Walther LP3 Match

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webley701
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Joined: Sat Feb 01, 2014 1:49 pm

Walther LP3 Match

Post by webley701 » Sat Feb 08, 2014 3:44 pm

This is a pistol which in the days it was in production I wanted to posses but either was never able to afford or when I could afford one there were better alternatives to be had - such as the Co2 pistols of the early 1980's

I finally got one & it's proving to be a lot of fun to use.

It's had new seals etc by Mr Amatruda, if the wind & rain stops I'll try it over the chronograph.

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The Eley pellets are around 25 years old & were made by H&N for the company.

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There was no case nor accessories with the pistol so I'm on the look out for some extra rear sight elements, I'm assuming the ones used on the GSP fit the LP3 sight?

Of course the way things (desire) work this now opens the door for a version with the fluted barrel. :roll:

Regards
Russell

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pmh
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Re: Walther LP3 Match

Post by pmh » Sat Feb 08, 2014 8:40 pm

Excellent find.

LeonardJ is an authority on Walthers and has posted many articles on this forum, amongst other places, regarding them.

Kind regards,



Phil
M0KPH
I now have so many airguns I've had to make a list, which is >>HERE<<
>>North Manchester Target Club<<

webley701
Posts: 46
Joined: Sat Feb 01, 2014 1:49 pm

Re: Walther LP3 Match - Target Gun magazine review

Post by webley701 » Tue Feb 11, 2014 11:44 pm

Below I've attached a review of the Walther LP3 Match taken from a 1982 Target Gun magazine.

It's been interesting for me to compare the reviewers comments (Geoff Hoyle?) to my own impressions.

Many aspects of the pistol are commendable but when it comes down to actual shooting the user comes across a couple of potential snags. As mentioned in the review the anatomical grip is quite large - the compression cylinder in the middle of it is a restriction on minimum grip size & shape. My hand is 'medium' but with longer than average fingers so I find the grip quite acceptable but even so I have to watch that my trigger finger is clear of the side of the grip (the review mentions removing some wood to clear the finger). Shooters with small hands or shorter fingers may struggle with the anatomical grip.

The pistol is a weighty lump being around 4 ounces heavier than a FWB 65. I wouldn't have found this a consideration when I was in practice with my MU 55 & Hammerli 152 free pistols (they weren't lightweight either) but unfortunately a lot of weight is in the grip area which moves the balance point back to the trigger resulting in a heavy gun that is still a somewhat muzzle light (again mentioned in the review). The FWB 65 is lighter (not a light gun though) but has enough mass further forward to dampen muzzle movement so at least it's weight assists the shooter.

The weight of the LP3 Match, bulky grip plus the greater effort needed to operate it must have ruled it out of the reckoning for many shooters especially ladies when it was a current pistol.

Despite the above reservations it's a great pistol to have, full of character & very enjoyable to shoot; it won't be falling apart in a hurry & from my limited test the velocities are very consistent (as with all good SSP pistols).

I'd suggest that with this pistol Walther managed to (as the saying goes) 'snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory'. Using the SSP system in the late 60's should have resulted in a pistol which could have been as good as anything we had even in the 80's - Walther should have dominated the ranges - but they saddled their SSP system with a overall design that was styled too much after a fullbore pistol (almost an SSP version of the LP53) rather than designing an all out 10m match pistol. Compare that to FWB who despite having the potential handicap of a far more complex mechanism in their model 65 than any SSP design still managed to get the dynamic qualities plus the shape & size of the grip right - to the benefit of the shooter.

Regards
Russell

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RobinC
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Re: Walther LP3 Match

Post by RobinC » Wed Feb 12, 2014 11:08 am

I think the review is a good technical review but the reviewer is probably not an accomplished target shooter and is missing the key issues that kept the LP3 secondary to the FWB 65, I shot national and occasional international in those days and his name is not familiar.

The Lp 2 and 3 were excellent match pistols, BUT, they did have some failings over the match air pistol of the day the FWB 65. The grips he comments on are irrelavent as most people doctured their grips regardless of pistol, or had made to measure grips from the several sources available in the day, Bowler, Gent, and several others, or just used plastic filler. The sights are fine and his comments on those are strange, his problem was that the lights were wrong in his range! I agree the cocking could be tricky, but was not really a problem as it was more a knack, so experienced LP3 users had no problem.
I used a FWB 65 then (and still have mine) as did the greater majority but I did try an LP2 and an LP3 many times, as a firm Walther fan (and GSP user) my heart said I should use one but my head firmly said no. The Walther trigger was superb and if well set up I think was better than the FWB 65, the ballance was fine but the main issue was the grip angle. the LP 2 & 3 simply has the grip angle too upright where as the 65 allows much more of a dropped wrist, the Walther could be improved with hand made grips to get more angle if your hand was big enough but it was not enough and that was the main factor that stopped people using them in any numbers at top level.
Walther recognised that and the grip on their next air pistol the CP 1 was much more "free pistol", and I did then change to that. Walther always had a soft spot for the SSP and then later made the LPM-1 which ran in parallel production with their Co2 match pistols.
I changed to that, and still have mine, and that is arguably (I'd argue it!) the best SSP match pistol made.

