Walther Lever Action CO2 Multishot Rifle
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- Last updated: 03/08/2017
Walther’s Lever Action Rifle harks back to the Old West and takes its inspiration from the Winchester model 1894. It employs Umarex’s familiar alloy 8-shot rotary magazines and 12g CO2 capsules. It makes a perfect plinking rifle, having an interesting action, acceptable accuracy, and power levels that would make it suitable for informal target shooting in your garden – providing a safe back stop is used and no pellet leaves the confines of your property.
First impressions and authentic sling-ring notwithstanding, the Walther is not an exact copy of the Winchester ’94: the principal differences being a fore-end that stops abruptly at the barrel band (Winchester fore-ends either project a couple of inches beyond it or feature a steel fore-end cap); a wider stock with a corrugated butt-plate; and a couple of additional safety features in the shape of a cross-bolt hammer safety (only introduced by Winchester in 1992), and a red indicator pin that shows when a magazine is fitted.
I can’t account for the truncated fore-end, but the differences in the stock are explained when you realise that it contains the rifle’s CO2 power-pack. Unclipping a recessed lever in its rear face releases the butt-plate, and with it a carrier that holds two 12g CO2 capsules – enough gas for around 80 shots. Just remove the retaining bolt, drop a couple of capsules nose-down into the appropriate recesses, and re-tighten the bolt to piece the seals, before aligning the cutaways on the carrier with the rails inside the stock, sliding the assembly back into place and closing the locking lever.
Loaded magazines are inserted by pressing down on the loading gate. This is a dummy that releases a real gate cleverly concealed in the bulge at the front of the receiver. An axis pin in the gate centres the magazine, while a red plastic retainer holds it in place, a function that also pushes a peg on the opposite face of the retainer through a hole in the gate to indicate the presence of a magazine in the rifle. Neat. Once the magazine has been inserted, simply click the gate shut, cycle the under-lever, and you’re ready to go.
Give Me A Lever…
It’s the under-lever that really makes this gun, since its smooth but solid feel, accompanied by the businesslike “clock-clock” sound of its operation, and the realistic back-and-forward movement of the receiver cover, make reloading almost as enjoyable as shooting!
It’s true that – as per the original - the lever can become a bit hard on the knuckles if you don’t wear gloves, but despite a good deal of rapid shooting it never once bit my hand, and I didn’t have a single misfire or stoppage. Indeed, the only problem when you start to build up a quick-fire rhythm is that the butt tends to slip down in your shoulder. This again is a characteristic of original lever-action rifles, especially those with shotgun-style butt-plates. Clearly Walther have tried to reduce this effect by giving the butt plate a corrugated finish, but it’s not a wholly effective solution so if this were my gun I’d add a slip-on rubber butt pad for real non-slip result.
It’s worth saying something about the gun’s build and balance too. I’d expected it to feel like a toy, but the combination of a real wood stock (nicely-grained beech with a smart chestnut stain) and solid metal construction (the only plastic parts are the sights, butt-plate, barrel band, muzzle cap and magazine end cap) give it a convincing 6.5 lb heft and a centre-of-balance just ahead of the trigger guard that makes it point like as naturally as a shotgun. Indeed, given its weight and a full-sized length-of-pull of 14 3/8” the Walther is arguably more suited to mature than to junior shooters.
Despite being made of plastic, the sights give a clear picture and are fully adjustable. The buckhorn-style rear sight uses a sliding ramp for elevation, whilst the square-bladed front sight sits snugly in a transverse dovetail where it can be nudged to either side as required. Meanwhile, a clip-on sight hood protects your zero and eliminates glare.
Velocity with Walther’s 7.7-grain wadcutter pellets averaged 490 fps from the 19.25” barrel, and these printed respectable 1.5” groups at 20 yards, whilst 8.25-grain RWS Superdomes, averaging 480 fps, did even better: proving the Lever Action capable of 1” groups at this range.
The wide, smooth trigger blade is comfortable and gives good control, in spite of an average pull weight of around 5 lb, but as with the original you need to follow-through consistently to accommodate the increased lock time inherent in the Lever-Action’s mechanism. With a little practice, however, the rifle really gives the impression that if you do your part, lining up the sights and squeezing the trigger consistently, it’ll keep its side of the bargain.
Package Includes / Optional extras:
2 x 8-shot magazines
/ 4x32 scope and mount