The AV-46M Single Stroke Pneumatic Match Air Pistol: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

AV 46-M
The AV-46M target air pistol is a reincarnation of the IZH 46M for the American market.

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • The test
  • Sights
  • Sight-in
  • Shot a lot!
  • RWS R10 Match Pistol
  • Air Arms Falcons
  • New method of resting the pistol
  • Qiang Yuan Training pellets
  • RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle
  • Vogel
  • The trigger
  • Other pellets
  • Summary

It’s accuracy day for the Air Venturi 46M single stroke pneumatic target pistol. A day I think that will be the first of several.

The test

I shot off a rest from 10 meters. I started with the gun rested directly on the bag and held with two hands, but during the test I discovered a better way to hold the pistol. I will describe it when we get to it.

I shot 5-shot groups so I could test more pellets. That turned out to be a good idea with all the shooting I did.

Sights

I said in Part 2 that I would be changing the sights for this test, but when the pistol was extended far from my eyes the sights it came with are sized correctly. I will say, though, that the screws that hold the rear sight blade to the unit are left-hand threads — just like those on the IZH-46M.

Sight-in

The pistol was shooting high and to the right when I started. I adjusted the rear sight as far to the left as it would go, but the pellets still hit the bull too far to the right. However, these pistols have a number of secondary adjustments, so I stopped to examine the pistol.

It appeared that the front sight might have been installed one or two degrees to the left of center. I say it appeared that way, because it was not obvious. There is a single slotted screw under the front sight. Loosen it and rotate the sight unit in the desired direction. I rotated the sight ever-so-slightly to the right (front sight moves in the reverse of how you want the pellet to move) and tightened the screw. I could not detect the difference in angle visually, but the problem was solved.

46M front sight
Loosen that screw under the front sight assembly to move the sight blade.

As I shot the pellets today I didn’t worry about centering them on the bull. That will come later, when an accurate pellet has been selected.

Shot a lot!

I shot many more groups than I’m going to show you here. Some had called pulls that I will explain as we go, and others were just not the right pellets for this pistol. It took me the entire test to discover that this pistol probably wants to shoot a 4.49 mm or a 4.50 mm wadcutter. I’m not certain of that, but the results seem to indicate it. That’s more of a note to me than to you, but owners will want to pay attention.

As a result of shooting so much today (60-70 shots) I got tired. Toward the end of the test when I discovered the best hold, I was no longer shooting at my best.

RWS R10 Match Pistol

The first group I will show is one I shot with RWS R10 Match Pistol wadcutters. Five pellets landed in 0.605-inches at 10 meters with 4 of them in 0.326-inches. That turns out to be a theme in today’s test — three or 4 pellets in a nice tight group with one or two that went wide.

46M R10 group
Five RWS R10 Pistol pellets went into 0.605-inches at 10 meters, with four in 0.326-inches.

Air Arms Falcons

The only domed pellet I tried today was the Air Arms Falcon. The AV-46M put five of them in 0.455-inches at 10 meters.

46M Falcon group
Five Air Arms Falcon pellets went into 0.455-inches at 10 meters. The group looks smaller than it is because it was shot with domed pellets.

New method of resting the pistol

At this time in the test I tried a new method of resting the pistol. I had been holding it with two hands as it rested on the sandbag, but now I stretched out my shooting hand and just used that with the pistol still resting on the bag. That put the sights farther from my eyes which gave a sharper sight picture. The pistol was dead steady on the bag. I used this hold for the remainder of the test.

Qiang Yuan Training pellets

Sometimes this Qiang Yuan Training pellet does very well and this is one such time. I shot five into 0.679-inches, but the lone pellet on the left was a called pull. Now let me explain what I mean by that. When the trigger is as nice as the one on this pistol, you aren’t going to pull it by mistake. The “pull” in this case was that the gun fired when I could see slightly more light on the right side of the front post than on the left side. I didn’t want to fire at that moment, but the trigger was ready to go. That happens during matches all the time and the trick is to prevent it from happening to the best of your ability.

The other 4 pellets landed in a group that measures 0.285-inches between centers. This is a pellet to watch!

46M Chinese training group
Five Qiang Yuan Training pellets went into 0.679-inches at 10 meters, with four in 0.285-inches.

RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle

Next to be tried were RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle pellets. Once again four landed in a tight group and a fifth hit outside — this time lower. Four are in 0.381-inches and five are in 0.647-inches. This was not a called pull.

