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Walther 55 or HW 55 or?

August 6 2009 at 10:56 AM

Chris  (Login chrismel)



After 30 years of playing with dozens and dozens of spring air rifles HW, FWB, BSA, and Webley and so on I sold them all with the thought of owning one evil rifle (PCP) which I now have for hunting and pest control and one Springer.
The Springer will be used for informal target shooting and plinking. I would like it to be moderate in size, easy to cock, .177, accurate, and quiet as possible.

Originally I kept an HW30S tuned by PW for this roll, but it was a bit too small and light. Most of my other Springers focused on the most power possible, which I dont need. In retrospect, if I would have had Paul put a softer spring in the HW50S he tuned for me it may have been ideal.

Anyway, I have never owned one of the older target rifles and believe they may be exactly what I am looking for.
As far as price, it does not really matter. Admittedly the main reason for selling off the 3 dozen rifles I had was financial, driven by the economy and family health issues, but given I am going to own just two total I feel I can justify just about any cost.

So if you folks can offer some opinions I would appreciate it. Thank you.


Thanks,

Chris

 
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Dennis
(Login ddmann)

Well Chris this will be an interesting thread

August 6 2009, 11:27 AM 

No doubt messrs. Blackwell and Driskoll will chime in hopefully with even more pictures of their lovely guns with the myriad of variations that can be had. I do not own a Walther 55, yet that is!, but I do own an older HW50S built in 1978 and a Burgo marked HW55. Both of these guns have the extra heft that your HW30 lacked, (in fact the lack of heft is my only complaint with my R7) are finely balanced and a extremely easy to cock. I sometimes joke that these are what an R7 looks like when he grows up.


If you have the time peurse the links on that crazy cool slide out thingy that Dave installed for us, look under Compainion forums and click on the "Down Range" section. Tons of great information and pictures of the different variations of these two guns.







 
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Chris
(Login chrismel)

looking forward

August 6 2009, 11:45 AM 

to the educated opinions here. I always wanted the most power in a Springer so I have no experience with what I now suspect are sweet pleasant shooters that feel full sized but not too heavy.

 
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MDriskill
(Login MDriskill)

The "Big Three"

August 6 2009, 1:09 PM 

Chris, reading between the lines of your post, seems like you prefer barrel-cockers, and the lightness/handling thing is a big deal, so I'll concentrate on those.

There are three classic families of guns from the heyday of break-barrel springer target guns: the Diana 60 series, Walther LG series, and Weihrauch HW 55.

The Dianas have the advantage of being truly recoilless, using the Giss double-piston system. They are internally complex but the quality and performance of these guns is fantastic. IMHO they are rather underrated by collectors, the quality of the checkering and wood finish in particular can put the Walthers and HW's to shame. My personal favorite is the model 60, which is a bit smaller and lighter than the later models 65 and 66. It has an easily removable barrel sleeve, thus works either as a target rifle or lighter plinker.

Here are two examples of the model 60, first with the standard stock, the other a model 60 Tyrolean:

[linked image]

[linked image]


I won't say too much about the Walthers as so many outrageously GORGEOUS ones have already appeared in this string (Gaines...Tom...Garvin...have mercy)! The quality and performance of these guns is awesome, their biggest claim to fame being the incredible level of metal polishing and rich blueing. Great trigger, great sights, they have it all. My personal favorite of the family is the LGV Olympia, and I wholeheartedly back Tom Strayhorn's comment about the stock--to me the all-round best-handling stock I've ever picked up. Again, like the Diana the LGV usually has a barrel sleeve, it is very heavy but removes easily, and the lighter sleeve from the earlier Walther 55 fits also. It truly works well as either a ten-meter gun or for more casual shooting:

[linked image]

[linked image]


But I freely admit to huge personal prejudice in favor of the HW 55. I don't know what it is, just something about it that has some real personality and clicks for me. I love the handling, I love the feel of the nifty barrel latch, I love the Rekord trigger, I love the feel of shooting it. They are easy to work on and plenty of parts are around. Gaines is right about them being longer than the Walthers, though. To me it's just the king of all-rounders. If I could own only one springer rifle this would be the one, but picking which stock would be pretty tough! Here are several variations:

HW 55 MM, Bavarian-style stock. Great all-round design, really pretty to my eye. Late ones like this example have a fore end accessory rail:

[linked image]


HWB Champ, the junior HW 55 version. This has a REALLY small stock--uncomfortable for most adult hands. Also has shorter barrel with sleeve and a positionable trigger blade, which are kinda neat though:

[linked image]


HW 55 Tyrolean, to my eye the most elegantly-proportioned Tyro on any of the old target guns. Also a rather shorter "pull" (distance from trigger to butt) than the other full-size HW 55 versions.

