RWS 34 Diana Review

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  • Accuracy

  • Handling

  • Value For Money

skycrab99's review of RWS 34 Diana

★★☆☆☆

“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!

  • Value For Money

  • Accuracy

  • Handling

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Bender's Response to skycrab99's Review

Written on: 22/08/2005

Well I don't think you have this, or any other springer figured out! First, use pellets that DON'T fall out of the barrel, the pellet should require a small amount of force to be seated in the breech. One reason you may be having poor accuracy is because the pellets you are using are to loose to properly contact the rifling in the barrel causing inconsistency. This poor choice of pellet is probably a factor in your low velocity readings aswell, if the pellet is to loose it will start to move down the barrel before the air pressure in the chamber reaches optimum levels, and won't harness the energy of the piston. Try different brands of domed pellets, and use the open sights to figure out which ones group best in your rifle. Then go and get a good quality one peice scope mount, and a heavy recoil rated airgun scope(this will cost you quite a bit). And last, hope that the seal and or piston hasn't been damaged from however many times you dry fired it. Even using a pellet that is to loose in the barrel can eventuall cause premature wear on the internal parts of a springer. Personally, I think you should have gotten all of these things figured out before you wrote your review.

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388355_Docz's Response to skycrab99's Review

Written on: 03/08/2008

I have the same problem. I am wondering if I'm using cheap pellets that start to tumble within 15-20 yards. I was really getting frustrated trying to sight in my new model 34 but then tried my Marlin 982VS 22-mag. Major confidence booster there.

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258533_David Mainwaring's Response to skycrab99's Review

Written on: 06/09/2006

The Diana 34 is a good rifle, but make sure you haven't broken the soring with all that dry firing. No pellet should drop out of the breech regardless of make, and if you can open up the gun yourself you might find that the main spring guide has broken, which causes hassles on its own. These guides are plastic and should be replaced when they break. I turn mine out of steel and have no problems, but you might try and find a guide from another air rifle if you have access to parts. I've used a guide from an Anschutz 335 and it works okay.
<br/>Happy shooting
<br/>Shikari

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Markthebum's Response to skycrab99's Review

Written on: 29/08/2006

Spring piston air guns are very finniky. I&#039;ve owned three. A Mendoza 2003 (which I returned due to innacuracy), A Gamo Shadow 1000 (nice gun), and a RWS model 34. The Gamo and the RWS are both good guns but it takes a lot of patience to figure them out. Your gun was rated at 800 ft second, but I&#039;m sure it was with the lightest .22 cal pellet that exists. Most likely 11 grains. The pellets your shooting are likely in the 13 to 15 grain range. This will lower your velocity. If you want to increase your "fps" go to a lighter pellet. Also, spring guns develop a "set" in the piston after about 250 shots. Once this happens your gun will shoot much more consistantly but the "fps" will drop off about 8 to 10 percent. So if your gun is broken in, or "set", and your using light pellets ( 11 to 12 grains) you should be getting about 720 to 740 fps. With mid weight pellets, (12.5 to 13.5 grains) 695 to 715 fps. Heavy pellets, ( 14 to 15 grains) 670 to 690 fps. Very heavy pellets, (15.5 to 16.5 grains) 645 to 665 fps. You get the picture. All air gun companies use ultra light pellets on new guns that aren&#039;t broken in to get the advertized velocity. I think there are even some .22 cal pellets that approach 18 grains. These will hit small game like a club, but will only have muzzle velocities of about 600 fps in a gun thats rated at 800 fps.
<br/> As for accuracy, you just have to experiment with all different types of pellets. Each gun has it&#039;s own favorite. My model 34 loves beeman kodiak pellets, 1 inch groups at 30 yards. If I use a pellet it doesn&#039;t like ( Gammo master point) it wont group at all. Shoots all over the place. Grip is very important too. Light hold, don't hold tightly anywhere. Also, follow through is vital. Pellet guns have a slow lock time. If you dont have a good follow through, you will move the gun before the pellet fully leaves the barrel. Lastly is your scope. I don't use one on my spring guns because I can't ever get them to hold zero for long. No matter how nice of a mount, rings, or scope I use, it will always loose zero eventually. I get sick of sighting them in over and over, so I just don't use them. The recoil on these guns is unique, and unless your willing to spend hundreds on all the accessories to hold the scope true it will only have you yanking the hair out of your head. Hope this helps! Mark

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Wb6Csh7's Response to skycrab99's Review