46M Meisterkugeln Rifle group
Five RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle pellets went into 0.679-inches at 10 meters, with four in 0.381-inches

Vogel

The last pellet I will show you is the Vogel target pellet with a 4.50 mm head. Five went into 0.65-inches, which isn’t that great compared to the other pellets — but three of the pellets are in 0.20-inches. That’s trime territory! I tested this pellet twice and got the same three-shot group inside of 5 shots. That told me that this is a pellet to consider and also that I was tiring out.

46M Vogel group
Five Vogel target pellets went into 0.65-inches at 10 meters with 3 in 0.20-inches.

The trigger

The trigger on an airgun is revealed during accuracy testing, and the one on the pistol I’m testing is gorgeous! There is no creep in stage two — something every IZH-46 I’ve ever shot cannot say. It also adjusts easily and stays where it is put. This is a trigger to admire.

Other pellets

Other pellets I tested but have not shown in this report are JSB Match S100 with 4.52 mm heads, H&N Finale Match Heavy with 4.50 mm heads and H&N Match Green with 4.50 mm heads. Their groups were just too large to consider.

Summary

I’m not done testing this pistol. I shot it so much today that I got tired and didn’t give the pistol a good chance to shine, once I figured out how best to hold it.


The AV-46M Single Stroke Pneumatic Match Air Pistol: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

AV-46M lever open
The AV-46M target air pistol is a reincarnation of the IZH 46M for the American market. It is the easiest-cocking single stroke pneumatic around.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • The test
  • RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle
  • Air Arms Falcon
  • RWS R10 Match Pistol
  • H&N Match Green
  • Surprise!
  • RWS R10 pistol with boosted pumps
  • Pump effort
  • Trigger pull
  • Summary

Today we look at the velocity of the new Air Venturi 46M target air pistol. There is a LOT of interest in this pistol and I must tell you that when the initial stock of pistols is gone you’ll have to wait until late March to get one. Russia is a long way away from Cleveland.

The test

I’m going to jump right into the velocity test because there is something special I want to do after that. Oh, and by the way — let’s remember that this is a 10-meter target pistol. It isn’t a magnum airgun made to shoot heavy pellets, and there is no convenient way to soup it up. This isn’t a sporting air pistol; it’s a target pistol.

RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle

I’ll start with RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle pellets. They are a wadcutter target pellet, but at 8.2 grains they are really too heavy for this pistol. However, they will work, and, because the AV-46M is so powerful, they work better than I expected. Ten pellets averaged 449 f.p.s. The spread went from 435 to 461 f.p.s. — a difference of 26 f.p.s. At the average velocity this pellet generates 3.67 foot-pounds at the muzzle.

Air Arms Falcon

Next up was the 7.33-grain Falcon pellet from Air Arms. Ten of them averaged 489 f.p.s. Right there the pistol has exceeded it’s advertised velocity of 480 f.p.s. At the average velocity this pellet generates 3.89 foot-pounds at the muzzle.

The interesting thing was this pellet only varied by 6 f.p.s. — from 487 to 493 f.p.s. That’s very stable!

RWS R10 Match Pistol

The next pellet I tested was the 7-grain RWS R10 Match pistol pellet. It was the first pellet I tested that it suited to this target pistol. They averaged 501 f.p.s. for 10 shots and I apologize to our Canadian readers, and especially to Hawkeye, who cannot own air pistols that shoot faster than 500 f.p.s. without registering them! The low was 497 and the high was 505 f.p.s. — a difference of 8 f.p.s. At the average velocity this pellet generates 3.90 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle.

H&N Match Green

Hopefully the Royal Canadian Mounted Police don’t test airguns with the H&N Match Green pellet, because at 5.25-grains, it will always be very fast. In the 46-M they averaged 532 f.p.s. with a 9 f.p.s spread from 529 to 538 f.p.s.

Surprise!

Well, all that testing was done by just shooting the pistol in the way anyone would. Now I did something special and I was surprised when I mentioned it in Part One that some of you didn’t know what it is. I have written about this little trick dozens of times in this blog, as well as showing it on the American Airguns television show back in 2010.

To boost velocity in a single-stroke pneumatic, pump the lever almost all the way, but not quite, several times. Then complete the pump stroke. The partial pumps expand the pump cup, warming it and making it more flexible. On the final pump the cup seals as well as it possible can and the velocity goes up as high as it can go. On TV I boosted a standard IZH 46 from 425 to about 460 f.p.s. this way. Let’s now see what I did with the AV-46M.

