Walther LGV Competition Ultra

Discussion in 'Equipment Reviews' started by Brian.Samson, Oct 28, 2013.

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  1. Brian.Samson

    Brian.Samson Allowed in Sales Staff Member

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    [​IMG]

    Whilst out in Germany for the World FT Championships, Matt Hirst introduced me to the designer of the Walther LGV and after some light hearted negotiations, Walther kindly offered me the chance to test the LGV Competition Ultra with a view to providing some feedback to them for future developments.

    So a big thanks to Walther/Umarex for being willing to engage with shooters and take note of feedback, and of course a big thanks for Matt Hirst for his tireless efforts to bring shooters and manufacturers together for the good of the sport.

    What I thought would be an interesting thing to do is to add to this post as I go through the stages of getting it set up to suit me, and put it through it's paces in some competitions.

    Ok so initial impressions on getting it out of the box.

    So far, I'm pleasantly surprised. I've seen various threads on forums complaining about various things and I'm going to try my damnedest not to be influenced by them and give you my honest blow by blow findings.

    One of the things I've heard people complain about is the quality of the blueing. The one I've got for review looks ok to me. So perhaps that was a problem with earlier rifles, or perhaps I've been lucky, but I don't see anything that would cause me to grumble about the quality of the finish. I've not been given a specially prepared review model rifle, this is just a gun off the productions line, albeit one that entered the country last week and hasn't been sat on a gun shop rack for a couple of months.

    So what's it like to shoot?.. well, I haven't had too much opportunity to give it much of a test yet since I only picked it up last night but like a kid with a new toy, I couldn't resist putting some pellets through it in the garden under torchlight :)

    My initial impressions are very promising. I wasn't expecting it to shoot as well as it does and if I'm honest, I'd say straight out of the box and with no tuning, tweaking or polishing of internals it actually shoots better than my competition Mk1 TX200 (I think I need to get my TX tuned if this is what a rifle straight from the box shoots like!)

    Cocking is smooth with a pleasingly positive click when the sear is engaged, everything feels smooth and manufacturing tolerances seem very good with no play in components. The recoil isn't sharp, it's a crisp nudge in the shoulder and gives the impression that the lock time is quite fast. Shot release is smooth, with no twang and the recoil seems very consistent and manageable. All in all a pleasant firing cycle, that like I say actually feels better than my current competition rifle. (annoyingly!)

    It can't all be good though surely?.. well, so far I've found nothing bad about the gun, the trigger straight from the box isn't to my liking with the first stage being very long and the 2nd stage too heavy for me. I guess the first negative about the gun is the manual. It only covers trigger adjustment for the German model trigger, and not the upgraded UK spec trigger so I had to google for internal photo's of the trigger to figure out what the extra adjustment screw did.

    Not that the trigger itself is bad, I'm sure with a bit of time (and a photo from the internet) I'll be able to get it set up how I like it. 10 minutes twiddling with it and I've got it close. 1st stage is shorter now, 2nd stage is predictable and light (how I like my triggers) but I've got a tiny bit of creep which I'm sure I'll be able to tune out with a bit more experimentation. It's early days yet - I haven't even got a scope on it yet :)

    So far so good though.. it shoots really well.. surprisingly well actually. Trigger needs some work with no help from the manual but I think I'll be able to sort that out. Blueing looks alright to me, overall quality seems very good. Balance is better than I was expecting too. With a relatively short barrel and an aluminium barrel weight I was expecting it to be a bit too light up front but the centre of gravity seems nicely forward. I won't know for sure until I've got a scope on it and had some practice with it.

    I'll let you know once I've had a play with fitting a scope to it.
     

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    Last edited: Nov 12, 2013
  2. Brian.Samson

    Brian.Samson Allowed in Sales Staff Member

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    Fitting a scope

    The LGV Competition Ultra comes with open sights fitted as standard, so the first job was to remove those. Why Walther decided that a competition rifle needs open sights is beyond me?

    We come to my first little niggle - when you remove the foresight you're left with a nick in the barrel weight where the fixing screw damages the dovetail.

    [​IMG]

    The stock seems to have been designed with open sights in mind too. With the adjustable cheek piece at it's lowest setting, the gun shoulders well for open sights. Unfortunately, with a scope fitted you run out of cheek piece adjustment almost immediately. I've managed to fit my Leupold 6.5-20x40 EFR on a low one piece mount, but with the objective bell almost touching the cylinder I only have about 10mm maximum of remaining height adjustment on the cheek piece.