Written on: 27/08/2006

Comment on review by "skycrab99 from Texas on 18th Aug 2005": Thanks for the HONEST review skycrab99; you will find that some people here do not like "negative" comments about their favorite "Mercedes-Benz" rifle. A slight lack of maturity here; "...if they don&#039;t like the message, they &#039;kill&#039; the messenger"!
<br/>I suspect you will find that the pellet(s) and the bore size are DIFFERENT! Check to make sure you have a 0.22 cal and not a 0.25 cal (if such is still made!). Also check the pellet caliber - use a micrometer if you think someone might have inadvertently swapped pellets on you.
<br/>
<br/>Keep practicing your LOOSE grip on the rifle - very different than the 0.22 LR (rimfire) hold you are used to! You have a different animal here, and have to treat it accordingly!
<br/>
<br/>The suggestion about a broken main spring causing your inaccuracies deserves checking, IMHO. One great thing about Diana is their (usual) bulletproof warranty. They may replace the mainspring if the rifle is relatively new. If they suspect "dry firing", however, they may not replace it gratis.
<br/>I hope you get all the kinks straightened out with the Diana 34. It is a good air rifle.
<br/>
<br/>Happy shooting!

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Bubba Iii's Response to skycrab99's Review

Written on: 09/05/2006

Thanks skycrab99 for a honest review. I'm a dedicated .22 rimfire squirrel hunter also, [marlin 883 & mod. 60] that is looking at air rifles for some urbane hunting. The more I read the more I'm convinced that a Benjamin 392 would be more than adequate. The Germans have always built quality, and I won't knock them, but do you really need a Mercedes Benz just to go to the grocery store? and how much is ego? What I need is a quality air rifle in .22 cal. in the 800fps range that will shoot constantly in a 1" circle at 20 yards, period, regradless of price, or fancy wood. Give me the Benjamin 392 anyday.

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Sportytj's Response to skycrab99's Review

Written on: 02/03/2006

If you like the 880 so much i'll trade ya a brand new one in the box! Yeah there pretty good for the money 880 and i've been told the diana 34 is 2.

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228859_Dbootsjr's Response to skycrab99's Review

Written on: 07/02/2006

i didnt have any pellets fall out after 70 shots use rws pellets and push the things in the hole

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228859_Dbootsjr's Response to skycrab99's Review

Written on: 07/02/2006

i broke a penny in half at 40 feet the first day i had it

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228859_Dbootsjr's Response to skycrab99's Review

Written on: 07/02/2006

i bought a model 34 2 days ago tried it the first day and shoot at a zinc penny with a pellet and busted it in half i used a rws pellet...pointed use rws pellets 40 feet away

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Sifu456's Response to skycrab99's Review

Written on: 07/10/2005

This is why I recommend against buying an expensive air rifle like the RWS 34 until you get the principles down in shooting a spring pellet rifle. The most important thing is grip and to hold of the sight picture. I would also recommend benching the rifle to set the scope. Do this at a range of 10-15 yards, then 25-35 yards, it takes the human factor out setting the scope then you will see great accuracy.
<br>
<br>The RWS34 benched can shot 1 hole pencil or tack head size groups at 10-15 yards and dimes size 5 shot groups at 25-30 yards. It is an outstanding air rifle once mastered.
<br>
<br>I hope yours has not been destroyed with the dry firing. If it has and they haven't read your review here, RWS has an excellent life time warranty if the rifle has not been abused. They will replace it free of charge. A pellet rifle won't replace a good 22LR rifle, but it can be a quiter alternative for recreationa shootingl, hunting and pest control.
<br>
<br>THE RWS DIANE 34 IS A VERY GOOD AIR RIFLE.
<br>
<br>You seem to be a good shot you just have to learn difference between the 2.

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Craigalls's Response to skycrab99's Review

Written on: 28/09/2005

Purchase an accessory called "Beeman Pell Seat". This will allow you to easily seat your pellets in the rifling which will not only improve accuracy but prevent your pellets from falling out. This is an inexpensive item(around $15).

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V3R5Racer's Response to skycrab99's Review

Written on: 09/09/2005

Check for a broken mainspring, in the high power springers, one dry fire is all it can take to break that spring, has the cocking gotten easier than than expected as normal thru the break in? Accurace will suffer badly as a result of levels of velocity from the broken mainspring. Pellets should not fall out, I have never had that experience (I have Beeman and RWS). Be sure they are 22 cal pellets, not 20 cal. One being 5mm and the other 5.5 mm. If the gun is correct, and there are no issues, you should be able to shoot the eye out of a mesquito with practice. Remember to hold the shot on longer also. Firm grip on the forearm, shoulder it tightly, breath, soft squeeze :-)

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