RWS R10 pistol with boosted pumps

What I did for each shot that follows was make 4 partial pump strokes that were almost complete. Then I pumped stroke number five all the way. That flexed the pump cup and made it seal better.

This time the R10 Pistol pellet that averaged 501 f.p.s. before this technique now averaged 523 f.p.s. The low was 517 and the high was 531, so a difference of 14 f.p.s. Let’s call this technique a 20 f.p.s. boost. Is it worth the extra effort? Not when the pistol is new and functioning perfectly. But when an SSP gets older and the pump cup gets hard, this trick can make an old pistol shoot like new again.

Pump effort

On my bathroom scale the test pistol took 22 lbs. of effort to close the pump lever. The secret to keeping the pump force as low as possible it to not “horse” the lever. Let it close smoothly, without rushing things.

Trigger pull

In Part One I adjusted the trigger of the test pistol from 310 grams to 524 grams, to meet the 500-gram minimum required for a match — not that I’m ever going to shoot in a match again. Today I tested the trigger and stage two broke at 526 grams, so it’s holding right where I adjusted it! Not only is that a testament to the refinement of this trigger, it also shows that the AV-46M trigger adjusts perfectly. I never had an IZH trigger adjust this well.

Summary

This pistol is testing out better than advertised. I love the trigger on the test pistol, and, if this was my pistol to do with as I wish, I would be sculpting these beautiful target grips to fit my hand.

My plan is to install a different rear sight blade to get the sight picture I prefer before I shoot the pistol for accuracy. And for the record, Tyler Patner tells me that the screws on the rear sight blade are left-hand threads, just like the IZH sight. That should keep you from twisting them off as you try to exchange sight blades.

I hope Alfa Precision makes as good a barrel as they claim. I can’t wait to see the accuracy!


Walther LP2 target pistol: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Walther LP2 left
Walther LP2 single stroke pneumatic target pistol.

Part 1
Part 2

History of airguns

This report covers:

  • The test
  • H&N Finale Match Light
  • Adjusted the rear sight
  • Second Finale Match Light group
  • The trigger
  • Gamo Match
  • H&N Match Green
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
  • RWS R10 Match Pistol
  • Discussion
  • Summary

Today  we look at the accuracy of the Walther LP2 single-stroke-pneumatic air pistol. We saw the test group that came with the pistol in Part 2. It’s serial-numbered to this pistol, so we have a good point of comparison.

You will remember that this pistol was resealed by Scott Pilkington for the velocity test in Part 2. With lightweight target pellets the pistol averages 330-350 f.p.s. That’s not blistering, but a 10-meter pistol doesn’t need to be. What it does need is a good trigger, good sights and a good ergonomic set of grips. Let’s see what this LP2 has.

The test

I shot off a sandbag rest from 10 meters with the butt of the pistol rested on the bag. Because the LP2 is pneumatic there isn’t any recoil to speak of, so a bag rest works well. I decided to shoot five-shot groups today so I can shoot more pellets. That’s my normal approach when a target gun is being tested. Also you have to remember that the LP2 needs to be pumped for every shot, so it’s a little work to shoot.

I deep-seated all pellets used in today’s test with a ballpoint pen. The seating depths differed slightly from the differing thicknesses of the pellet skirts.

H&N Finale Match Light

First I tried five H&N Finale Match Light pellets. The gun was cold when I started (room temperature, but not shot recently), so I shot 5 rounds and let them go where they wanted to. I used a 6 o’clock hold on the bull of a 10-meter pistol target. The first pellet struck right below the bull at 6 o’clock, but the next three pellets climbed into the black. Some of that is my imprecision, but I think a little could also be the new piston seal warming up. The fifth shot landed next to the first one (that’s probably me) and the 5-shot group measures 0.63-inches between centers.

Walther LP2 sight-in
Sighting-in with 5 H&N Finale Match Light pellets made this 0.63-inch group at 10 meters. I think the pellets climbed higher as the piston seal warmed up. It’s not the  best group, but considering the circumstances (as in sighting-in), it isn’t too bad.

Adjusted the rear sight

After seeing this group I adjusted the rear sight up by three clicks. I will report that the LP2 rear sight has definite clicks that I like a lot. It also has something I’ve never seen before but I now want it on all my target rear sights. There is a single white dot on both sight adjustment screws that allows you to easily see that the sight has been adjusted. In a noisy room you may not be able to hear the clicks, but you should be able to see this dot every time. I like it!

