Well we have here another purchase from the Findlay show. An LG51. I am learning, and have done searches here and on the net in general. Serial number on barrel is 219XXX. This is a much later number than other 51s I see posted. Walther markings on receiver are not oriented in the same direction as other pictures I see. I guess I need educated.
It seems to be in very nice shape except for a spot on the top of breech block, and unfortunately the front sight looks to have been repaired, and doesn't appear to have the correct hood.
It didn't appear to have been shot much, and the stock had only a few minor marks. I ran it over the crono and got 616fps with JSB RS7.3, and 585 with the 7.9 Express. This seems about right. After all the searching, I saw many posts about bad plastic piston seals. I have had first hand experience with this on an FWB124, so I knew it was probably best to look inside before I damaged the stud on the piston. Surprise to me , a leather seal in near perfect condition. Pics show with some silicone oil I was soaking into the leather. Insides of gun look nearly new.
There is a bit of scuffing on the piston, so I am going to put on some JM buttons, and use some JM lubes. The spring looks like new, so going back in. I need a bit of advice on the crinkled finish on the stock, and how to dress up a bit.
So what do I have? Perhaps a 51 from the early 60's from the serial number?
Thanks for any help.
The 51 was introduced in 1951 and the following 52,53, 54 and 55 roughly follows the year of introduction but they continued to make some models for several years after they were introduced. The 53 comes to mind as it stayed in the catalog for quite a few years. The 52 seems to have disappeared rather quickly and the elusive 54 as well. I am amazed to see your 51 with that late a number which may overlap the very earliest LGV. Looking at the number and wood it appears you have one of the last 51's and the youngest I have seen by a mile. I would guess at least mid 60's , maybe a fraction later.
I had early 55's with transverse logo and lettering as old as 69,XXX. Your gun could have been a special run to use up parts
. Walther , like all German airgun makers in that time frame were quite frugal so you seem many transitional variations from model to model to avoid waste.
I am basically out of the airgun business but still have LG 52 , 031,783 and my daughter has LG 53, 052760. I have the receiver of LG 55 , 109653 which still has the old style transverse stamp and never had the usual 55 sleeve. You have a very late and nice 51 ! If I can find my log book I will check further as I had about 35 older Walthers over time.
a VERY late model LG51 with a very high serial number.
All LG51's I have seen have a 6 digit serial number starting with a "0" or even "00" .
One off my early LGV models has a serial number 21xxxx !
(see my latest post on this forum)
The early LG51's had a metal butt plate on their sporter stocks, only the "M" versions LG51 had plastic butt plates.
Funny thing is the front sight ,would have thought they didn't use that particular model anymore by then as they dropped it on the later models LG53 ,but as Gaines said ,Walther could have used up old stock.
The orientation of the letters on the cylinder changed during the lifetime of the LG53.
This message has been edited by rokarf on Apr 29, 2012 3:48 PM
The gun came with the barrel pivot screw not totally tight. Would it have been possible to be a 51 with a 53 barrel? As I said, the front sight has been repaired. Perhaps a former owner swapped out a 53 barrel with a broken front sight, and this gun is an older 51 with a later 53 barrel. I have seen the parts diagram, and was wondering how difficult it is to remove the front sight if a replacement can be found. Thanks for any info.
Perhaps you Walther experts can tell me how to touch up the stock a bit. Only a few scuffs to the "clear" finish. The finish is starting to checker in spots. I did a search, but nothing stood out. Should I lightly buff with 0000 steel wool and then coat with paste wax? Maybe a coat of tru oil. I don't want to refinish it, just to cover the scuffs, and bare spots, and protect the wood. Thanks
Steve, I am no expert on wood finishes but.............
April 30 2012, 10:14 AM
Over about ten years I patiently experimented with how to maintain and slightly improve the stocks on older German air rifles.
I did not want a 50 year old gun showing normal wear to have a refinished stock if it retained most of it;s original finish. My goal was for it to look normal for it's age . Most were finished by spraying them with a nitrocellulose lacquer, no fine finish but suitable. I had many guns with feathered edges, lacquer peeling or worn away, lots of dents and gouges. I would lightly sand the edges with fine fine grit till buttery smooth, I rarely steamed out dents, they are normal on that age gun. I tried JM London oil, lots of others, most too fine for the original gun. I finally cut Tru-Oil with thinner and let it soak in then over weeks kept applying and buffing until I could match the lacquer. With practice I got where I could save and match the finish to where it looked original but was careful to make it not new looking. Frank Korn, Frakor, is a master stock restorer, look at his guns.
This is what I call a well kept well used gun, all original except for the added white spacer. The specie of Walnut is called "French"and is characterised by very tight hard grain, I call a billard ball feel, with contrasting colored grain running throught it.
The lacquer is aging, showing "crinkle lines" which I would never remove but some sand them off, they are indicators of what lacquer does over time. From the photos it appears to have been resprayed but close examination leads me to believe it is aging. I may be wrong of course.
That is just the info I wanted. My thoughts on the old guns are just like yours. They need a bit of mojo as my son would say with his vintage guitars. I really only wanted to cover the few bare spots from peeling, checking, and minor nicks. More preservation and touching up. I think I will go that route.
The few marks are very minor, and really are just chips or flaking of the aged shellac. Just a touch up in spots is what I will try. What is RLO? I think after touching up the couple of spots a protective coat of something mild on the whole stock is needed.
On a different note, why did this mid 60's gun have a leather seal. No complaints, as that is fine with me, but I was under the impression that the synthetic was out well before that.