TRIG­GER HAPPY

Gary Chilling­worth looks at an HFT con­tender

Air Gunner - - Contents - www.armex- air­gun.co.uk Typ­i­cal sell­ing price £ 350

Gary Chilling­worth shows us how to change a trig­ger in just 20 min­utes.

Over the last few is­sues, I have looked at two of the most ad­vanced HFT ri­fles in the coun­try to­day; the mighty FTP900 from Air Arms and the stun­ning Daystate Pul­sar. Both of th­ese guns are at the cut­ting- edge of air­gun de­vel­op­ment and to own one is a se­ri­ous in­vest­ment, but to be hon­est, they are not ev­ery­one’s cup of tea. One of great things about the sport we all love is that there are two ends of a very large spec­trum; at one, is the mighty PCP in all its glory, and at the other is the springer. Now, the springer is some­times a much ma­ligned (some­times by me) piece of equip­ment, but over the years, they have been get­ting bet­ter and bet­ter and some of th­ese ri­fles are now so good that they are al­most more ac­cu­rate than a ba­sic PCP, and this has be­come a very in­ter­est­ing propo­si­tion.

PCP or springer?

PCPs are ex­pen­sive and on top of the ri­fle cost, you have fur­ther out­lay on kit, like charg­ing bot­tles or pumps, plus a host of other para­pher­na­lia. A high- qual­ity spring gun, though, is self- con­tained and it only re­quires some mus­cle power to charge it, and a pel­let to shoot out of the bar­rel.

In the past, I have looked at spring guns like the HW97, and my own favourite the TX200, but there are other man­u­fac­tur­ers out there and they are mak­ing some great ri­fles. One of th­ese is Walther, well known for mak­ing some of the most iconic guns in the world, from James Bond’s Walther PPK to air­guns like the Dom­i­na­tor; the lat­ter has helped shoot­ers like Pete Dut­ton to both na­tional and world cham­pi­onship vic­to­ries.

“this is an ac­cu­rate ri­fle and with a bit of work it can

be made to be a world- class ri­fle”

Ro­tat­ing pis­ton sys­tem

This is why we all got ex­cited in 2012, when Walther an­nounced they were go­ing to bring a spring gun to the mar­ket. This ri­fle is the LGV and it is a thing of beauty. I was lucky enough to play with the Com­pe­ti­tion Ul­tra vari­ant and for an un­fet­tled spring gun, it’s a lovely thing to shoot. The LGV is a break-bar­rel ri­fle, and as most en­thu­si­asts know, a break­bar­rel is ev­ery bit as ac­cu­rate as an un­der-lever. How­ever, there is a small mi­nor­ity who al­ways be­lieve that a mov­ing bar­rel is not a good thing, and that is why the LGU was born.

When you take the ri­fle out of the box, the first thing that you will no­tice is the weight; it is a heavy old Hec­tor, and for me it felt a lit­tle front

heavy, but this 9lb weight does have other ben­e­fits. The sheer mass of the gun makes the LGU one of the least jumpy spring guns I have ever shot. When you cock the ri­fle and squeeze the trig­ger, you can feel the spring move for­ward, and a bit of re­coil, but noth­ing like the nor­mal ‘ thwack’ of an un­tuned springer. I messed around with a few scopes on top, and be­fore long I found that with a heav­ier scope you could bal­ance the ri­fle to a more neu­tral po­si­tion and again, this in­creased mass made the LGU even deader to shoot.

I men­tioned the abil­ity to feel the spring move; within a spring gun you will al­ways be fight­ing New­ton’s third law of mo­tion (for ev­ery ac­tion there is an equal and op­po­site re­ac­tion). In other words, when you pull the trig­ger and the spring flies for­ward, the ri­fle will want to fly back­wards. Also, as a spring is a com­pressed spiral, when it is un­loaded, it will want to ro­tate around its axis. This is not an is­sue, un­less the spring is grip­ping onto a sur­face, and this can make the ri­fle twist slightly in your hand. To counter this, Walther use a ro­tat­ing pis­ton sys­tem, so the spring can spin around to its heart’s con­tent. On top of this ro­tat­ing pis­ton, Walther have also de­vel­oped its patented Silent Spring Tech­nol­ogy and Vi­bra­tion Re­duc­tion Sys­tem (SST & VRS); es­sen­tially this is a mix­ture of Del­rin rings and guides, and Del­rin pis­ton col­lars. The use of high- qual­ity Del­rin is a real boon for the LGU be­cause it makes the fir­ing- cy­cle a joy, and gives it one of the quick­est lock times on the mar­ket to­day.