[linked image]


HW 55 CM "Custom Match," FWB-like target stock, but much lighter and nimbler than you might think from its appearance. This is the rifle I shoot the most, period:

[linked image]


HW 55 S, plain beech "Sport" stock. Slim, trim, more rounded edges and tougher wood, it's a great choice for all-round shooting, especially outdoors:

[linked image]


    
This message has been edited by MDriskill on Sep 1, 2014 1:54 PM


 
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Chris
(Login chrismel)

sounds good

August 6 2009, 2:04 PM 

nt

 
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Dennis
(Login ddmann)

Okay how did I miss this post

August 6 2009, 10:54 PM 

Chris I did not mention the Diana 60 in my original post because you did not mention it. My diana 60 was so impressive to a fellow airgunner here locally, who BTW was a dedicated High Horsepower Springer Fan, that after he spent a couple of hours with the D60 in his prescence went on a hunt on GB to find one. After a couple of months he found one. And it is every bit as impressive as mine. The only drawback I can see for you is the weight. Unfortunately due to the recoilless action in these guns they are a bit heaver than either my HW 50S or HW55. That said, it is a pure joy to shoot. In fact I even took it out on a squirrel hunt recently. Four shots, four direct hits. Yes I was a little more tired than normal but I impressed the bejeusus out of the guy I was out with.
Firepower wise it does not posess the velocity of either the 50S OR the 55. However its accuracy is uncanny!







 
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Gaines Thomas Blackwell
(Login GainesBlackwell)

HW55's and LG 55's

August 6 2009, 1:22 PM 

Chris......I got interested in both about 6 years ago and have owned about 20+ of each but a few less now. I find them both wonderful and moderately different. The HW 55 seems to be more in demand here and the Walther more plentiful in Germany. HW's bring somewhat higher prices , all things being equal. The LG is similar to the HW but the receiver tube is shorter on the LG making the gun noticeably more compact. I would characterize the LG was being more purely a match gun and the HW a match/sporter. Most LG's came with a factory sleeve, most HW's did not.The HW 55 and original HW 50 were basically the same gun and a HW 50 spring adds 40-50 fps to the 55 but I prefer the 55 spring. When in original condition I would rate the LG as a simpler design, a little more finicky and slightly better fit and finished....the HW being more robust. I think they were equally accurate, both use modular triggers of similar fine quality. Parts are getting scarce but can be found, the HW having a slight advantage in the US. I am short...5-6 and feel the LG was made to fit me, my friend Mike Driskill is about 6-0 and feels the same about the HW. The vast majority of HW 55's have a breech lock, the "F" models do not. If you want a Walther with a lock look at the next model, the LGV....Same internals.

They are both pieces of airgun history and eventually you should try for both! Please excuse the quality of this picture but the guns on the left and in the center are LG's and the others HW's. these happen to be Tyroleans but I prefer the match versions for shooting:
[IMG][linked image][/IMG]

An HW 55 Match, this one marked "Burgo" a marketing firm like Beeman .
[IMG][linked image][/IMG]

And a super nice LG 55 with double triggers and an optical sight....not a scope:
[IMG][linked image][/IMG]

I will be glad to send more pictures and information but far gearter knowledge than mine is on this forum...

Gaines

 
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Chris
(Login chrismel)

Nod to the Walther so far

August 6 2009, 2:01 PM 

I am just over 5'7" so the fact that the Walthers fit you well should mean the same for me. For example from a sitting position the FWB 124 was always a bit too much of a reach, so I assume you mean overall length? Do you know what an average length is? Beautiful rifles by the way. My guess is for a shooter the standard would be a better choice?

 
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Frakor
(Login rokarf)

Don't forget the .....................

August 6 2009, 3:15 PM 

Walther LG53 with the sporter stock !!!

These lovely gun are lightweight and as accurate as its succesors the LG55 and LGV.