    [​IMG]

    With the LGV being a break barrel rifle, I find that I'm quite limited as to the choice of scopes that will fit it. The most common Field Target springer scope (the Bushnell 8-32x40) is too long to fit on the LGV even without a sunshade fitted. I'm told that with higher mounts and no sunshade a Big Nikko will fit on, but it may compromise the cheek fit without fitting longer cheek piece extension bars.

    A sunshade is a handy thing to have sometimes, so having to use a scope without sunshade could put you at a disadvantage in a competition.

    Jurgen Klockener (the designer of the LGV) used an LGV in the Field Target World Championships in Ebern, Germany fitted with a Schmidt and Bender FT scope. His ingenious solution to the problem was to make a cutout in the sunshade of the scope to allow him to cock and load the rifle.

    Unfortunately, I don't have a spare FT scope that will fit the LGV, so I've decided to fit my HFT Leup (without sunshade) so I can perhaps have a play at shooting an FT course in Sporting Field Target style. If that works out, I'll put the LGV through it's paces on an HFT course which it might be better suited to.

    I think overall, I'm left wondering who the target market are for the Walther LGV are.
    The only market I can think of that might like open sights fitted are back garden plinkers who want some cheap fun shooting at tin cans and don't want to go to the expense of telescopic sights. But if you've got the money to buy an LGV, you've got the money to buy a scope and mounts.

    If it's target market are hunters, again, why bother with open sights? and if as the name suggests the target market are competition shooters then open sights are going to be the first thing removed from the gun.

    So my first suggestion for Walther if they're serious about making a competition springer is to lose the open sights, and at the very least use the money saved from the open sights to fit an adjustable butt pad. Although what I would much prefer to see would be a target stock instead of a hunter stock with an adjustable cheek piece.

    With a riser rail and a target stock you might stand a chance of fitting a wider range of FT scopes.

    Not to be deterred though, I'm going to have a play with the LGV with my Leup fitted and see if I can actually hit targets with it.

    Like I said in the first post, the LGV does shoot well straight from the box and that's encouraging because it means they've probably got quite a lot right with the internals. I know some of the home tuning enthusiasts are very complimentary about the LGV's piston and spring so I might be doing a bit of a strip down once I've bedded the gun in with plenty of lead downrange.

    I think from looking at the photo's of the trigger unit, the trigger would instantly feel better if those trigger adjustment screws had a domed end instead of flat as they seem to have in the photo I've got.
     

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    Last edited: Nov 12, 2013
  3. Neil-T

    Neil-T Boingers forever.

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    Nice review Bri. I will keep an eye on your progress with it. Don't you find it unfamiliar it being a break barrel instead of an under lever. I have shot one out of the box and found it to be pleasant rifle, so with some fettling it could be a lot better. Mmmmmm. Wonder if they will do a fixed barrel under lever in the future. Neil.
     
  4. Tye

    Tye Shabba

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    Hi Brian to improve the LGV this is from what I have heard customers say

    Ditch beech stock in ultra comp offer a walnut version.
    Walther could do a 10m version specially for UK market.
    There are 5 versions of the LGV only 3 are imported into UK.
    There are very strong rumours of an under lever. Me personally that isn't going to be more accurate than the break barrel just different operating mech. Some people like under levers some like break barrels.
    A lot where the triggers lose engagement after usage. Had two very embarrassing incidents where I was on a shoot myself and customers gun failed to engage on two different occasions. This needs to be addressed I'm no gunsmith so can't confirm technical details. The blueing not great especially when compared to Air Arms and Weihrauch. I would say price tag this needs to be improved as even Hatsan and Gamo have better blueing. Would like to see use of a trigger blade on a target spring gun. Hope that is of help.

    As you stated if Walther offer specialised versions

    A hunting version (possibly offering two the master standard version no open sights - synthetic challenger) we sell this version to the hunters due to weight
    A FT Target version (loose open sights use walnut stock trigger blade) dedicated target version money no object
    A 10m version (open sights in master version for bell target 19 metre plinking with tunnel sights and offering diff inserts) this will be popular aswell for bell target as there are no modern decent offerings people use old Diana's FWB Lincoln Jeffries etc

    Need anymore info let me know happy to do a report.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2013
  5. Brian.Samson

    Brian.Samson Allowed in Sales Staff Member

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    So far, using a break barrel instead of an underlever doesn't really feel that different to me. I mean essentially I'm pulling a 'lever' down at the front in both cases.
     
