RWS 34... am I the ...
 

RWS 34... am I the only one not impressed?  

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Rob in NC
(@rob-in-nc)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 177
2019-08-13 22:43:05  

For as long as I can recall, the RWS 34 has been named as a good starting springer.  Many folks recommend it as a lower priced gun with capable power and accuracy.  I've had two of them... as well as two RWS 36's.. basically the same gun with a fancier stock.  I've just never quite gotten any of them to perform as well as other springers I've owned.  In fact, it's one of 3 spring guns that I've just not been able to shoot well. The other being a BSA Lightning and a Webley Tomahawk (that I regrettably sold years ago... .25, Russ tuned... stupid me). 

I have no problem with any other spring gun, and I have more than my share of them... but I just cant love the 34.  I've tried them in .177, .20 (limited run, buddys gun) and .22. 

Is there anyone else willing to come out and say that they have difficulties with the 34 or am I the only one?

All those who believe in psychokinesis, raise my hand.

Good judgment comes from experience; experience usually comes from bad judgment.


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ekmeister
(@ekmeister)
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2019-08-14 01:41:27  
Posted by: @rob-in-nc

For as long as I can recall, the RWS 34 has been named as a good starting springer...

...Is there anyone else willing to come out and say that they have difficulties with the 34 or am I the only one?

It sounds like you're talking about out-of-the-box performance.  Did I read that right?

There can be a couple of irritating issues with these rifles in the OEM configuration.  It's not all in your imagination.  The good news is that doing a few essential things can usually make them shine just fine.  I can't name them in a best order, so I'll just list them as they come to mind.

Accuracy problems due to a lack of muzzle crown finishing at the factory: Actually, this may be the right place to start, because poor accuracy will ruin an air gun experience even if everything else is great. I'm doing this from my phone, so I don't have access to posting numerous photos I've taken.  I'll do my best to describe it in words.

Most--not some--but MOST of the crowns I've seen on numerous specimens I've tuned of the models you named suffered from the lack of a simple-but-crucial final manufacturing step. They tend to leave the factory with jagged protrusions at each and every land and groove of the barrel.  I don't get it, because some of them arrive OK.  But, the rest aren't.  If you (or a local friend) know a little about gun barrel work, this isn't a deal breaker.  You can lap the crown with an electric drill, 3 or 4 brass screws, and some JB Bore Paste in less than an hour and it's right as rain forever.  Good accuracy should follow right behind.  

Make sure you adjust the barrel pivot screw, and snug-up the stock screws, too, but this is true of all barrel cocking springers. 

Trigger units:  To be really good, the T01 needs tuned, the T05 needs a tune and an extra trigger screw installed, but the newer T06 is very-nice right out of the box.  End of story.  They may need lubed, too.  Diana tends to ship air guns with dry innards.  Why? ((Echo)).  It just is.

Mainsprings: This is an odd story.  Most people probably won't believe it's true, but it is.  Guns with the factory spring suffer from 2 problems.  First, these rifles are over-sprung.  That is, the spring is just too powerful for the power plant.  That makes them harder to cock than they need to be.  What you typically wind up with is velocity that is LESS than if you used a softer spring, while the firing jolt will be GREATER (the latter also contributing to accuracy problems).  I don't think they did this on purpose.  They use the exact same spring that is in the 48, 52, and 54, and it does produce more velocity than a soft spring in those rifles. They apparently thought they'd get the same results in the 30-series guns, but that's simply not the case, almost certainly because the power plants are different.  

Beeman wrote that this scenario could happen as to a rifle being over-sprung, and this is the best example of that I've ever seen.  The fix is cheap, but you (or that same buddy) need to know how to disassemble a springer.  Then, buy a $20 GRT spring from James Maccari and it's fixed forever.  While you're in there, add a little of the right lubes in the right places.  It's fast, cheap, and easy.  Why does Diana ship their rifles so-dry inside?  ((Echo)).

Rough-and-overly-strenuous-cocking from dry innards: (Already covered).

Summary: Muzzle crown, trigger, mainspring, and lubrication.  Get those right and 'Cinderella becomes a princess'.  If you don't want to do the work, consider a tune by someone who knows what they're doing.  It's not a waste of money on these rifles, with the exception of a few rare specimens that are duds.  That's true of every brand, make, and model out there--sometimes you can only take one so far for no discernible reason.  Fortunately, those are the exceptions by far in 'Euro-guns'.

FWIW, I own a .22 caliber RWS 34 Panther with the T05 trigger, that I tuned with the previous version of the Maccari GRT spring, and it's a gem.  It's smooth, accurate, and velocity with the FTT pellet is right at 740 fps.  Some might do more like 710-720 with his current spring (it has one less spring coil than mine), but that's still very-good.  I try to keep a few of his springs here in-stock.

