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Walther LP2 - early '70s single-stroke target pistol

Discussion in 'Gun Gallery' started by cloverleaf, Jul 14, 2015.

  1. cloverleaf

    cloverleaf Super Moderator Staff Member Mod/Admin

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    Picked this up recently:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    After a bit of digging I found that the LP2 was introduced in around 1967 and ran until around 1972 when it was replaced with the LP3. The single stroke pneumatic LP2 was the company's first non-spring-piston air pistol and although looking similar to the earlier, spring-powered LP53, it functions in a completely different way.

    The lever in the grip is pulled downward and backward to draw down the piston inside the grip; cocking the striker at the end of its travel. When the lever is returned the piston is pushed back up the grip, compressing air between it and a valve in the breech face behind the barrel. The barrel is released using the famous Walther lever underneath, pivoting down to allow loading.

    When it came to me this pistol wouldn't cock or hold air. By chance I found the cocking issue was due to an overly-long screw in one of the grips (now both are missing :rolleyes:) and the piston seal was shafted. Bizarrely the gun came with a spare, used piston (and crusty seal) but the one in the gun looked original.. the spare piston:

    [​IMG]


    Thankfully Knibbs do remanufactured seals for these pistons and one arrived today. The gun was stripped (sorry, no pics) cleaned and the piston seal changed. While the original was still in one piece it started to crumble when poked and came off without much fuss. Old and new seals:

    [​IMG]


    The piston was a bit of a swine to refit due to the various sharp-edged cutouts in the sides of the piston bore near the base of the grip, but I got there in the end with minimal damage to the seal.

    The pistol has an interesting design in that the pivot for the cocking lever in the bottom of the grip has an eccentric shank and is radially locked in place by two flats on either side of the housing for its hexagonal head. This give six possible positions for the centre of the eccentric bolt; allowing the "top dead centre" position of the piston to be adjusted - altering the amount by which the air is compressed.

    At the "minimum compression" setting the pistol was giving around 2ftlb with AA Fields; at the max setting it was closer to 2.4ftlb. This is about right for a pistol of this type; giving around 400ft/s with lightweight wadcutters.


    I tried the pistol at 10m earlier; putting a fair few shots through the gun to zero it before shooting for some scores.

    In use the pistol was quite tiring; both on account of the cocking cycle (which would probably be better if I didn't have to avoid holding the loose grips) and weight. Balance isn't great; feeling too far rearward and reducing muzzle control - which makes you work harder to suppress its twitching.

    I also found the relatively upright grip starting to load up the back of my elbow after a good few shots. The sightline is reasonably low (if not by current match pistol standards) and the trigger crisp and light; although it could do with a bit more setting up.

    I found the gun to be very unforgiving of poor trigger control; I suspect because of the light muzzle and possible slow lock time. It's easy to flick shots wide in the absence of sufficient discipline with the trigger finger - I even managed a 5 on one card :p



    The last card I shot came in at 91 give or take - but I had to work hard for it and shot plenty of considerably worse cards earlier in the evening. The low 8 and 7 are evidence of me dropping the ball with the trigger control:

    [​IMG]


    Of course it would be wholly unfair to hold a 50yr old design to the same performance standards as modern kit and that would be missing the point of owning a classic target air pistol.. such guns are a piece of history and this one acquits itself well considering how long current pistols have had to evolve since its production.

    That said I did put 10 through the Steyr straight afterwards and it seemed like slipping into a pair of silk slippers by comparison - comfortable, forgiving, effortless :D
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
  2. Stevie Darling

    Stevie Darling Sexual tyrannosaurus

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    A pretty cool looking pistol:)
     
  3. Scott

    Scott Moderated user

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    Thats a nice looking weapon,
    I was wondering why it had a hand guard coming form the base of the grip then I realised it was the cocking lever :facepalm:

    I would assume that putting some serious range time into it and learning the nuances of such an old weapon could have a reasonably accurate pistol
    and a great conversation piece at the range too.

    wish you many happy hours with it

    Scott
     
  4. Regular_shot

    Regular_shot Donator

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    That's a really nice little pistol, and great that you've brought it back to it's former glory now, ie shootable (and from looks pretty accurately).
    I do like the design of these very much, and makes me wonder if I was a little hasty parting with my LP53 recently too!
     
  5. The Robin

    The Robin Super Moderator Staff Member Mod/Admin

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    I love that, I've always fancied one myself. Glad you've got it up and running again :up:
     
  6. cloverleaf

    cloverleaf Super Moderator Staff Member Mod/Admin

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    Cheers guys :)

    Inherently I think it's a pretty accurate pistol (and certainly far easier to shoot well than contemporary spring-powered offerings) but it certainly demands more discipline and concentration to shoot well than more modern target pistols.

    The card pictured is pretty good for me (when I was shooting 10m more I was probably averaging mid-high 80s with the odd venture into the low 90s) so I can obviously come close to my average with this gun; it just takes a lot more effort!