Trig­ger swap

A fast lock time can be a real ad­van­tage for a spring gun, be­cause you want the pel­let out of the bar­rel as fast as pos­si­ble, and this is prob­a­bly why Walther has cho­sen to use a fairly short 12” bar­rel for the LGU. (Lock time is the time from trig­ger pull to the pel­let leav­ing the bar­rel). The LGU has a rep­u­ta­tion for not be­ing hold-sen­si­tive. Some spring guns have to be held lightly to make them shoot well, whilst oth­ers like to be gripped, but from what I found with the LGU, as long as you let it re­coil, it did not mat­ter how you held the ri­fle and it was even pos­si­ble to shoot the gun with the butt rest­ing on the ground.

Now, this brings me to the trig­ger. Don’t get me wrong, the LGU’s trig­ger is OK, but for such a great ri­fle it can be made bet­ter and this is where the af­ter­mar­ket com­pany, Rowan, comes in. With a few tools and a bit of time, the LGU’s trig­ger can be swapped out for a bladed af­ter­mar­ket unit, in un­der 20 min­utes. As you can see from the pic­tures, re­plac­ing the trig­ger with an af­ter­mar­ket one is very sim­ple. All you have to do is

drift out the main re­tain­ing pin, then re­move the re­ceiver, and once this is out, take out the grub screw, re­move the two re­main­ing flat-head screws and prise off the re­ceiver cover. The trig­ger it­self is re­tained by a spring and a star washer, so re­move th­ese care­fully and place them to one side, re­move and then re­place the trig­ger, re­place the spring and washer and you are done. All you have to do now is put the cover back on, put the ac­tion back in the stock and ad­just the trig­ger to your lik­ing - there are full in­struc­tions on how to ad­just the trig­ger with ev­ery gun.

Easy to work on

The LGU is one of the eas­i­est springers to work on, and the rea­son I am show­ing you how to re­place a trig­ger is to em­pha­sise why this ri­fle should be a great en­trance into the world of spring guns. All springers need to be fet­tled; they need to be greased, lubed, pol­ished, and taken out for ro­man­tic din­ners to get the best from them. The LGU has been de­signed to be easy to work on and as you can see, with the re­moval of a sin­gle pin, a grub screw, and two flat-heads, you have ac­cess to the en­tire ri­fle.

On a spring gun, the trig­ger is so im­por­tant, and get­ting it set up cor­rectly takes a bit of time, but when you get it right, the LGU goes from shoot­ing a group of about the size of a 10p piece at 45 yards, to a group of about the size of a 20p piece and that is in the hands of a com­plete springer im­be­cile (me).

If you are af­ter a spring gun for hunt­ing or HFT, then you re­ally should look at a Walther LGU. When you hold the ri­fle, the scal­loped beech stock is er­gonom­i­cally pleas­ant; your hands find the grooves in the side of the stock and the laser che­quer­ing makes the gun easy to grip. The safety, lo­cated where the thumb sits, is per­fect and the leg­endary Ger­man at­ten­tion to de­tail and build-qual­ity is ev­i­dent in spades.

There is no doubt that this is an ac­cu­rate ri­fle, and with a bit of work it can be made to be world- class. The fact that it is so easy to work on means you will not be at the be­hest of gun­smiths, and mates who can let you down the day be­fore a comp, if your gun goes down. I have to add a caveat though - if you’re not en­tirely sure you can work on a gun safely, get a trained gun­smith to help you.

The LGU is a per­fect ri­fle for be­gin­ners or shoot­ers who want some­thing dif­fer­ent and if you get one, I have no doubt it will serve you well and teach you loads.

“some of th­ese ri­fles are now so good, they are al­most more ac­cu­rate than a ba­sic PCP”

Top: The bal­ance is good with the scope set to the rear

Above left: Next, slide out the re­ciever block

Above right: Next, re­move the grub screw

Main: The cock­ing force is quite light

Left: You can ad­just for length and weight of pull

Be­low: With the new blade fit­ted, con­trol im­proved

Above:The blade is only held in by a washer and a spring

Right: The pins are easy to drift out Be­low: It’s a good­look­ing ri­fle in my eyes

Far right: The new trig­ger is full of ad­just­ments

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