Safe and Happy Shooting!

Ed, the Airgun TuneMeister

https://www.airguntunemeister.com/


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Johnny366
(@johnny366)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 205
2019-08-14 02:06:10  

I own several of these in .177 and .22 and I love them. Not the most powerful springer, but one of the .177 has been tuned and is very accurate. These are older guns, not later models with QC problems.

 


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Rob in NC
(@rob-in-nc)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 177
2019-08-14 07:19:07  

Great input, EK....

I am well aware that the RWS guns from the factory are quite dry as I've been inside several of them (34, 35, 350, 48, 54).  I used Macarri bits in all of mine save for the latest RWS 36, which is unmolested.

What I was not aware of was the crown issues you spoke of.  I've recrowned barrels before, both on a lathe and with the brass screw/lapping compound method, but I dont recall doing so on the RWS guns.

Not sure if I'll take an interest in this latest 36 or not.  I bought it for nostalgic purposes.  The 36 was my first adult air rifle and years ago, I sold it to Cecil Whiteside.  Attended the auction for his guns and I was on call at work at the time and got a call and had to step out and missed my chance at buying it back.... so ended up finding one on the classifieds a few years ago. To be honest, havent done much of anything with it.  Might be a good winter project to break out the spring compressor and give it a bit of an internal makeover!

Thanks for the discussion!

All those who believe in psychokinesis, raise my hand.

Good judgment comes from experience; experience usually comes from bad judgment.


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Cvan
 Cvan
(@cvan)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 28
2019-08-14 10:55:56  

I'm absolutely with  ekmeister about these guns. I got so disgusted with my first adult air-rifle (model 36) that I installed a model 27  spring in it. Made a wonderful gun out of it. If you remove 4 coils from the original springs the cocking effort goes down and the velocity goes up. Cut 4 more and the velocity returns to normal and it is a joy to cock and shoot. The best model 34 that I owned was a carbine in .22 caliber. With the modified spring it was very accurate and a pleasure to shoot. As they come out of the box I can understand Rob's feelings about these guns and would not recommend them to the new shooter. 


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Rob in NC
(@rob-in-nc)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 177
2019-08-14 12:16:20  

Good to see I wasnt alone.   Been wondering on that one for a while.... haha...    I've near sold my Lightning a few times because I have such a time with it as well, but I keep it around and one day will figure it out.  I had the same issue with a BSA Meteor some years back, but found the magic pellet for it and magic tune combination. I ended up putting an OEM R7 spring in it and used JSB Express pellets and bingo! 

 

All those who believe in psychokinesis, raise my hand.

Good judgment comes from experience; experience usually comes from bad judgment.


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DonC
 DonC
(@donc)
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Posts: 106
2019-08-14 15:01:15  

I own a brand new Diana 34 and a Dians gas ram 340 Luxus comes with beautiful walnut stock. Both are only 4 months old. I did have to add lube to the dry spring 34. Hector Media suggests storing the gas ram muzzle down for lube advantage. I have followed his advice. I have shot both rifles about 2000 shots. I love them both but the edge goes to the gas ram. Quick shot cycle and crazy accurate.

I get good accuracy with the 34 too. Still my tuned TX200 outperforms both. 


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JohnL57
(@johnl57)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 38
2019-08-14 15:13:12  

Hi, Rob,

I had a Lightning in .22 for a season, I found it pretty easy to shoot accurately, it did seem to prefer a snug hold though. I had issues with the stock screws coming loose and a previous owners' over zealous tightening which cracked the rather thin wood near the barrel pivot. I sold it and went back to my R9 .22. I do kind of miss it and might grab another some day...

John


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Rob in NC
(@rob-in-nc)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 177
2019-08-14 15:58:34  

Mine is in .177.  My buddy has one in .22 that I find a little easier to shoot.  I know it's the hold on mine as sometimes I can group it reasonably well and other times I cannot.  The problem is when I cant, I just pick up a PCP..haha

All those who believe in psychokinesis, raise my hand.

Good judgment comes from experience; experience usually comes from bad judgment.


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ribbonstone
(@ribbonstone)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 238
2019-08-14 16:55:54  

They've changed over the years....mostly for the better,but I've not been able to shoot all of them well. A few of the ones I was loaded were well tuned for speed and smoothness...still couldn't really get them to shoot as well as I would like.


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JiminPGH
(@jiminpgh)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 298
2019-08-14 17:13:28  

I was waiting for more feedback on this thread before weighing in, but here goes.

