Friday, May 7, 2010

Walther LG 55 part 2

Part one

I am a firm believer in trusting the judgment of others and find it amazing when a novice on a subject takes the stance of an expert. Given the wealth of knowledge Mr. Blackwell has on Walther rifles, it would have been foolhardy of me not allow him free rein in the selection of a rifle to send me.

What I did find interesting was that he seldom shoots his airguns. This added a little delay to the process as he sorted though the rifles looking for a shooter, but after about a month or so the Walther LG 55 was on the way. Yes!

Every time a package shows up on my stoop, it is like Christmas, but only better. Let’s face it; Dad gets ties, socks, tools and other fatherly gifts. I have yet to come down on Christmas morning and find that the kids have bought the old man a Beeman R1.

Gaines sent the rifle disassembled and packed it with the utmost care. He also included a note requesting that I contact him before I assembled it as to make sure no harm would befall it.

Okay, confession time. I put it together and called the following day and pretended to need assistance. Sorry, but I am way too immature to wait an entire day to play with a new toy.
It shoots- these are three shot groups-click to see them

First impression – the craftsmanship was outstanding. Easy to cock, steady to hold, lovely trigger, and a well shaped stock. Ideal for shooting ten meter target.

Now the bad news, I was not overwhelmed with rifle given the purpose for which I wanted it – an R7 substitute. I don’t shoot ten meter target. It was much heavier than I care for, and the target sights were too limiting for all but ten meter shooting. None of the scope bases on my bench were compatible with rail. It is quiet because of the heavy barrel sleeve and pound and a half lead weight that sits under the action.

They say your gut reaction is usually the best, and mine was to sell it immediately, in fact I offered it to Kevin the next day. But that was not to be.

Soon the classic from the 1950’s would be transformed, ala Dr Volvostien. My observation was that Walther took a sporter and turned it into target rifle, and I would just reverse the process.

The photos tell the rest of the story.

This 1.5 pound lead chunk sits in the forearm, it needs to go...
my solution is the foam sanding block which will hold the cocking arm in place.

These are easy ones, off with the sights and sleeve

Foam instead of lead in place

3 pounds of "extras" gone

She is a sporter now at 6 1/2 lbs

Here she is with my FX Cyclone, which is carbine sized 

In the end, I did the right thing and sold the classic 50 year old Walther to Derrick38 who uses it as a ten meter rifle. I bought an R7 to use as an R7.


  1. Aaahh that Volvo...

    He loves 'em and then he leaves 'em.

    I suppose it is a blessing and a curse, to be so fickle.

  2. Volvo,

    I wonder if that fine vintage gun would still be with you if you had a set of 14mm scope mounts on your bench.

    Great job on the blog. Lots of pictures! Keep up the great work.


  3. Volvo,

    Nice reading. Good pics. Dr Volvostien, LOL.

  4. Slinging Lead,
    I would highly recommend the Walther LG 55 for someone that was looking for a historical 10 meter rifle, but using it as I was almost seemed sacrilegious.
    One thing to keep in mind on these, they originally were made with leather seals and an attachment method that allows damage to result if they are shot with a bad seal. Gaines considers it a design error. The repair and conversion to synthetic seals runs over $150.00 if you can find it, also JM has discontinued the replacement parts.

    Thanks for the kind words.
    I did find a set of mounts in my assortment to scope it, but it really deserved to be used as it was meant to. Derrick actually enjoys 10 meter shooting and will be able to make repairs as needed. She went to a good home.


    Glad you like it.

  5. Volvo

    One fine day I will purchase an R7 of my own. I think it is destined to by my next airgun, but then you never know with these things.

    Recently you advised that a mid year R7 would be best. First off what is a mid year R7? Why is it better? If it is collectible value only, then I am not too concerned. Just about everything I own is a dime a dozen as far as collectible value.

    However, if there is some viable reason to steer clear of recent Beeman or HW offerings, I am all ears.

    There was recently a nice looking, tuned R7 being offered on the Yellow. I was tempted, but had to pass, due to the $400 asking price.

    I am guessing that Mr. Blackwell had performed the conversion already? It is weird that something so fine would be built with an unintentional self destruct device. 'Interference' engines come to mind.

  6. At some point, I will venture inside this LG55 and see what makes it tick. I wonder if it has a leather seal or a synthetic? I don't lie in bed late at night staring at the ceiling, but I wonder, nonetheless.

  7. SlingingLead,

    Yes, my Walther LG 55 was already converted to synthetic according to Gaines. Designed in 1955, seems they were not very creative at assigning model numbers. I was surprised at the design flaw also. Just for fun, guess what year the 53 sporter was first made?

    The R7 is worthy of an entire blog, but in a nutshell the older none safety models are prized by collectors so they are needlessly overpriced. The new ones have too much pressed checkering along with no sights and supposedly ever worsening tolerances. The next to last version had sights but a less expensive front sight that lacked the interchangeable front inserts. I know this time line is rushed, but the early Huntington Beach models offer a great value. The stock does not extend as far, but it is useless weight when it does and mechanical tolerances were still ok. I picked one up recently for $265.00 and it included a Beeman \ Williams’s aperture sight.

    To be clear low collector value with high shootability…….... in the middle range

  8. Volvo,
    I'm glad you didn't let conventional thinking stand in your way. How are you going to know if works or not if you don't try it:)? You didn't do anything "irreversible", and Derrick38 could probably rebuild it from bar stock even if you had.

    I guess I have a lot to look forward to, in terms of eyesight, over the next few years if I'm going to need a scope on a 10M rifle:). Thanks to Obamacare, I'm pretty sure the more "interesting" exams will be delayed for a few years -- what's a little cancer risk:)!

  9. Bg farmer,
    I would guess that Derrick could cobble the whole rifle from scrape metal and a tree limb.
    As far as eyesight, sadly I will soon need to scope a rubber band gun – I think it happens to us all.
    Good news is you may dodge a bullet on the other, as they are saying they believe it is now unneeded. Go figure.