Walther LP2 rear sight
That white dot at the bottom of the elevation adjustment screw tells the shooter that the sight adjustment screw has been turned. The screw head has a slot for a coin. No doubt it’s a German coin like a one pfennig coin, but an American penny or dime will also work. I used the screwdriver blade of my Swiss Army Midnight Manager knife.

Second Finale Match Light group

The second 5-shot group of Finale Match Light pellets struck the target higher and in line with the center of the bull. This group was also a little smaller — perhaps due to the piston seal being warmed up. Five H&N Finale Match Light pellets went into 0.382-inches at 10 meters. It’s a very good group, but not as small as a modern 10-meter pistol would produce.

Walther LP2 Finale group
Five H&N Finale Match Light pellets made this 0.382-inch group at 10 meters in the LP2. This is the best group of the test, but the test group that came with the pistol is less than half that size, at 0.145-inches. Old BB has a way to go to beat it.

The trigger

I can now comment on the LP2 trigger. It’s gorgeous! Stage one is smooth with a definite stop at stage 2. Stage 2 breaks cleanly. I have it set at exactly one pound which is 2 ounces too light to compete in matches, but since the LP2 isn’t competitive it doesn’t matter.

Gamo Match

The next pellet I tested was the Gamo Match. They are a budget pellet that sometimes surprise me with their accuracy. This time, though, there wasn’t a lot of joy. Five pellets landed in 0.707-inches at 10 meters. This is probably not the best pellet for this pistol.

Walther LP2 Gamo Match group
The LP2 shot five Gamo Match pellets into 0.707-inches at 10 meters.

H&N Match Green

I shot the lead-free H&N Match Green pellet next. These weigh the same 5.25-grains as the Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellets and H&N makes both of them, but I have found those two pellets to give widely different performance. Five of these went into 0.534-inches at 10 meters. Not bad!

Walther LP2 HN Match Green group
The LP2 likes H&N Match Green pellets. Five went into 0.534-inches at 10 meters.

Sig Match Ballistic Alloy

Next to be tried were five Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellets. They do resemble the H&N Match Green pellets, but they don’t perform the same, as you are about to see. From the LP2 five pellets made a group that measures 0.993-inches between centers at 10 meters. This is obviously not the right pellet for the LP2, and it is the largest group of the test.

Walther LP2 Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
Five Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellets went into 0.993-inches at 10 meters. 

RWS R10 Match Pistol

The last pellet I tested was the venerable RWS R10 Match Pistol pellet. At ten meters the LP2 put five of them in a group that measures 0.708-inches between centers. It surprised me because I thought the R10 would either be the best of second-best. But it ranks fourth today, by a slim margin.

Walthewr LP2 R10 Pistol
The LP2 put five RWS R10 Match Pistol pellets in a 0.708-inch group at 10 meters.

Discussion

Well, that’s the test. H&N Finale Match Light pellets were the best and Sig Match Ballistic Alloy were the worst.

The pistol now has reasonable velocity for a target pistol. Scott Pilkington was able to return it to the factory spec.

The trigger is very nice. Only a modern high-end 10-meter target pistol has a better one. I would rate it as slightly better than the IZH46M trigger. This seems to be common among high-end target airguns from the 1960s. The FWB 300S trigger is also hard to beat, even today.

Summary

That’s our look at a target pistol from way back when… The Walther LP3 is more common than the 2 and probably a better air pistol to purchase. But once the valve is repaired the LP2 is a goodie!


Walther LP2 target pistol: Part 2

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.

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. 


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 — 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!


Walther LGR Universal: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Walther LGR
Walther LGR.

Part 1
Part 2

History of airguns

This report covers:

  • Off the track
  • RWS Hobby
  • Qiang Yuan Match Grade
  • RWS R10 Pistol
  • Could I do it again?
  • RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle
  • Shooting behavior
  • Summary

Today we test the Walther LGR for accuracy.

The test

I shot the rifle from 10 meters off a sandbag rest. Because the LGR is a pneumatic, it laid directly on the bag. I shot 5-shot groups at 10-meter air rifle targets. Let’s get started.

Off the track

Do you ever have a shooting day when you just know you aren’t doing your best? That was how I felt for for this test. I was just shooting at 90 percent instead of where I usually am. I tell you that to get you ready for some targets. I thought I did poorly but after measuring the groups I see it was better than I first thought.

