The Steyr LG10 & LG10P Match Air Rifles

By Brad Troyer
Pictures Courtesy of Steyr-Mannlicher


Importer and sales of Walther, Browning, Hammerli, HK, Uzi, Colt, RWS and other airguns and related products.
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I had the great fortune to attend the 1998 Airgun Expo in Little Rock. This was the first big airgun show that I had attended and I was really excited. I had the opportunity to see and shoot many different airguns, from the old BB guns I shot as a youth to state of the art magnum pneumatics. It was at the show that I first saw the Steyr line of match airguns.

Scott Pilkington, who sells the Steyr airguns, had a table right inside the main entrance to the show and I had to pass by his inventory each time I went into the hall. As I recall, his table was busy throughout most of the show but I was still able to make my way over to the shooting range with several of his top rate airguns. I was very impressed with the Steyr products so I made arrangements with Scott to get a gun for review.

I decided to test a match rifle but I couldn't decide if I wanted to test the single stroke pneumatic LG10 or the precharged LG10P. Scott made it easy for me and suggested that he send me one of each, so with my arm severely twisted, I agreed quickly (before he had a chance to change his mind). A few months later I had two beautiful Steyr air rifles in my hands to play with.

Steyr airguns are made in Austria by the Steyr-Mannlicher firearms company. Most shooters will recognize the Steyr name from many of their popular firearms that they produce. Their match line of airguns continue their heritage of quality, well built arms.

The rifles arrived with all kinds of neat accessories like adjustment tools, front sight inserts, and butt pad . Of course the first thing I wanted to do was take the rifles out back and shoot them a bit. The rifles are shipped without rear sight mounted on the gun. I dug through the box and found the sight bundled up in its own shipping material. I removed it from the packaging and began to examine the aperture sight. The precision aperture sight is adjustable for windage, elevation, and cant. The cant feature is pretty neat, if you like to hold your rifle in a position other than vertical, the cant feature allows the rear sight to be adjusted so it is vertical. I checked the sight and the users manual but I couldn’t find an adjustable iris on the rear sight.

I mounted the rear sight on the single stroke pneumatic LG10 first by sliding the sight onto the grooves cut into the rear receiver. The sight is held in place with a single set screw on the left side of the sight. I secured the rear sight and headed to the backyard to sight-in the LG10 and plink a little bit. The LG10 is cocked by pressing the red button on the cocking arm to release it and then pushing the arm upwards towards the front end of the gun. As it reaches the end of the upward stroke, the loading port pops open and the trigger is set. When the cocking arm is pulled back down to the lock position the air is compressed for the next shot. The pellet is loaded directly into the barrel and the loading port cover is pushed down closing the loading port and moving the transfer port up to the barrel.

After shooting the LG10 for a while I put it away and got out the LG10P, the precharged pneumatic match rifle. The LG10P is easier to cock, the loading port is pulled up and back to set the trigger and expose the loading port. It is then pushed back down and the gun is ready to fire. I fixed my sights on the target, took a few breaths, squeezed the trigger the trigger, and click. No discharge, I forgot to fill the gun with air!

I grabbed the users manual and read up on the filling procedure before charging the gun. The LG10P uses a removable air cylinder like many other precharge match rifles. The air cylinder is simply unscrewed from the gun when empty and then screwed into the charging adapter that is installed on a SCUBA tank. Neither the charging adapter or air cylinder has a pressure gauge on them which I didn't like much. The air cylinder is filled to 200 bar (about 2900 psi) which is indicated by a pressure indicator on the end of cylinder which pops out about 5mm and exposes a red line when it is full. This method worked without any problems, but I would rather see a pressure gauge on the filling adapter so that the chance of mistakes is reduced. With the air cylinder full, the cylinder is screwed back onto the rifle and it is ready to go. The users manual stated that the gun should get about 230 shots from a full charge and I found that it did indeed get well over 200 shots with a single fill.

This LG10 and LG10P are basically the same with the exception of the power plant. The LG10P is a bit lighter since it doesn’t have the additional weight of the cocking mechanism. It would be hard to distinguish which gun you were shooting if you were blindfolded and handed either gun to shoot (of course it would be hard to hit the target blindfolded!) Steyr uses a nice multi-colored laminate for the stock which is formed in the classic match style. The fit and feel of the stock is what you would expect from a rifle of this quality. Both rifles are superbly balanced with the balance point just a few inches forward of the trigger guard.

If you don’t care for the balance or feel of the rifles, there are adjustable weights on the front of the barrel shroud that allow tailoring the feel of the rifle. There are two barrel weights, one at the end of the barrel which hold the front sight and one doughnut shaped weight behind it. The second weight can be positioned anywhere along the barrel which allows the shooter to adjust the feel of the gun to their preference.

Out of the box the stock design is very comfortable and the guns point very well. Of course to attain the ultimate accuracy which is needed in today’s competitive 10 meter competitions, the stock must be tailored to the shooter. The Steyr stocks feature a completely adjustable cheek piece and butt pad that can be adjusted nine ways to Sunday so the gun will fit any shooter. The stock has a wide, flat forearm with an accessory rail installed at the front end.

Any competition shooter will tell you that one of the most important parts of a precision airgun is the trigger. The Steyr rifles has as good a trigger as I have ever used, there was absolutely no creep to be felt. It is very predictable with a solid second stage stop as you pull through the first stage. The trigger itself can be adjusted to ounces on the pull weight but it can also be adjusted for sear engagement, first stage weight, take up adjustment, and second stage weight. The trigger blade is 100% adjustable, being adjusted front to back, up and down, canted, moved angularly, and turned 360 degrees. I liked the trigger blade so much I bought one for my Daystate CR97! The trigger on both the guns reviewed was so well adjusted that I didn't bother to mess with them. The only thing I did was cant the trigger blade so my finger would lay flat on the blade. I was very impressed with trigger on these rifles.