  6. RobF

    RobF Administrator Staff Member

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    I think the no.1 thing is does it hold zero, which is always a suspicion with break barrels.
     
  7. Brian.Samson

    Brian.Samson Allowed in Sales Staff Member

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    All useful comments Tye, thanks

    I'm going to try to avoid coming up with solutions and concentrate on my particular problems at this stage.
    Of course where I can see an obvious solution - such as, ditch the open sights.. I'll probably mention that, since it seems such an obvious thing to do.

    On second inspection of the blueing on the LGV, it seems to have blueing on the cylinder (although I wouldn't call it deep blueing) but the barrel, breech and barrel weight all seem to be black rather than blue, almost as though they've been anodized rather than blued. That doesn't give me a problem using the gun, but I agree that it doesn't look as nice as it could.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2013
  8. Brian.Samson

    Brian.Samson Allowed in Sales Staff Member

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    Or indeed HW97's in custom stocks ;)

    I'll have the rifle for a while, so I can keep an eye on any problems I get with zero shift. The lock up on the break barrel does feel very positive and my impression is that manufacturing tolerances and QA seem to be pretty good in this area. We shall see over time though, and more might be revealed after I've put a few thousand shots through it and stripped it down.
     
  9. RobF

    RobF Administrator Staff Member

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    Absolutely.
     
  10. Brian.Samson

    Brian.Samson Allowed in Sales Staff Member

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    Zeroing

    Today has been the first opportunity I've had to actually shoot the LGV in daylight - damn those clocks going back and the dark winter nights.

    Before I zero, I like to optically centre my scope. Even though I know I'm going to lose that optical zero when I actually zero the rifle without adjustable mounts, I still like to start with a centred scope just to see how far off it is when I zero.

    This isn't a comment for the LGV, but I've got to say this - bloody hell, I love my Leupold!. I centred it using the mirror method and when I looked at the turrets they both said '0'. The Leup is my HFT scope of choice and since I hold over with it I've never reset the turrets from when I bought the scope new in 2005. Premier Reticles sent it out to me centred with the turrets set at 0 and after 8 years and a lot of competition abuse - it still comes back to 0 to the click!.

    Ok, back to the LGV.. well actually, perhaps my little Leupold love affair back there is a comment that Walther could take note of. The Leup wasn't cheap and I could buy a scope for a quarter of the price that would allow me to hit targets just as well as the Leup does. But.... I'm prepared to pay for quality!. Long after I've forgotten how much I paid for something and the marketing hype on the box is a distant memory, I'm constantly reminded of quality and it never fails to put a big smile on my face. That scope will stay with me for the rest of my life - I'm being buried with it. So in the grand scheme of things, if I pay £700 for a scope, but I know after 20 years it will still click back to zero when I optically centre it and continue to put a big stupid grin on my face, that's £700 well spent in my book.

    Right o, onto my findings after chucking around 400 pellets downrange this morning.

    The LGV is new out the box, it's not bedded in yet and I reckon I probably need to put a couple thousand shots through it before I really get a feel for the rifle or even start to do any sort of pellet testing with it, so with that in mind, I grabbed a random tin of pellets out of my pellet crate - Air Arms Field 4.51's (I've got 8 tins I'm not using, that should do for starters). So what I'm saying here is I've set my expectations low - gun not bedded in, random pellets..

    First few shots landed 10 mildots high at 25 yards.. so time for a bit of fiddling with the mounts. I removed the scope and spun the mounts through 180 degrees, refitted the scope and tried again. Better results this time, just 5 mildots high, after a full turn of the turret by shear luck it's very nearly at the right height, so a quick couple of clicks and I'm on the line. Windage isn't far out at all surprisingly - it's shooting half a mildot to the left at 25 yards with a right-left wind, I reckon possibly 4 or 5 clicks off. That's pretty impressive to start with because it means that I've got everything fairly straight, the barrel crown can't be far off and the barrel is likely to be straight too. Always a bonus.

    Now I should say that something I noticed while zeroing, the LGV is very accurate. Wow, is it accurate!!
    I zeroed on about 10x mag and I found myself having to change my aim points to zero the gun because the number of times it put a pellet straight through the last pellet hole was becoming difficult for me to see at 10x mag.