RWS Hobby

I sighted-in and shot the first group with RWS Hobby pellets. As I’ve said many times Hobbys often surprise me with their accuracy and this was one such time. Since I’m shooting with target sights I can’t blow my aim point away, so I adjusted the sights to hit the center of the bull. Once sighted in for Hobbys I didn’t adjust the sights again. That 3.8mm clear front sight aperture is perfect!

Five Hobbys went into 0.186-inches between centers at 10 meters. For some reason the group looks larger than that so I measured it three times and took the largest measurement.

Walther LGR Hobby group
Five Hobbys went into 0.186-inches at 10 meters. Yes — it’s below 0.2-inches so it’s trimeworthy!

Qiang Yuan Match Grade

Next I tried 5 Qiang Yuan Match Grade pellets. These are the ones in the yellow box that don’t seem to be available anymore. They are closer to the Olympic Grade than to the Training pellets. Five went into 0.182-inches, which is the smallest group of the test. It looked even better than that through the spotting scope but when I put a flap of paper back in place the group grew on me.

Walther LGR Chinese Match group
The LGR put 5 Qiang Yuan Match Grade pellets into 0.182-inches at 10 meters.

RWS R10 Pistol

The man who sold me the rifle said it likes RWS R10 Pistol pellets, so I had high hopes for the next group. Unfortunately I shot the second-largest group of the test — at 0.279-inches between centers.

Walther LGR R10 Piston group
Five RWS R10 Pistol pellets went into a group that measures 0.279-inches between centers at 10 meters.

Could I do it again?

Clearly I wasn’t shooting my best in this test. But the Qiang Yuan Match pellet did so well that I wondered whether I could do it again. Maybe I wasn’t firing on all cylinders but was I at least consistent?

Another 5 Qiang Yuan pellets went into 0.199-inches at 10 meters. That’s not as good as before, but, given that group of R10 Pistol pellets I just shot, it looks like I am consistent.

Walther LGR Chinese Match group
On the second try the LGR put five Qiang Yuan Match pellets in 0.199-inches at 10 meters.

RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle

The last pellet I tried was the RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle pellet. Five of them went into 0.298-inches at 10 meters, which was the largest group of the test.

Walther LGR Meisterkugeln Rifle group
The LGR put five RWS Meisterkugeln pellets into 0.298-inches at 10 meters. It’s the largest group of the test.

Shooting behavior

The LGR shoots like a fine 10-meter rifle. I expected to shoot some gold dollar groups (smaller than 0.15-inches) today, but it didn’t happen.

The trigger is superb! Is it as “good” as an FWB 300 trigger? I think it is, but no amount of numbers (pull weight, etc.) is going to prove that to anybody. It’s a subjective judgement call.

The LGR is recoilless. The 300 is not recoilless — it slides backwards inside the stock. You don’t “feel” the recoil except where the eyeshade pushes against your eye or glasses. So, from that standpoint, the Walther LGR is easier to shoot than an FWB 300.

Summary

When I started this series I told you that the Walther LGR was the first 10-meter air rifle I ever saw and it is one I have wanted to shoot ever since. Now I have, but because I was off my game today I am still not satisfied. At some point in the future I will return to the LGR and hope to shoot better groups. I’m even toying with an FWB 300 versus Walther LGR test, though I don’t know how that would go. Concentrating on targets takes a lot of effort, so how do I make such a test fair? I am giving it some thought.

This LGR is not shooting as fast as many of them do, but I did check it out and the piston is adjusted correctly. I see no reason to do anything to the rifle, other than shoot it and enjoy it.


Walther LGR Universal: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Walther LGR
Walther LGR.

History of airguns

This report covers:

  • Rothenburg ob der Tauber
  • History
  • Stock
  • Sights
  • Fatal flaw?
  • Loading port
  • Trigger
  • Summary

Yes we are starting yet another 10-meter air rifle report. This blog has covered a lot of 10-meter target rifles from the 1960s and ’70s, the time when they first appeared. Here are links to many of the reports.

FWB 300
FWB 150
FWB 110
Walther LGV Olympia
Weihrauch HW 55T
Weihrauch HW 55 Custom Match
Weihrauch HW 55 SF
BSF S54
Haenel 311
Mauser 300SL
El Gamo 126
IZH MP532
Sharp Ace Target Standard
Diana 72
AirForce Edge
Diana 75
Daisy 853
Daisy 888 Medalist
Crosman Challenger 2009

Some of the rifles on this list are not serious target rifles and others are for junior marksmen. And I may have inadvertently overlooked one or two that I have covered in the past 15 years. But today I start to look at the first 10-meter rifle I ever saw — the Walther LGR.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber

In 1976, while visiting the picturesque German town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber, I went into a German gun store and there saw and held a Walther LGR. I was amazed by its size its weight and the beautiful construction. The store owner told me how it operated  and that, too, was amazing.

