Michael’s Walther LGV: Part 2
Reader Michael’s Walther LGV.
This report covers:
- The test
- Pondered a long time
- Today’s work
- The mainspring was lubricated
- Tune in a Tube
- The secret
- Button up the rifle
- First shot
- The cost
- Message to Michael
Wow! Do I have a report for you today. Unfortunately you can only read the numbers and not feel the rifle when it fires. If things were reversed you would be the ones saying wow.
In Part One you learned all about reader Michael’s Walther LGV. When he got it it squeaked every time it was cocked. So he returned it to Umarex USA for servicing and they put on a good tune that eliminated the squeaking problem. They also either adjusted the trigger, or it came that way — Michael will have to tell us — and then sent it back with a note. I want you to read the note, because it means everything to this report.
Michael shared the note with us in his comments to Part 1. I enlarged it and printed it here for you to read.
The note that came back with Michael’s LGV.
Well, I’ll telling you today that note is incorrect. I have shot 26 foot-pound air rifles that didn’t vibrate. It’s all a matter of the tune. Umarex did several things exactly right, but on one account they missed it, and today I will tell you what can be done when you have the same problem.
Pondered a long time
Before I set my hand to the work I spent a long time thinking about what should be done. I have tuned spring-piston air rifles in this blog and have used every trick in the book to quiet them. Perhaps the one where I did the most was Johnny Hill’s Diana 45 that was a real buzzer. It was nowhere near as bad as this one, but until I saw this rifle I didn’t know they ever got this bad! To see what I did read Part 6 of that 10-part report. I buttoned the piston, made a new tighter mainspring guide and lubricated the heck out of the moving parts. And with all that that rifle went from being a buzzer to smooth.
All I did today was remove the barreled action from the stock. That exposed the cocking slot which was what I needed access to. To remove the action I removed two stock screws from the forearm and two screws from the area of the triggerguard. I say “the area of the triggerguard” because this triggerguard is one piece with the stock. The rear screw is behind the guard, and it also has to be removed to separate the action from the stock.
Two Allen screws in the forearm and two at the triggerguard.
The mainspring was lubricated
Once the stock was off I could look through the cocking slot and see that whoever tuned this rifle did put moly grease on the mainspring. For a gun with a tight powerplant this would probably enough, but this LGV isn’t such a rifle.
The LGV mainspring is lubricated with moly grease.
The moly was a good job, and under other circumstances it would be fine. But this rifle is the poster child for buzzy spring guns! It was time for my secret, which isn’t a secret at all.
Tune in a Tube
About seven years ago Gene Salvino who worked at Pyramyd Air at the time told me about Almagard 3752 sticky red grease. He said he was getting results with it on every spring gun he touched. I listened to be polite, but then life took over and I promptly forgot what he told me.
Then I saw something online called Tune in a Tube and I called Gene to ask whether the stuff was any good. He said it was great and he thought he had already told me about Almagard 3752 grease. Well, he had, but Tune in a Tube came in an applicator that assisted in greasing the deep internals of a spring gun. I bought one, tried it and became the product’s biggest fan. And as you guys know I tune a lot of spring guns, so I went through the first tube quickly.
Tune in a Tube really works!
Then I bought a 14-ounce grease gun cartridge and refilled the TIAT applicator from that many times. But that applicator is not made to last and finally it gave up the ghost. After that I resorted to either disassembling the guns and applying it directly to the mainsprings or I used cotton swabs to insert it through the cocking slots. And I have been doing this for several years.
However, applying TIAT this way is sloppy. I wanted something better. And that is my secret for you today.
And now for my secret tool. It’s a grease gun with a short hose that ends in a sharp applicator needle. Michael’s LGV is the first time I have used it this way. My original grease cartridge was almost used up, but there was enough for this one job.
This was the first use of the grease gun with needle applicator.
The grease gun needle applicator puts TIAT deep into the places you want.
Two of us were involved. My neighbor, Denny, was over so he moved the applicator needle along the mainspring and I pumped the grease. One person could do it with no problem. We were very thorough because this rifle vibrates so much! The applicator needle allowed us to get grease on both side of the spring, as well as all the way inside.
I have never seen a rifle that vibrates as much as this LGV and I wondered if TIAT was up to the task. If not I would have to take the powerplant apart and possibly make some new parts.