    I'll describe the scene - aim at centre of target, dink nice hole in target but not quite where I want it to be yet. Take another shot to be sure the first one wasn't a bad shot. Dink... look for pellet hole, erm.. nope can't see it, all I can see is the pellet hole I made on the shot before. It made a dink so it hit the backstop behind the target, but for the life of me I can't see where it went.... oh hang on... the first pellet hole is a tiny bit elongated.. Wow!.. it's gone through the same bloody hole!.

    Now that impressed the hell out of me, I've got to say. With it zeroed at 25 yards I thought I'd take a pot shot at my 45 yard 25mm kill - I guessed the holdover would be about 1 mildot, so put my 1 mildot mark inside right edge of kill at 45 yards (there's a tiny bit more wind out there at 45 yards) and then proceeded to hit it 3 times out of 3.

    For a gun practically straight out of the box, with random pellets, a stock that's nothing to write home about and a trigger that I'm still not overly happy with. I've got to take my hat off the the boys at Umarex/Walther - The LGV certainly delivers on accuracy! I'm impressed, very impressed!

    Is it all good news then?.. well, yeah pretty much so far.. Not a major niggle this, but something that could be addressed. After around 400 shots, my finger's starting to get a bit sore from lifting the breech lock latch, and it's my trigger finger so I could do without that getting sore.

    The reason I've discovered is down to the shape of the lock latch, it's curved, but it's curved the wrong way round.

    [​IMG]

    Either make that flat, or make it rounded the other way so I don't hurt my finger on it please Walther.

    Chrono results

    Again, I've got to say, I'm impressed - with 8.44grn pellets I got bored of shooting a chrono string with the gun after about 15 shots. The consistency was extremely good.. all 15 shots came in with a total spread of an unbelievable 5fps!. (that's not even possible is it?)

    The consistency is impressive, I'm not so impressed with the power level however :( It's running a bit too close to the legal limit for my liking and with the gun not being run in yet, I'd expect it to nudge up a little.

    With 7.9's it's a little lower on power but I'd still prefer a nice comfortable margin.

    So I'm left with a dilemma now... on the one hand, I'm thinking wow, if this thing was putting out 11fpe there's a chance it might be even smoother to shoot! but do I send it back to Umarex and get them to lower the power, and if so what are they likely to do to achieve this? - chop the spring? take out some preload washers if there are any in there?.

    I think what I'm tempted to do is strip it down and see if there's any preload washers I can remove first of all, if I still can't bring the power down... hmmm... I wonder if I can get Umarex to send me a German spec piston.

    The reason I'm wondering about that is, the German spec 6fpe rifle uses the same piston, but with a longer latch rod (making it a short stroke piston) and they also fit a less powerful spring. I've heard through the grapevine that the German short stroke piston with the 16j spring gives about 11fpe... that could be perfect.. power around where I'd prefer it and a short stroke action.

    I think for the time being, I'll just get on with having fun with the LGV and revisit the power issue once I've run the gun in. Who know's it might even drop in power..
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2013
  11. SDplinker

    SDplinker Pellet testing...yawn

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    I LOVE reading reviews like this from top shooters. I know it takes a lot of time but it really benefits those of us who don't have time or resources to buy or fiddle with these things.

    Looking forward to more...

    -Casey
     
  12. Brian.Samson

    Brian.Samson Allowed in Sales Staff Member

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    Thanks for the double compliment Casey.. if I'm honest I can't say it's been a chore so far.

    I'm fortunate enough to have a nice 45 yard zero range in my back garden right outside the sliding patio doors of my 'Gun Room' :) So I can sit in the comfort of my nice dry warm house and plink to my hearts content :)

    I've been doing just that on and off for most of the day with the LGV and it's been great fun :) I've been like a kid at Christmas with it.

    So just a short update after today's fun - I'm ever more impressed with the accuracy of the LGV.. I've shot it side by side with my competition TX and the TX is deader to shoot, but then again I would expect it to be because it's a huge 16lb beast of a gun. Nothing combats recoil quite as well as a really heavy stock.

    But, the LGV's accuracy really does put a smile you your face - I've been giggling like a school girl shooting twigs off the branches all afternoon.

    I need to give it a test from HFT prone position, but it's raining and muddy out in the paddock and I'm getting too old to go rolling about in the mud these days.

    Next steps are - more lead downrange with it.. and then if I'm still as impressed with the accuracy I might take it out to a winter league shoot in a couple of weeks - shoot the first session with my TX and then shoot the same course again for the 2nd session with the LGV (ranging by eye, memory, bracketing) and holding over. Not expecting to beat the TX score, but it'll be interesting to see how far away from it I am with a bog standard gun straight out the box... if I can take some PCP scalps with it, that'll be amusing as well :)
     
  13. SDplinker

    SDplinker Pellet testing...yawn

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    Reports like this make me wonder why I spent the money on a Steyr... there's an old HW77 I have my eye on. Just as much fun to shoot and 1/7th the price!
     