Years ago (too many) my holy grail was an HW R1AW.  I found one.  LOVED it!  Decided I liked black-and-silver guns, so I bought a brand new 34N in .177.  One of the only guns I've ever bought new.  Long story short, I sold the R1AW and kept the 34N.  It has been thru a few stocks, starting with the factory black painted wood stock, followed by the long synthetic Panther stock, and has finally landed in a very pretty beech 34 stock which now wears an adjustable RPC buttpad.  Internally, it has a 10+yo Maccari spring, guide and seal, with all the right slippy stuff in all the right places.  Externally, it has an unfinished  6" Maccari aluminum muzzle brake, (Special order to get one that hasn't been anodized. Perfect look for a silver gun.) and its topped with a Millett 6-18X40AO scope in a BKL 260D one-piece mount.

I've often answered the "one-gun" posts with this one. 'Tis my fave.  The ultimate do-all rifle.


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ekmeister
(@ekmeister)
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2019-08-14 17:38:44  
Posted by: @ribbonstone

They've changed over the years....mostly for the better,but I've not been able to shoot all of them well. A few of the ones I was loaded were well tuned for speed and smoothness...still couldn't really get them to shoot as well as I would like.

I wonder what their muzzle crowns looked like. 

Also, I forgot to mention something so easy it almost seems silly, but it's real.  Diana uses the same size O-ring as the breech seal in each and every one of those rifles (OK), but the groove into which it fits can vary quite a bit from one rifle to the next. If your seal leaks because the groove is overly-deep, velocity and accuracy can be erratic.  (If you have a chronograph, you can test with a few wraps of dental floss placed under the seal to see if the velocity changes--or you can try an extra factory shim if you have one).

Anyway, take your leaking or suspicious seal with you to Ace or Home Depot, and buy one that's one size larger so you can try it, instead.  The typical hardware store O-ring is made of Buna-N rubber (aka Nitrile), and is just fine for that use, where it sometimes comes into contact with a little of the most-typical air gun lubes.

Safe and Happy Shooting!

Ed, the Airgun TuneMeister

https://www.airguntunemeister.com/


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ribbonstone
(@ribbonstone)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 238
2019-08-14 17:50:06  

Bought this .177 in 1993. Shot well, never did any tuning to it....still shoots well (although a touch slower now).

Flickr

It shouldn't by today's standards. Lot of drop to the stock. Trigger has been through 4 or 5 variations from the original. Long barrels on springers are "out". Skinny stock with just a hint of a cheek piece. Only butt plate are grooves in the wood.

Flickr

Did fix a split in the stock.
Refinish the wood twice (just to get the dents/dings out of it).
Barrel pivot shims (it wore a bit over the years).
New set of stock screws.
New breech seal (3 or 4 times).

New versions do have a more ergonomic stock,a butt pad, short barrel, and maybe a more refined trigger (although those first gen. triggers were pretty good units)....so they should be EASIER to shoot. So far, the ones loaded to me haven't been.

So...yeah...they aren't easy to shoot...a slight slip in form or concentration will toss one farther away than other rifles.

Truth be known...I sporadically shoot springers. About 3 or 4 times I year,I devote a couple of weeks to springer-only shooting. So I'm likely not the best springer shooter, but I do keep up the ability.

So I don't have a big stable of springers..but I do use them.

Flickr

Found that springer-ability erodes pretty quickly when shooting PCP's,CO'2,or other "recoilless"rifles....they just let you get away with a lot of small bad habits without a giant penalty in group size.

Springer won't...powerul springers really-really won't.


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Mike Ellingsworth
(@4888blues)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 173
2019-08-14 19:28:03  
Posted by: @rob-in-nc

For as long as I can recall, the RWS 34 has been named as a good starting springer.  Many folks recommend it as a lower priced gun with capable power and accuracy.  I've had two of them... as well as two RWS 36's.. basically the same gun with a fancier stock.  I've just never quite gotten any of them to perform as well as other springers I've owned.  In fact, it's one of 3 spring guns that I've just not been able to shoot well. The other being a BSA Lightning and a Webley Tomahawk (that I regrettably sold years ago... .25, Russ tuned... stupid me). 

I have no problem with any other spring gun, and I have more than my share of them... but I just cant love the 34.  I've tried them in .177, .20 (limited run, buddys gun) and .22. 

Is there anyone else willing to come out and say that they have difficulties with the 34 or am I the only one?