Button up the rifle
After the application I put the barreled action back into the stock and the job was done. All that remained was to test it.
I did this work in my garage, so I was there with a bullet trap. I got some H&N Field Target Trophy pellets because I wanted some weight in the pellet when I shot it the first time. When I fired the rifle it went “thuck.” Huh?
This rifle went from being the worst-vibrating spring-piston rifle I have ever seen to one of the smoothest air rifles I have ever shot!
Remember I told you that now that the trigger on the HW 30S I am testing is adjusted properly the gun seems to fire more harshly? Well, that wasn’t the whole story. This LGV is another reason why I feel the HW 30S is a little harsh. Because this one is now so SMOOOOOOTH! That’s right, Michael, your LGV is now much smoother than an out-of-the-box HW 30S. Think about that!
In fact, this LGV is even smoother than my TX200 Mark III. It is just as smooth as my HW 85 (which is a version of the Beeman R10) that was tuned by reader David Enoch’s brother. He essentially did all the things to that rifle that I did to the Diana 45, so you’re talking about a tune that would cost many hundreds of dollars — if you could find anyone to do it. Except I did it on this LGV in 15 minutes with about 50 cents worth of grease.
I shot the rifle again and again and simply could not believe that it was as smooth as it is. Even with lightweight pellets it just goes “thuck.” Not even “thunk” which would be a tiny bit of vibration. The rifle no longer lunges forward, either. It just sits in the hand and pulses when it fires.
Michael and I agreed when this project began that a smooth-shooting air rifle was the goal. To heck with what the chronograph says. Now it was time to test it to find out.
Seven-grain RWS Basic pellets that averaged 945 f.p.s. before the TIAT and had a 16 f.p.s. velocity spread now averaged 811 f.p.s, with a 35 f.p.s. spread. Wow! I had thought a drop of perhaps 40 f.p.s. was a lot, but this pellet has shed 134 f.p.s. No need to point out that is a lot!
The muzzle energy was 13.88 foot-pounds. It is now 10.23 foot pounds. That’s a big change.
RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle pellets that weigh 8.2 grains previously averaged 882 f.p.s. with a 14 F.P.S spread. After the application of TIAT they average 730 f.p.s. with a velocity spread of 26 f.p.s. That is a 152 f.p.s velocity drop.
The muzzle energy was 14.17 foot pounds. It is now 9.71 foot-pounds. Cowabunga!
JSB Exact Heavy domes weigh 10.34 grains. Previously they averaged 755 f.p.s. with a spread of 15 f.p.s. Now they average 646 f.p.s. with a 9 f.p.s. spread.
Previouslyhe muzzle energy was 13.09 foot-pounds. It is now 9.58 foot pounds
I see the velocity spread is tightening up. What I think is happening is the TIAT is spreading around inside the spring tube as it is shot. The more the rifle is shot the faster it will shoot and the tighter the velocity spread will become.
But the way the rifle shoots right now has to be experienced to be appreciated. So, before you guys start telling me what has to be done, I’m sending this rifle back to Michael as it is to let him decide. If it were my rifle I would leave it exactly this way and just shoot it. But if he decides he does want more velocity he can send it back and I will take it apart to remove the TIAT. Then I’ll apply it in smaller stages until I have it shooting smooth again.
I have learned a couple valuable lessons in this short series. First, no matter how bad a spring gun vibrates, TIAT can always fix it. And second, if a lot of TIAT is used, the velocity will decrease by a lot. That’s two things I didn’t know before.
Should Umarex USA do this? Probably not. Many of their customers open a returned airgun box and run to the chronograph to see whether they should like what has been done. But if they are discerning shooters, there might be a small subset that like this performance at lot! It’s a tough call for a commercial venture.
Message to Michael
When you get your rifle back, put it together and shoot it with any pellet you like. After you see what I’m talking about I think you’ll want to explore this rifle a little before making up your mind what to do. I think this is exactly what you wanted from the beginning. I won’t say that your LGV is as smooth as your Winchester 427, but it’s pretty close. And that nice trigger makes it an airgun you want to shoot a lot.
If you then want to send it back to me I will do what I discussed above and we’ll see what can be done.