  14. jedi020

    jedi020 Red Dwarf

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    I get my kill at reviews,there's never a bad gun,I've shot two of these one stock and one tuned(and I use the word tuned lightly)..

    Stock gun was shocking,kicked like a mule,which comprimzed it's accuracy..

    Tuned version shot like a different gun ultra smooth cocking,and nearly halved the recoil,the owner had done the work himself,that leads me to why would you pay the money for this and have to tune it into a decent springer,just save yourself the headache and buy a more widely respected springer...

    I'm a pre charge die hard,but the tuned lgv made look like a seasoned springer shooter...
     
  15. Brian.Samson

    Brian.Samson Allowed in Sales Staff Member

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    You're quite right to be suspicious of people's motives for reviewing anything - for all you know I could be lying through my teeth. Thanks for the accusation :)
     
  16. jedi020

    jedi020 Red Dwarf

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    It wasn't directed at yourself or your review,but it might seem like that in my post :confused:..

    When was the last time you seen a poor review in a magazine,off hand I've never read one damning review,yet when the general public buy said rifle/s,get it home after paying out saved money,only to find its a pile of mince that struggles to hit a tin can at 20yds or breaks after not more than a tin of pellets,it's then that the joy is only met with frustration....

    We've all heard horror stories about bad rifles,that just don't match upto other manufacturers that work from box,that said I'm only giving my two cents,being the part of the general population,who may consider buying a rifle :rolleyes:

    Atb
    James
     
  17. Steve Hebby

    Steve Hebby Beware the Chair

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    I've shot 3 LGV comps (one I owned and 2 others owned by friends) and all 3 were just as Brian has described. The only let down for me was (as Brian has already written) with it being a break barrel you couldn't fit an FT scope without fitting a scope raiser rail. I am seriously considering another one for FT use if I can get a certain person I know to make me an FT stock for it.
     
  18. Brian.Samson

    Brian.Samson Allowed in Sales Staff Member

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    Yup James I agree I have serious doubts about magazine reviews too.. there's clearly a financial incentive with advertising revenue so you're always left with that doubt in your mind and you definitely should be sceptical of any review - please be as sceptical as you like with my review and make your own mind up whether I'm being truthful or not.

    My motive for doing this is that I would genuinely like to see a manufacturer listening to input from normal shooters and hopefully start producing the guns that we really want instead of the guns their marketing departments think they can sell us. I believe the way to do that is not to just throw a gun back at the manufacturer and say - it's crap. The way to do it is to look at the good points and the bad points and let them know what works and what doesn't work. If as you say you shot a tuned LGV and it was streets ahead of the standard one you tried - instead of just keeping it under your hat, wouldn't it be good if that could be fed back to the manufacturer so that they might be able to achieve the same level of tune straight out of the box for everyone.

    p.s. How's that expensive Tuned Walther PCP working out for you :D

    You might not remember, but the Walther Dominator started out as a 6fpe 10m match rifle that needed extensive reworking to bring it up to 12fpe. You could have asked exactly the same question 10 years ago.. why bother to buy an expensive Walther then have to pay to have it reworked so you can use it when there are already guns out there more than capable of doing the job without paying a fortune. The Pro Target (I believe you also own) was a very capable rifle at the time when people were paying a fortune to have Dommies imported and converted to 12fpe to shoot FT with. I bet you're glad someone had the foresight to do it though aren't you?

    I'm shooting a 21 year old rifle in competition... technology has moved on in 21 years but springer design hasn't moved very quickly. In fact you could argue that Air Arms took a backward step when they introduced the TX Mk3.

    I believe we should strive to help manufacturers move forward instead of just saying - hey, lets leave everything as it is. If we did that 10 years ago, you wouldn't be shooting your LG300 today.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2013
  19. HotShot

    HotShot Active Member

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    Why not just note down the ranges in the first round then reuse them in the second round :)
     
  20. Brian.Samson

    Brian.Samson Allowed in Sales Staff Member

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    That's a brilliant idea!

    Although.. when I say 'I'm not expecting to beat the TX score' what I actually mean is, I'd be seriously pissed off if I beat the TX score :)
     

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