I wanted to buy that rifle but its price was too high. I was a young family man and could not afford such luxuries. I did buy a Diana model 10 pistol that got me started with serious adult airguns, but I had to wait 44 more years for my LGR.

History

According the the Blue Book of Airguns the LGR was made from 1974 until 1989. The Walther LPII pistol that started production in 1967 is probably the first commercial single-stroke pneumatic airgun ever produced. The LGR is also a single-stroke and may be the first target rifle of that type.

The rifle weighs 10.8 lbs, according to the Blue Book. I weighed mine on a balance beam scale and got 10 pounds exactly. Of course the walnut stock will make the weight vary somewhat and the one the Blue Book weighed may have been a Universal model that has a more substantial stock.

The caliber is .177, which it must be for world-cup airgun competition. The Blue Book lists the velocity at 580 f.p.s. which seems pretty brisk for a single stroke. I would have expected something more in the 475-525 region. I have tested this one and will again for you in part 2, but that’s all I’ll say about it for now.

Stock

Being a 10-meter rifle, the LGR stock is set up for competition. The forearm is very deep and square and has an accessory rail that will accept a sling swivel or a hand stop or both. It is stippled generously on both sides and underneath to allow a better grip

The buttstock is unusual, in that the cheekpiece can be set up high or low and out towards the shooter or away, and also slanted front to back through the positioning of two clever plastic posts that fit into special recesses drilled into the top of the butt.

Walther LGR stock adjustments
The LGR cheekpiece lifts off and can be positioned by two plastic inserts. It goes from flush with the stock to raised very high, and the inserts have eccentric posts that move the cheekpiece from side to side (toward or away from your cheek).

The curved rubber buttpad adjusts up and down to align the rear sight with the eye. With all the adjustments it should be possible to fit the rifle to most adult marksmen, though the rifle is nowhere near as ergonomic as 10-meter rifles made today.

Sights

The front sight is a globe that accepts inserts. That has long been common to 10-meter target rifles. But this rifle came to me with a clear plastic 3.8mm aperture up front, and that is a welcome upgrade!

As nice as the front sight is, though, it doesn’t hold a candle to what’s in back. It’s a tube-type rear peep sight! For the past 15 years whenever I wanted to talk about tube-type peeps I had to ask reader Kevin to please send me a picture to show. Now I have one of my own. And it seems to accept a lens of some sort, though lenses that magnify are not legal in international competition.

Walther LGR rear peep
The peep sight is a tube type. There are no lenses inside, though it appears it might accept one.

Fatal flaw?

If the LGR has one flaw it is the fact that the pump arm is hinged in the rear and must be pushed forward to fill the rifle. That makes it more difficult to pump, and that matters in a 60-shot match. If the pump is hinged in front then your leg serves as a place to anchor the buttstock when pumping, but when it’s hinged in back and you pump toward the front it’s all done with your arms. Not a good idea.

Walther LGR pump arm back
The LGR pump arm is hinged in the rear, making you close the pump stroke to the front. That makes both of your arms get involved every time you pump the rifle.

Loading port

The LGR has a flip-up cover that exposes the rear of the beech for loading. A cutout in the bottom of this area provides a little more room. However, I don’t find it that convenient to load the rifle.

Walther LGR loading port
To load the rifle you flip up the loading port like this. Note how the bottom of the area has been scooped out to make more room for the fingers.

Trigger

Since this is a Walther we expect a world-class adjustable target trigger and the rifle doesn’t disappoint. The trigger is two-stage and the straight blade adjusts for position, forward and back. You can also adjust the pull weight and the length of the stage one travel.

Walther LGR trigger
The trigger adjusts for pull weight (screw 1) and length of first-stage travel (screw 2). The trigger blade also slides along its base to make the reach longer or shorter.

Summary

This Walther LGR is a fine vintage 10-meter target rifle. It doesn’t have the ergonomics of modern target air rifles but it was quite advanced for its day. I think it was the equivalent of the FWB 300s and I’m expecting the accuracy to rival it.