Let me say right up front, that the Walther spring guns series, which now includes the LGU underlever, are premium airguns that come at a premium price. They are also built around precision accuracy over maximum power, which means that they are probably going to appeal to a more discriminating, and probably older customer base.
The Walther series sits very near the top of the spring gun pricing scale. The LGV Master, the gun I’m testing, is their entry level model and it starts at just under $700. That’s entry level PCP money we’re talking about here. For the average airgunner to consider spending that kind of money on a break barrel springer, it really needs to be worth the investment.
Out of the Box
What sets guns like the LGV apart is their out-of-the-box usability. Budget airguns usually require a lot of break-in, learning curve regarding technique, time finding the right pellet, and some even require immediate tinkering to see repeatable accuracy. If I’m going to drop close to $700 on an airgun, it had better be shooting right when it comes out of the box. With a high price tag comes high expectations on my part.
The LGV Master has the same power plant features and advanced technologies as the more expensive variants. It only lacks the weighted muzzle and upgraded stock. I worked with the LGV Competition Ultra about a year ago, and while it is has a nicer stock with more features, there’s very little difference in the shootability and overall accuracy between the high-end LGV and my LGV Master.
I wish I could adequately express the contrast in how this gun is built vs more cheaply built guns. Granted, those other guns may cost a quarter what the LGV Master costs. The fit and finish and the tolerance in how all the parts go together is only matched by a handful of other airguns I’ve ever tested. There’s just such a significant difference in how the LGV is put together, and this translates into how it performs.
Velocity and initial shootability
The LGV Master is a 1000 FPS airgun on paper according to the descriptions here in the US market. (Their above diagram shows 970 which I’ve found to be more accurate). Here in the shop, I’m getting an average of 924.5 FPS with 7.0 grain pellets. If there’s one place that the LGV Master has not perfectly lived up to my expectations, it’s in the average velocity. In my opinion, a 1000 FPS gun should get 1000 FPS, or at least within 4% or 5% of that mark after the break-in period. The LGV is shooting about 7.5% below max velocity after break-in. While not great, I’ve seen a lot worse so I’m just going to move on. What is important to note, however, is that while it may be shooting a little slower than I’d like, it’s doing so with great consistency, especially for a springer. Take a look at the following chrony results: High – 928.6, Low – 922.5, Average – 924.5, Extreme Spread – 6.1, Standard Deviation – 1.9. Given that kind of repeatable results, I can more than live with a few less FPS.
I shot the LGV with open sights just to make sure that my rifle performed as expected. Once confirmed, I mounted a 4-12×50 AirMax EV scope from Hawke Sport Optics. The large, bright sight picture makes target shooting almost too easy. As for the LGV’s shootability, it’s extremely easy to shoot. There’s very little learning curve to this gun. Because of the way the power plant and shooting cycle has been carefully engineered and assembled, there’s little to no vibration and no spring torque at all. The recoil is very gentle and passes so quickly it’s over almost before it started. It’s one of a handful of spring airguns that comes close to what it feels like to shoot a PCP air rifle. It does benefit from using the artillery hold, but it’s not hold-sensitive like you find with other spring guns.
So far the LGV Master .177 likes whatever I care to put in the barrel so long as it’s not too light. Basically any pellet that’s 7.9 grains or heavier shoots very well. Pellet brand does not seem to matter either. We’ll take a look at some pellet and accuracy tests in Part 3 of this series on the Walther LGV Master .177.