[IMG][linked image][/IMG]

Or the Weihrauch HW55Champ with its junior sized stock !!
(shown WITH A BUTT PLATE SPACER above a Standard HW55)

[IMG][linked image][/IMG]

--------------------
Frank

 
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Chris
(Login chrismel)

looks nice, but

August 6 2009, 3:31 PM 

I also have to find an actual rifle foe sale. Don't ever recall seeing a 53, but then I never looked. I do see the 55's once in awhile.

 
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TStray
(Login TStray)

Another Walther 53 model

August 6 2009, 4:19 PM 

There was also a model 53 Match made only for a few years that had a Brayen style cheek piece. Only difference between the 53 and 55 is the trigger unit and stock style.
Top rifle is another LGV Spezial with UIT stock, Bottom rifle is a LG53M and it is available for adoption.

[linked image]

[linked image]

[linked image]

[linked image]



"Love them Walthers"
Hell I love them ALL

Tom Strayhorn
Catawissa Missouri

 
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Paul
(Login paulaus511)

LG 53M

August 6 2009, 6:06 PM 

Tom -

Are you selling this Rifle ??

Thanks,
Paul.

 
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TStray
(Login TStray)

Have you considered a Walther LGV Spezial Junior

August 6 2009, 2:36 PM 

Walthers last attempt at taming recoil came with the incarnation of the Spezial with dual counter-wound springs a completely redesigned match trigger, improved rear diopter sight along with milled dovetail for mounting the sight. With the earlier LGV Olympia a new piston head design was introduced for improved performance and this carried over to the Spezial.
The LGV Spezial came in a variety of stock styles including the LGV S Junior with a shorter length of pull and lighter barrel weight. Here are some pics of a Spezial Junior I am working on at the moment.

[linked image]

[linked image]



"Love them Walthers"
Hell I love them ALL

Tom Strayhorn
Catawissa Missouri

 
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Gaines Thomas Blackwell
(Login GainesBlackwell)

Tom, The Spezial Jr is my favorite Walther of all time....

August 6 2009, 3:38 PM 

Very nice example, Garvin has one I would attempt to swim the Atlantic to get. Perfect fit, perfect shooter !!!!GB

 
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Chris
(Login chrismel)

I like a sporter look better

August 6 2009, 3:41 PM 

also I don't want to go to heavy. For example my HW97K was nice but felt like a tree trunk. Instead I picture a middle weight rifle that throws a STD weight pellet 550 to 600 fps. Butter smooth to cock like an old Diana smoothbore from the 1930's I owned for about a week, it will be effortless to spend time punch paper or plinking. Lastly, it will be deadly accurate and a true test of skills.

 
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TStray
(Login TStray)

Sporter stocked LGV

August 6 2009, 4:32 PM 

Known as the LGV Olympia model, rifle on top in comparison to the LG55 on the bottom.

[linked image]

"Love them Walthers"
Hell I love them ALL

Tom Strayhorn
Catawissa Missouri

 
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Dennis
(Login ddmann)

A question Mr. Strayhorn

August 6 2009, 8:18 PM 

Your picture brings to mind a question I have about the LGV. How do you discern the difference between a Olympia and Spezial models? For the life of me I cannot figure this out.







 
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Gaines Thomas Blackwell
(Login GainesBlackwell)

Dennis, Not Tom but some pictuires of a Spezial and an Olympia....

August 6 2009, 8:33 PM 

Spezial on top:
[IMG][linked image][/IMG]

Olympia:
[IMG][linked image][/IMG]

There is a rare Spezial Tyrolean, distinguished only by it's trigger...externally:
[IMG][linked image][/IMG]

 
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Dennis
(Login ddmann)

So am I correct in assuming

August 6 2009, 9:55 PM 

That a Spezial and Olympia share the large bumpout on the rear of the stock, but differ in the forestoeck; a Spezial having a much larger and square shaped forestock while the Olympia has a much smaller rounded one?







 
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TStray
(Login TStray)

Almost

August 6 2009, 11:09 PM 

Dennis,
The stocks are quite different as the Oly is more like the earlier LG55 in shape but with more of an upright grip and it is stippled where the 55 has hand cut chekering. Other differences between the Oly and Spezial are trigger units, rear sight, the Oly has a single spring where the Spezial has dual counterwound springs with a spacer/guide in between them and a milled recriver.

Some improvments in the Spezial have been seen in later Olympias.



"Love them Walthers"
Hell I love them ALL

Tom Strayhorn
Catawissa Missouri

 
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This forum dedicated to all that enjoy collecting and restoring airguns. Have fun. Dave