The LP2 and the 3 which is essential the same bar some details are a milestone in match air pistol history, they are great pistols, beautifull pieces of engineering from a great company but are ones that just did not quite make the grade, really that is only because of the great FWB 65.
Now Russell, you need to start looking for an LPM-1!!!
Have fun
Robin

webley701
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Re: Walther LP3 Match

Post by webley701 » Fri Feb 14, 2014 7:51 pm

That’s an interesting post Robin & rekindles some memories as well.

I also was a devotee of the GSP. I got mine around 1981 when I changed from a student to wage earner. I’d mentioned to the dealer who supplied it that the optional dry-fire trigger unit seemed interesting – his definition of ‘interesting’ must have been ‘order immediately’ as a couple of weeks later a jiffy bag arrived in the post containing as a complete surprise a 5 shot dry-fire unit plus a bill equating to at least couple of weeks pay. The ironic thing was I could never get the trigger on the dry-fire unit to feel like the real one so it wasn’t used a lot.

The LP3 didn’t feel (to me) like my GSP so I never got one as a complimentary training pistol. I eventually bought a FWB followed by an Air Match 650 but by that time I’d moved over to free-pistol & sold the GSP.

I've added plenty of car body filler to pistol grips plus carved away at them but whilst some wood can be removed from the LP3 grips the amount is limited by the compression cylinder. Those with smaller hands will struggle - FWB 65/80 anatomical grips seem anorexic by comparison.

The pity is Walther could have produced something resembling their later LMP-1 25 years earlier than they did. The SSP system lent itself to various configurations (unlike the FWB spring system) but Walther appear to have been very conservative & didn’t even take the update from the LP2 to LP3 as an chance to change the grip angle let alone a full blown SSP 10m match pistol. Their approach is puzzling as in 1968 the GSP was a radical leap ahead of the contemporary competition. I’d love to know if any proposals for an LMP-1 sort of format were considered in the 1970's by Walther.

As I wrote earlier, despite losing out to FWB the LP3 is a pistol with bags of character & was built up to a high standard rather than down to a price - beautiful pieces of engineering as you said. Not the pistol the 'pistol of choice' in the 70's but lovely to shoot now.

Yes an LMP-1 would be nice though!

You mentioned the CP1.

Just by coincidence….

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More of that one later.

Regards
Russell

PS I wonder if they ever printed CP1 on the test target or was it always handwritten?
Last edited by webley701 on Sat Jun 17, 2017 9:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

RobinC
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Re: Walther LP3 Match

Post by RobinC » Sat Feb 15, 2014 1:57 pm

Russell
The CP1 was only ever made in small numbers certainly under a 1000 and probably only 700 ish. The CP2 was near enough the same with a bettre trigger set up. I had one of the first CP1's in the country, saw the prototype at Ulm in the Autumn and had the firts one in the next spring, great pistol but the limitations created by being on FAC here made them rediculous to use and I reverted to my trusty FWB65.

Walther, they were and still are a very misunderstood company by collectors and target shooters. Unlike their competitors for target guns, air or what ever, then and to a certain extent its the same now, target guns are really more a sideline and a marketing thing. The big bread and butter side of the business is police, military, and self defence pistols. It was the same in the old days and it is the same now, the target guns were alway made in small batches in the old days by a small team and today still small batches fitted in between big military contracts. Its perhaps why I like Walthers, they are close to being hand built and closer than many know!
I have a lot of close contacts at Walther and I really don't know why they built the LPM-1, built in parallel with the CP's in a period when it was superceeded by the CP's, I suspect as a design idea that just got liked, its certainly a gerat pistol. One friend who is a senior manager at Ulm and a shooter still uses one at the Wurtenburg championships each year when he could have anything he wishes.
Have fun
Best regards
Robin

chamonixXX
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Joined: Fri May 10, 2019 3:04 am

Re: Walther LP3

Post by chamonixXX » Thu Oct 24, 2019 4:03 pm

My LP-3.
I flew over to LHR , from Canada with my LP-3 this spring simply to have Laurie A. work on it. LP-3 was in pristine condition, with box, test target and manual, but seals were shot. Stayed with friends in Surbiton for a few days. I did remove barrel, and grips so it would look less lethal for UK customs. Laurie rebuilt the piston system, with his custom parts, and it is a beautiful, target pistol now.
Thank you Laurie
[imgImageLP 3 on wood floor

I posted more info about this "pilgrimage" to get my LP-3 rebuilt here,
https://classicapa.com/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=1566#p8282

TinTin
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Joined: Sun Jun 23, 2019 4:54 pm

Re: Walther LP3 Match

Post by TinTin » Mon Oct 28, 2019 2:17 pm

That is a really nice pistol, well done. :clap:

chamonixXX
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Joined: Fri May 10, 2019 3:04 am

Re: Walther LP3 Match

Post by chamonixXX » Mon Oct 28, 2019 7:00 pm

Thanks TinTin,
though I wish I could find a Walther Match LP-3 in the same condition. Years ago (1970s?) I had a LP-53 , long gone, and then later an LP-2. I lost the LP-2 during various moves, so was happy to find this LP-3, bought from Pilkington Competition about 10 years ago. But it did need new seals, so after sending it back to Pilkington, with no fix, I took it to the Expert, Laurie in the UK.

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