Doug Wall Reviews The Walther Dominator 1250
HAM Tester Doug Wall recently acquired a new Walther Dominator 1250 PCP .177 caliber air rifle. In this article, he gives his initial impressions of the new gun – based on the standard HAM test protocol. In addition, he covers an interesting accessory and his plans for the future with the Dominator.
Take it away Doug…
BACKGROUND AND OVERVIEW
The Walther Dominator 1250 is one of a number of Walther air rifles using similar actions. This group also includes the Hammerli 850 AirMagnum (CO2), the Umarex 850 (CO2), the Walther Rotek RM8, and the Walther MaximaThor.
The Dominator 1250 also comes in several variants. These include a “sporting version” with open sights, and a “FT” version in several power ratings (7.5 and 28J in .177, and 40J – 29.5 Ft/Lbs – in .22 caliber).
The version that I’m testing here is the .177, 28J (20.7 Ft/Lbs), FT version. It’s also the “Combo package”, which includes a Walther 8-32x 56 scope, a compensator/air stripper, 2 magazines, a DIN fill adapter, a bipod, and hard case.
BUY FROM UMAREX USA
WALTHER 1250 DOMINATOR FT .177 PCP Rifle with Scope
As with all the Walther guns I’ve seen, the workmanship and parts look good! In particular, the metal work is very nicely finished.
The gun has a quite comfortable, black, fiberglass reinforced, ambidextrous polymer stock. This stock features a soft rubber recoil pad.
There’s also a 4 ¼” long Picatinny rail under the fore end for attaching the bipod, or a sling swivel.
The included bipod has two attached Picatinny rails for accessories, and extends to 9 ½” below the fore end rail.
The magazines are typical of a lot of the Walther guns. They are of a very simple, practical design and hold eight shots. The pellets are held in place by an o-ring or rubber band, in a recess in the perimeter of the magazine.
There’s no indicator for the shot count, so I painted a small index mark on the magazines to make it easier to keep track of the shots fired.
The Walther Dominator 1250 is no lightweight! The gun, scope, bipod package weighs in at 11.5 Lbs. Taking the bipod off brings it down to 10.8 Lbs.
Also note that the included compensator/air stripper is NOT a moderator! This gun is very loud! For those so inclined and where legal, there are aftermarket devices available to help moderate sound…
The 8-32 x 56 Walther scope that comes with the outfit, seems to be a very nice scope, with a bright, clear image. It has a built in sun shade, and comes with a 3 ¼” side focus wheel.
The large target turrets are very nicely set up with scales on both the circumference of the knob, and on the shaft, to count the number of turns. The reticle is medium thick, with 5 mil-dot spaces on each side of the center.
FILLING THE WALTHER DOMINATOR 1250
The Dominator differs from many PCP airguns in that the High Pressure Air cylinder must be unscrewed from the gun to fill it.
The way that this usually happens is that the supplied DIN fill adapter is screwed into a Scuba or SCBA supply tank. After the tank is removed from the gun, it is screwed onto the DIN adapter, and the supply tank valve is opened to fill the gun.
The DIN adapter is the brass piece shown in the photograph below.
(There are also less expensive adapters that will screw onto the DIN adapter, and allow filling the tank (unscrewed from the gun) with a hand pump or other air source.)
After the proper pressure is in the gun tank, the tank valve is closed. The tank is then removed from the DIN adapter, and screwed back into the gun.
While this works pretty well for the 7.5 Joule guns, where you might get 150 shots or so, it’s less than ideal for the 28 Joule gun. At this power level, you’ll get many less shots before having to unscrew the tank and fill it again.
The gun has a maximum fill pressure of 300 bar (4,410 PSI), so this might not fit you filling sources, and especially if you are hand pumping.
THE JOSEF1000 QUICK FILL ADAPTER
To solve the “remove the tank” issue, I ordered a fill adapter from Josef1000, in Czechoslovakia ( http://www.josef1000.cz ). While this isn’t an inexpensive accessory (especially with international shipping!), it does allow me to use a fill probe to air up the gun, without having to remove the tank.
I found out about this adapter during an internet search, and found very good installation instructions here: https://airgunaccuracy.wordpress.com/quick-fill-for-walther-cylinders
Below. The Josef1000 Fill Adapter with probe and wrench.
SAFETY WARNING: BEFORE WORKING ON THE AIR TUBE, MAKE SURE THAT IT IS TOTALLY DEGASSED, TO ZERO PRESSURE!
Since I’m a DIY kind of guy, I figured that I could make the three tools needed for the installation.
First, the ends of the Dominator air tube are in there VERY tight! There’s no way that you hold the tube tight enough to get them out. This requires a padded clamp the hold the tube (Not just clamped in a vise!!!!).
The Internet instructions used a hydraulic pipe clamp. I made the equivalent by using a hole saw to cut an appropriate sized hole in a small piece of 2×4 stock. I then saw cut through the hole to allow it to close when clamped, and lined it with rubber.
Below. The air tube end plug with my DIY tool.
