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★★☆☆☆

“OK guys! Just bought my first spring airgun, a RWS 34...”

Written on: 18/08/2005 by skycrab99 (1 review written)

Good Points
Excellent beginner spring gun...Ive never touch one and had it pretty much figured out in a few minutes. Good, solid feel that gives the impression it will be around for years.

Bad Points
RWS lying about velocity? Pellets may fall out while closing barrel if not watched closely...something I dont remember being warned about in the manual.

General Comments
OK guys! Just bought my first spring airgun, a RWS 34 in .22, a couple of days ago. I have been shooting all my life and started two decades ago with a Daisy 880 I shot tens of thousands of times before it died from exhaustion. Here are my impressions as a spring gun novice, and I welcome anyone to tell me where I'm wrong, what to expect, etc.

I wanted a spring gun for the few times when I would be places that a .22 LR wouldn't be welcome. Also, I just got back into squirrel hunting last year. The .22 did a good job but none were so far out that I couldnt have just as easily taken the Daisy from my youth. I decided to get a good air rifle. A trip to the new local Bass Pro had my choices narrowed down to the RWS34 or the Beeman 1000. The 34 won because it was lighter. (Incidentally, I was prepared to pay $100 more for a RWS350 in .22, but the clerk told me that they were in .177 only, something I have since found to be false.)

Out of the box it had a solid feel and look. I had originally planned to stick one of my extra .22 LR scopes on it but also found out after buying it that, of course, spring guns need special scopes (told you I was a novice). Another trip retrieved a lower end airgun scope.

Shots through the chronograph show the airgun velocity to be, ahem, overstated. Rather than the promised 800 fps I am lucky to bust 600. I wondered if that might be because of a new spring but a little internet research found one website with chronograph readings of numerous brands and weights of pellets that are in line with what I have. None even close to the published promises. The authors of the website did seem to indicate that truths about velocities seem to be pliable in the airgun business. That was mildy irritating because the higher figure was one thing that nudged me to cough up the extra money over a Benjamin 392, a rifle that promises AND chorongraphs in the same general league.

Ive just gone through my first tin of 250 pellets a few days later and I have mixed feelings. I cant get the thing to group really tight. It took a while to try to get the scope sighted in but the groups range from nothing-to-get-excited-about to Im-glad-nobody-is-watching. Towards the end I was plinking cans at about 25-30 yards and hitting the can SOMEWHERE about 60-70 percent of the time. I dont dare take the thing into squirrel woods until Im sure I can keep my pellets in a head sized target, and that has seemed to be impossible so far at any kind of distance. In fact, Im wondering if I should just ditch the scope, shoot open sights, and keep my shots less than 10 yards.

Now Im sure much of this has to do with the jerking of a spring gun. Ive tried everything from holding it tightly to holding it loosely. If there is a spring gun technique that works Im all ears guys. During my 'net searching I found lots of comments about spring guns being less accurate than pneumatics but so many people here like this gun that it cant be that much worse. I also dont know if after a longer break-in period things will tighten up or if its just the shooter.

Also, Ive found out that the funny high volume CRACK it makes sometimes is because the pellet fell out while closing the barrel. DOH! In 250 shots it happened 4 times. I hope I havent seriously shortened the life of this gun.

I really would like this gun to work out. I will give it another thousand shots or so before I decide whether it will replace the old .22LR or not. I have to move the scope of my Marlin bolt after I shoot to see the hole in the target because it is covered by the intersection of the crosshairs. THAT is good for the ego. I look forward to the day that the RWS 34 can leave me feeling as good about myself, but that day hasn't happened yet.

Any comments or tips are welcome!