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Lothar Walther barrels

14 Nov 2022
@ 11:32 pm (GMT)

Dennis Mahony

Hi all,

I've come into possession of a 1980's Winchester M70 XTR chambered in 7mmRemMag. I took it straight to my local gunsmith who showed me through boroscope evidence of a burnt barrel.
He works with Lothar Walther barrels on his custom rifles and recommended them if ever I wanted to pursue the new barrel option. Does anyone here have any experience with Lothar Walther? Any info would be appreciated. Cheers.


15 Nov 2022
@ 07:27 pm (GMT)


Re: Lothar Walther barrels
Hi Dennis,

I have a Lothar Walther barrel fitted to a No1 Mk3 lee Enfield.
It shoots sub minute of angle, around 0.6" at 100 metres for three shots, open sights and 1950's 303 milsup ammunition.
The rifle is bedded with Nathan and Steph's bedding compound.

I have a couple more Lothar Walther barrels to fit and expect them to preform just as well. A bore scope shows the inside of all the barrels to be very well finished.

The biggest question you really need to ask is, in the unlikely event that a new barrel doesn't preform, will your smith and Lothar Walther stand behind their work and make it good?

17 Nov 2022
@ 06:53 pm (GMT)

Scott Struif

Re: Lothar Walther barrels
My 1983 M70 in 30-06 was sub-MOA out of the box. The hype over the pre-64 action is nostalgic BS. Now that the new ones have reverted back to the old design, you have a collector’s piece. I would let the smith pick the barrel he likes. That way he’s obligated to make sure the gun shoots well. Maybe he’s got a deal with LW that they’ll replace a barrel he thinks is suspect, no questions asked.
18 Nov 2022
@ 01:58 pm (GMT)

Mike Davis

Re: Lothar Walther barrels
Dennis.....if rifle is safe to use...why dont you use it and see what it is doing group wise????
call me cynicle but the rifle I owned of same vintage in same model but in .270w also had gunsmith say barrel was pretty well poked yet after I bedded it and sorted out my technique (ongoing journey) it went back to sub inch grouping with no fuss on reloading bench needed.
they left factory with what was Nathans terminology here???? dollop of hot glue pooh..think it was LOL... by simply replacing this ,sometimes good things happen.if it does,buy one of Nathans great bedding kits and have at it.
also important is what do you want rifle to be able to do??? if you are not into carrying rangefinder and twiddlin n fiddlin with scope turrets,if you NORMALLY only shoot to 200 yards with very occasional shot past that...well you dont need sub inch grouping to make ethical clean kills.... part of the appeal of a 7mmRM is big amount of whallop on target a heavy payload going quickly to deliver the goods.... lots of folks used to use them for a roaring stag rifle and power rather than range was the reason.
11 Dec 2022
@ 12:23 pm (GMT)

Dennis Mahony

Re: Lothar Walther barrels
Thank you folks, it had given me more to think about than just the mere standalone performance of a barrel. Happy hunting!
12 Dec 2022
@ 12:44 am (GMT)

Magnus Vassbotn

Re: Lothar Walther barrels

Over the last couple of years, me and a couple of friends have re-barreled 7 rifles to LW stainless barrels in various standard cartridges. 4 of them are pretty easy to load for, and shoot well. 2 of them are very picky about bullets/ loads, severely reducing their versatility as practical precision tools, almost into the category of not usable for their intended purpose (consistant 0,7 moa minimum). The last one is so picky that it is not usable for precision hunting. Typically 1,5 moa with most readonnable loads, and clear signs of heat and pressure sensitivity, despite the barrel being nice and thick. The smiths reputation is one of the best in the country for precision builds. And believe me, we have tried everything with these 3 rifles. Bedding and re-bedding with and without the knox bedded, different stocks, different scope mounts, different scopes that shoot well on other rifles, different cleaning regimes, re-crowning, with and without supressors and whatnot. Hundreds of shots with each rifle. Everything short of fire lapping. But than all warranties are out the window, so that must be weighed up in this and that way. With good rifles we are all consistant sub 0,5 reloaders/ shooters, and have a pretty good idea when it's our own fault or not. It could of course be tensions in the actions due to poor heat treatmemt, but 3 out of 7?

I know Lothar Walter have a good rep, but at the same time I have read about other people with a similar experience to ours. So my conclusion is that it must either be a crappy production run (in both 30 cal and 7 mm), or it's simply that LW are a bit hit and miss, in terms of top precision. Eitherway, from now on I'll rather throw in 2-300 usd more for a Krieger barrel ore similar, and maybe I'll save twice that amount in load development and other hassels.

But as others have said, just try the barrel you've got. Bed the stock well and see. I recently bought a Remington SPS i 7 mm rem mag (1-10 twist light profile) for the sake of the action, with plans to re barrel, but thought I'd just give the original barrel a go. It was un stable and generally 1,5-2 moa, so I figured I'd just try firelapping since I was scrapping the barrel anyway, and voila- now it consistantly shoots 0,5-0,7 moa groups with 140-162 grain bullets, including the 162 eldm. Little to no difference from the cold bore shot to the following 2 shots. A really good 500 meter hunting rifle. Miracles do happen.


18 Dec 2022
@ 12:10 am (GMT)

Michael Seager

Re: Lothar Walther barrels
I have a Lothar Walther on my .257 Roberts and think it's great. Pencil barrel and happy puts 3 overlapping if I take my time. When my 9.3 gives out I'll go Lothar Walther with that.



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