The second tool needed is a 2-pin tool to remove the tube end. I was able to find some steel tube in my junk box to make the tool. A couple of 4mm diameter bolts were used for the pins.
With the tube clamped tightly in the padded clamp, in a vise, I was able, with a large adjustable wrench, and significant effort, to get the end plug out. Phew!
Below. Here’s the hex tool I made for removing front tube plug with gauge. The hex tool is in a socket wrench, with three extensions. The tape is to prevent damaging internal threads in the tube. The close-up shows the OEM front plug removed from tube, with the hex tool.
The front plug, with the gauge is a different story. To get that out, you need to get a 18mm hex tool all the way down into a recess in the back of the front plug. (Think a really long 18mm Allen wrench.)
I was able to find an appropriate sized nut and bolt. This allowed me to – with the aid of a 3/8” socket wrench, and three extensions – get all the way down into the tube. Then I was able to turn the front plug CLOCKWISE to remove it.
Installation of the new adapter was much simpler!
I smeared a little silicone grease on the o-ring of the new fill adapter, then screwed it in by hand. A little final nudge was applied by using an 8mm rod into the fill port hole.
The back plug was also given a light coat of silicone grease, and screwed back in using the 2-pin tool. It went back in, and tightened a bit, much easier than it came out!
For me, this adapter makes it much easier to fill the gun using standard quick disconnects to my compressor or tank!
The front cover of the adapter is slid forward to expose the probe hole, the probe is inserted, and the gun is filled. After reaching the desired pressure, the fill line is degassed, the probe is removed, and the cover is slid back to seal off the probe hole from dirt.
The velocity of the Walther Dominator 1250 is right up there!
With 4.7 Grain Gamo Platinum PBAs, it shoots a supersonic 1250 FPS. With 10.65 Grain H&N Baracuda Match, it’s still going 1000 FPS.
These kind of velocities are often considered a little too high for optimum accuracy. It also brings the energy above the 20 Ft/Lbs maximum for US Field Target competition.
I will attempt to address this at some point in the future. The observed velocities put the output energy right around the 28 Joules listed by the manufacturer.
Using 7.9 Grain Crosman Premier HP pellets, the gun appeared to come off the regulator at about 140 bar (about 2,000 PSI). From a (low) initial 3000 PSI fill, this happened at around shot 27. By about shot 45, the velocity had dropped from about 1000 FPS, down to about 900 FPS.
As the maximum fill pressure of the Walther Dominator 1250 is 4350 PSI (300 Bar), a full pressure fill will obviously give a greatly-increased shot count. In future, I’ll be filling to higher pressures…
I tested my Walther Dominator 1250 with the usual compliment of HAM test pellets. Initial testing was done at 10 Yards to weed out poor performers.
Of course, the HAM standard pellets may not include the pellet that is actually best in the gun, but they give a great starting point for further investigation.
The top pellet of the group was the JSB Exact, 8.44 Grain, with a 10 shot group of 0.143 -In. x 0.145-In. CTC (Center To Center).
At longer ranges, the accuracy seemed to go down a little more than expected with this pellet. Since this pellet is moving along with a Muzzle Velocity of about 1,070 FPS, it’s probably getting into that trans-sonic area.
When fired at 50+ yards, and in good lighting, I could actually see a little spiral going on as the pellet traveled downrange through the scope set to maximum magnification!
I’ll be experimenting with other heavier pellets to improve the long range accuracy with my gun. I’m sure the potential is there!
VALUE FOR MONEY
At about $700 (for .177), this may seem a little high. When you consider that this includes a substantial scope, a bipod, and a case, it’s not bad! Depending on your air supply source, you will most likely have to purchase an additional air charging adapter.
But note that Umarex USA currently has a special deal running on the Dominator. Their price is $349.99. At that price it’s an absolute steal!!!
BUY FROM UMAREX USA
WALTHER 1250 DOMINATOR FT .177 PCP Rifle with Scope
This is a regulated gun, so things are generally pretty consistent until the fill pressure drops to about 140 bar, where the gun goes off the regulator. That happened at around shot 27 from a 3,000 PSI fill.
As I’d like the gun to shoot slower, changing the regulator pressure down to about 110 bar might be a future project. That would also give more shots per fill.
The trigger, out of the box isn’t a match trigger. It’s kind of a two stage trigger, with a light spring take up as the “first stage”.
The “second stage” is a longish, but smooth pull. At an average 1 Lb. 12 Oz., the pull weight is quite nice. Some trigger adjustment is apparently available.
The Walther Dominator 1250 is great right out of the box, and has plenty of power for hunting, and with the right, heavier pellets, it should provide very good accuracy.
My personal plans for this gun will be to tune it more towards Field Target specifications. This means reducing the power a little to get it under the 20 Ft/Lbs energy maximum with any pellet that I might use.
Some ideas to get that done might include lowering the regulator pressure, and playing with the hammer spring (Which should also give me a higher shot count!).
Getting that done will have to be the subject of another article…