Both rifles have a dry firing capability implemented in their design. There are two marks on the left side of the receiver, the top marked ‘T’ and the bottom marked ‘F’. When the loading port is closed completely, to the ‘F’ mark, the gun will discharge normally. The rifle can be dry fired, without discharging any air down the barrel, by only closing the loading port to the ‘T’ mark. The trigger will work exactly the same as when fired expect that the gun will not discharge. After dry firing, the rifles can be recocked by pulling the loading port up and setting the trigger again and it can then be fired or dry fired again.

Steyr LG10 & LG10P Velocity Results
LG10 LG10P
RWS
Miesterkugln
Beeman
H&N Match
Crosman
Supermatch
RWS
Miesterkugln
Beeman
H&N Match
Crosman
Supermatch
Average Velocity 578 573 576 573 565 568
Standard Deviation 3.5 2.2 3.4 4.3 3.1 4.3
Highest 588 579 581 581 570 574
Lowest 573 570 569 565 560 556
Extreme Spread 15 9 12 16 10 18
Weight 7.7 8.09 7.9 7.7 8.09 7.9
Energy 5.7 5.9 5.8 5.6 5.7 5.7
Velocities results are calculated from a 20 shot string.

Neither of the rifles tested toted high velocity ratings, shooting in upper 500 fps range with under 20 fps deviation. This is typical of match airguns since shooting only 10 meters doesn't require that much energy and the lower power helps keep the firing cycle smooth and virtually motionless. The accuracy of both rifles was exceptional, as expected, shooting basically a single hole that was just a smidge bigger than the pellets themselves. I think the biggest factor with the accuracy in this test was the guy performing the test. The rear aperture sight seemed to have a lot of fuzz around the edge but when I examined it with a magnifying glass I couldn't find any fuzz, it was just my eyes. At any rate, either of these rifles posses Olympic grade accuracy. Both rifles really seemed to like the RWS Miesterkugln pellets the best of the pellets tested.

Steyr LG10 & LG10P Accuracy Results
LG10 LG10P
RWS
Miesterkugln
Beeman
H&N Match
Crosman
Supermatch
RWS
Miesterkugln
Beeman
H&N Match
Crosman
Supermatch
Average Accuracy 0.05 0.12 0.16 0.03 0.08 0.14
Smallest 0.01 0.05 0.11 0.01 0.02 0.09
Biggest 0.11 0.20 0.20 0.07 0.15 0.19
Accuracy ratings are a result of 5 groups of 5 shots each at 10 meters

One interesting feature on the LG10 is that the power can be adjusted slightly by adjusting the compression piston. Turning the piston head, the power can be turned up or down to suite the shooter. The adjustment is not extreme, you couldn't get it up 1000 fps, but the adjustment is just another allows the shooters some leeway on the power output. I liked the power adjustment as it came from the factory so I didn't bother adjusting it.

Both of these fine match rifles had a smooth, quiet firing cycle but I was a bit surprised that the LG10P was slightly quieter that it's single stroke brother. There was almost no noticable movement of the gun when it is discharged. This is in part due to the stabilizer system that is built into the receiver. When the trigger is pulled, the compressed air rushes through the rifles valving and hits the rear of the pellet causing some movement in the gun. The stabilizer is designed to help to reduce this movement by creating a opposite reaction to the movement. The stabilizer is orientated behind the breech with on end of it connected to the transfer port. The air that pushes on the rear of the pellet also pushes on the stabilizer so when the trigger is pulled, the initial in-rush of air hits both the pellet and stabilizer at the same time. The stabilizer can then push in the opposite direction and cancel out the movement created by the air hitting the pellet.

Since I don’t normally shoot 10 meter competitions, I had a club member who does shoot match competitions check out these rifle as well. He was very impressed with the balance, stock, and fantastic trigger that both gun posses. Of course he also liked the single hole accuracy that any serious 10 meter rifle has. The only negative comment he had was that the stock was smooth and had no stripling or checkering in key contact points. He found that he needed a forward hand shooting glove and a cloth to avoid slipping in these contact areas but said that it shouldn’t be a problem since this is the way most shoot anyway. That was something I didn’t notice or care about, I thought it shot fine without them, but for the serious 10 meter shooter it may make a difference.

The Steyr rifles suite have been winning a lot of medals at major competitions and after having some time to spend with them I can see why. Both of the rifles were very comfortable and well balanced. I found the pneumatic power plant on the LG10 was easy to operate. Both guns pointed very well and well easily controlled in both the standing, sitting, and prone positions. I don’t think I have ever shot another air rifle that had such an easy cocking force as the LG10P, pulling the loading port up you almost couldn’t tell you were cocking it. Both rifles are of Olympic caliber and I am sure we will see them taking more medals in the future.



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Steyr LG10 & LG10P Match Air Rifle Specs

Model LG10 & LG10P Match Rifles
Manufacturer Steyr-Mannlicher, Austria
Importer Pilkington Competition Equipment
P.O Box 97
Little Trees Ramble
Monteagle, TN 37356
Type Single Stroke &
Pre-charged Pneumatic
Caliber .177
Energy 5.6 ft. lb.
Overall Length 43.7"
Weight 11 lbs.
Sights Match Diopter
Stock Multi-colored Laminated Match
Safety None
Trigger Match Adjustable

 

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