    If I can find the time and botheration it would be interesting to test the shot development time of this gun against the Steyr to see how much difference there really is. It would also be interesting to see how the gun compares in use to an LP53 - although judging by the prices being asked on gstar I can't see me getting one of them any time soon.

    If nowt else the pistol is an interesting and characterful collectable that I think will get some new grip screws, a new case (currently in a tatty modified briefcase) and put away somewhere safe :)

    Perhaps worryingly I've acquired a few air pistols recently - I hope this isn't the beginning of another addiction :p
     
  7. Regular_shot

    Regular_shot Donator

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    You're making me think to get out the FWB65 tonight for a session now!
     
  8. cloverleaf

    cloverleaf Super Moderator Staff Member Mod/Admin

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    Sounds like you have quite the collection - what other nice vintage target pistols do you have stashed away? :D

    I did read that the FWB 65 and Walther LP2 were in direct competition back in the day (representing each company's first go at creating a recoilless pistol albeit through two very different approaches) but that the FWB was generally more favoured on account of its increased reliability. From memory I think the ergonomics of the FWB are probably a fair bit better too, and the cocking easier :p
     
  9. Regular_shot

    Regular_shot Donator

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    I'm afraid that's the only one now! Only HW45s and the 65 now to play with. :)
     
  10. cloverleaf

    cloverleaf Super Moderator Staff Member Mod/Admin

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    You certainly picked a good one (or two) to keep!
     
  11. Regular_shot

    Regular_shot Donator

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    I had to keep the 65, it matches my mint 300S so well. :)
     
  12. cloverleaf

    cloverleaf Super Moderator Staff Member Mod/Admin

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    Very nice :D
     
  13. cloverleaf

    cloverleaf Super Moderator Staff Member Mod/Admin

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    Just for added nostalgia value, here are the pellets the pistol came with - fap knows when it was last in working order!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    :D
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
  14. Regular_shot

    Regular_shot Donator

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    I should think there is plenty of lead on old church roofs that is newer than those!!
     
  15. Scott

    Scott Moderated user

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    Those look solid, what do they weigh?
     
  16. cloverleaf

    cloverleaf Super Moderator Staff Member Mod/Admin

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    8.38gn over an average of 10 ;)

    Probably intended for use in rifles..
     
  17. cloverleaf

    cloverleaf Super Moderator Staff Member Mod/Admin

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    So I continue to be unable to avoid playing with this new toy..

    Happily following a bit of a poke around last night in the dilapidated, re-purposed briefcase that houses the pistol, I came across the original grip screws. These have now been re-fitted, making cocking of the pistol much easier and the whole loading process far easier and more straightforward since the grip can now be held during operation.

    I've also adjusted the trigger - it was set very light which highlighted some shortcomings in terms of feel and repeatable operation. It's now about as good as I can get it - I suspect it would benefit from the fitment of adjustment screws with ball-ends as opposed to the conical efforts currently fitted (according to the diagram in the manual). I suspect they're M3 so (time and botheration permitting) I might replace them with some socket-cap efforts at some point.

    I also put a decent string of shots through the chrono earlier - 6.94gn R10 pistol pellets gave the following velocity figures (ft/s):

    385
    385
    386
    386
    384
    383
    383
    386
    384
    385

    10 shots with an extreme spread of 3ft/s (!) and an average of 384.7ft/s / 2.29ftlb. Very impressive consistency and velocity / energy figures that are right where they should be.

    Hopefully I'll get it up the club later to see if I can beat that 91 I shot on Monday!
     
  18. PJHIZZLE

    PJHIZZLE Engaging Member

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    Lovely pistol Cloverleaf. Will have to keep an eye out for one.
     
  19. cloverleaf

    cloverleaf Super Moderator Staff Member Mod/Admin

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    Thanks!

    They don't seem to come up that often, but don't seem to be horrifically priced when they do :)


    I did cart the pistol up the club last night but couldn't better 91, turning in an 88 and 87 on the first two cards. By the third it had all gone horribly wrong as I became progressively more tired, with a diagonal string across the black betraying my failing trigger discipline.. I imagine this wasn't helped by the now-heavier trigger - which I measured at around 1.25lb or around 570g; at least comfortably above the 500g minimum for 10m pistol.

    I also tested the shot development time (trigger release to pellet exit) for both the Walther and Steyr - figures are a little sketchy as I think the slightly creepy triggers made defining the precise moment of release difficult. That said I'm faily confident that both pistols came in at around 6ms; on a par with the quicker end of the rifles I've tested.

    Given the Walther's less forgiving nature I'm slightly surprised to find the lock time to be similar to that of the Steyr; however I've always considered SSPs to have a quick lock time (by virtue of the way they work) so this wasn't a total shock. I suspect the Walther's greater sensitivity must be down to the significantly more rearward-biased weight distribution.

    Hopefully I might be able to sort the trigger adjustment screws sometime soon!
     
  20. cloverleaf

    cloverleaf Super Moderator Staff Member Mod/Admin

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    Pics sorted :)
     

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