Written on: 19/07/2005 by Harry Cole (1 review written)
Good fit and finish Good reliable design Superb value
Lack of rubber butt plate Barleycorn-style front sight
After having owned the RWS model 24 and a classic Weihrauch Model 35, I ordered an RWS model 34 in .17 caliber for crows that were populating my small Washington homestead.
Out of the box the rifle was clean and tight, and exhibited a fine finish on both steel and it's stained hardwood stock. The fit and fine workmanship were clear to even an untrained eye. The stock was devoid of any checkering or a rubber butt plate to prevent it from slipping around on the shoulder, but these are small points on a rifle that sold for just under $200.00. The RWS model 34 is their best seller for good reason.
The recoil impulse at first was quite significant with more "twang" than I thought it should have. In retrospect, it is also much more powerful than my other two spring piston rifles so I guess I shouldn't have been so surprised. After 500 rounds the rifle has calmed down quite a bit, however. Right out of the box, the velocity with Heavy 10.6 grain Beeman Kodiak pellets was a still a very respectable 756 feet per second over my chronograph. Typical accuracy with an imported 4x32 scope and steel burris rings averages between .50 and .75 inches for 5 shots at 25 meters. I expect these numbers to improve as the rifle becomes more broken-in. The RWS line comes with a good quality pre-mounted tip-off style steel scope base and a simple ring-stop to prevent slippage under recoil.
This rifle is rated for the mystical 1000 feet per second that qualifies it as a "magnum air rifle" and I am confident that those numbers are possible only with the ultra-light pellets the industry uses to reach those advertising goals. Heavier pellets clearly are more suitable for these rifles and they reward the shooter with great penetration and superior retained energy down-range (as numerous local squirrels and crows could attest too...if they weren't DEAD!)
The polycarbonate safety, trigger, and receiver cap have been an issue with some, but they have not given me any trouble in (the case of the model 24) over 10 years. The simple fact is, to keep these rifles within the reach of those unwilling to spend much more, RWS has chosen wise areas to economize that have not adversly affected the final products performance. These rifles are "no-frills", but not "cheap".
A pet-peeve of mine is the style of front sight that RWS has chosen to use. The simple but sturdy punch-welded and clamped front sight hood contains a pointed barleycorn front post rather than a squared-off post. This is probably keeping with the typical Tutonic air-rifle sensibilities, but I don't care for them.
As in most cases you get what you pay for, but with the RWS models 24 and 34 you get a lot more.