steam,

      In my youth (another lifetime) I was the proprietor of six years of a kid-powered 6.5 mile rural paper route. Big ol’ basket on the front of my gas-tube single speed Columbia bike. I could get moving fairly rapidly but I can’t think that repeatable accuracy could be achieved. Gives new meaning to the phrase, “Spray n’ pray.”

      Dan



  12. I must admit to having developed a liking for the simplicity of the SSP. I’ve so far accumulated a Weihrauch HW40, Gamo Compact and recently an early Webley Alecto. All of them are way more accurate than me!


  13. Well I have been looking for a 54 Air King. Still no luck on anything new. I wonder if Umarex stopped importing them or if Diana or RWS eliminated them from their lineup.

    I did find a nice used one for a good price though. It should be here next week. It’s even a .177 caliber which is good. I have decided to go away from .22 caliber. I still have a bunch of .177 guns and my .25 caliber Condor SS.

    Oh and I still have my Air Ordinance .22 caliber automatic SMG. But its getting fed the cheap Crosman Premier Hollow points. Why because it’s fun to shoot and I go through 50 pellets every time I pick it up and shoot it.

    Oh and no I don’t have the very very accurate .22 barrel that came of my Maximus which is now also .177 caliber. My buddy bought the barrel for a good price. I guess that’s what happens when you know a barrel is accurate and you want it. He’s happy.

    Just figured I would give a update about my direction switch.


    • GF1,

      I found several new ones for sale. It sounds as though you have done better with a used one anyway.

      Once you have played with it a while, you may want to contact Hector Medina. This is his favorite air rifle and he uses them for FT and WFT competition.

      I doubt very seriously that Diana is going to drop what is probably one of their flagships.


      • RR
        I think that to about the 54 and Diana. But supposedly it’s the “New Diana” now. Maybe they are dropping it now?

        And yep I know Hector likes the 54’s. I have read some things he has talked about with the field target stuff.


  14. I thought I would give a little more information on using a standard shop air compressor to power an airgun. Previously I used a piece of hose to connect the barrel to the blow gun trigger. Today I made a brass probe to deep seat the pellet and seal to the barrel past the existing transfer port hole in the barrel. This made it easy to load and shoot. Not sure where this is headed but it may give others some ideas.

    Here is a picture:

    Don


    • Here is a target with a 10 shot group at 4 yards. I put the barrel in a vice. The laser sight is right on. The vertical group is mostly from how fast I can close the handle and open the valve in the blow gun.


    • Don

      I use something similar for yellow jackets. The air cleaning nozzle, and a piece of 1/2″ pvc loaded with a teaspoon of sevin dust.
      Put the end of the pvc against the hole where the yj’s live and pull the trigger.

      tt


      • tt,

        That sounds way better than what my dad was doing one day. I went over to his house and he was in the yard with the vacuum cleaner sucking yellow jackets up as they came out of their hole. I ask him if he had been stung. He said just a couple of times. I like your idea better.

        That reminds me of a rancher I know that bought a gun to fill ground squirrel holes with propane and oxygen. He and his wife were out in the alfalfa field one day I was near there and kept hearing a boom every once in a while. They were some where near 90 years old both of them.

        They had a 100 gallon propane tank rolling around in the back of their flatbed when I pulled up. I could hear propane leaking from the fittings on the hose. I told them to hold up a minute while I got a wrench to tighten the hose fittings. While I was tightening the hose they explained to me what they were doing so I stayed around to watch. I don’t know if they got any squirrels but they sure were having a good time. If I remember correctly they would shoot propane and oxygen in the hole and then tamp dirt around the end of the gun in the hole. There was an igniter on the end of the gun that would set off the explosion.

        I don’t know how they didn’t blow themselves up but they had a ball.

        Don



        • Don

          A shop vac works pretty good for picking gnats off the ceiling, but it takes a while to get a bunch of them . For good measure, I let them swirl around in the vac for a while.
          Giving them a good muzzle blast of co2 or air gets them too.
          Got a big spider one day with a co2 revolver. The whole front of the revolver was splattered with spider guts.

          tt




    • Steam,

      The rollers allow a longer draw than usual by giving the rubber more distance to be stretched. This allows more power but in open air (unlike underwater) the lifespan of the bands are shortened due to the additional friction from the rollers. Above the water these slingshots are called starships if I recall correctly (due to the silhouettes being similar to NCC 1701 Enterprise). This would allow the Quackenbush Lightning to probably propel the BB at faster velocity until it reaches the limit of rubber bands.

      Siraniko


      • Well, such an ultra long spring airgun is not realistic anyhow, but at least, a long gun version of the Sharpshooter rubber band catapult guns’ design that can throw bigger ammo than the BBs might be reasonable. It’ll work just like the Sharpshooter rubber band catapult gun, but bigger, longer / with buttstock and etc…, more powerful, using booster rubbers instead of rubber bands, more sturdy and still somehow accurate in longer ranges. Pretty much a Big bore long gun version of the Sharpshooter rubber band catapult guns developed around a roller speargun. Something like this, but more powerful thanks to the booster rubber pushers.
        https://www.pyramydair.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/01-25-16-03-Hodges-catapult-gun.jpg
        I think BB gave us a ~6000 year old challenge. What ever we would come up with, I bet somebody has already thought of it. At this point I guess we need new technologies, such as using nano technology on pellets somehow or what not – some kind of game changing development…


  15. I find my Walther LP3 a good work out. I don’t think that I have ever shot more than 20 times in one session. Despite the cocking effort, I still think it is a cool air pistol.



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