I feel  the same way  Rob.

they are long . skinny and feel odd  to me ,when I had mine I had pryamyd air go thru it to make sure it was not dry and they did have to lube it  because it was  dry. Its  one gun I lost interest in, that was a long while  ago, later  now that I  wound up working  on springers I often  thought about getting another  and try  to carbine it  and make custom guides  and go thru it  to see  if I could get it to be  a shooter

but when I cam accross my first R 9  it was later  for the 34 as  the R  -9  felt great  and shot wonderful

My Youtube Channel


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ribbonstone
(@ribbonstone)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 238
2019-08-14 19:46:53  

It's that individual love-hate thing with springers.

 

Loved the HW 50 and HW 55.

 

HATED the HW30/ Beeman R-7

 

Love the RWS 24 and an old BSA Meteor.

 

 

HAted the  HW 77 and the R1(2).

 

 

NOT that they are bad guns....they just didn't "click"with me and I was happy to be able to move them on to folks that they did "click"with.

 

Come to the conclusion that all springers are very dependent on the biologic component in shooting them (the human factor) that some well respected rifles just don't  "get it" with an individual shooter...and others that most folks hate actually do suit you.


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EdS
 EdS
(@eds)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 26
2019-08-14 21:57:40  

I have a Diana 36 in .177 and after I installed a Vortek kit its a great shooter, and I use the irons on it.  Seems really picky on pellets though, I have been using H&N barracudas in it and it's pretty accurate.  I have a bsa Lightning XL I couldn't shoot at all and out of frustration sent it to Dave Slade and had a ram put in it and a trigger tune and its a great shooter now at @ 12ftlbs.  These are both nice guns once you find the right combination of spring/ram tuning pellets etc.  I have to say I love the light feel of the Diana 27s and 34/36 rifles.


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crowpopper
(@crowpopper)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 5
2019-08-14 23:14:49  

I had one also

Vorteck PG2 kit

Never had luck...

Couldnt get worthwhile groups..

Just not a fan


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dcw
 dcw
(@dcw)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 61
2019-08-23 13:18:19  

I purchased a new 34 quite a while ago and liked it. for the life of me...I cannot recall why I got rid of it. at the time, I did not know or understand springers as I do now.

 


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Faucetguy
(@faucetguy)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 81
2019-08-23 15:14:07  

Long time ago I bought a 34n from a member who needed the money, with the understanding that when he got back on his feet I would sell it back to him.  It had been tuned by Ed K.  And had a black muzzle brake.  I named it the nickle with the black pickle.  I found it very accurate, but it just didn't fit me right always seemed front heavy, not in a good way.  Well the member got back on his feet in a few months and was tickled to get it back.

image


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ekmeister
(@ekmeister)
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2019-08-23 16:04:48  

@faucetguy

First off, it sounds like you would be talking about me. Besides, the rifle in that photo looks VERY-familiar.

That sounds like it could have been B.B. If so, that's going back a ways.  I tuned several springers for him, and they usually came out well.  This was back in the days of A.G.E. if I'm remembering the name of the vendor correctly. 

They were pretty big outfit back in the day.  And, they sold demo air guns at pretty- significant discounts. It made them alluring to a lot of people.  Like I told him, and others, the demos were definitely a roll of the dice.  Sometimes they were a diamond in-the-rough, but other times they were pure coal--in other words, duds that couldn't be fixed no matter what.  Working on such a project can really be a reason for a tuner to tear his hair out. 

If I'm thinking of the right guy, he also liked low dollar scopes. He bought more than one and found out there was a reason why they were so-sheap.

It turned out well in the end, though. I got him turned onto those Tasco varmint scopes that sold for under $100 shipped, and they were real nice and held up even on a springer with moderate recoil. In fact, I own two of them myself, and one of them is on an RWS 34 Panther while we're on the subject. The rig is real accurate, and you can't beat the scope even at twice the price.

One problem that may arise in the very near future is that about 6 months ago the Tasco rep told me on the phone that they have redesigned that particular model. I haven't seen or tried the new ones yet. They may be just as good or not, only time will tell. Some of the old ones are still around though. You can tell from the photograph which one it is. Amazon still carries them, I think.

They come in both a 2.5-10x42 power model, and 6-24-42 power model, both with a nice adjustable objective on the front.  Tasco makes more then one scope in those powers, so you want to get one whose model number starts with "VAR".

Of course, that's the old RWS muzzle brake that was made out of cast steel. It wasn't all that pretty to some, but the weight of a steel brake added some stability to the front of the gun on which it was mounted, usually a rifle of course, and that tended to improve accuracy.  I'd sacrifice a small amount in the way of aesthetics for the sake of accuracy any day..

So, like I said in another recent post, the last few days now finds me fresh out of work. I wish somebody would send me an RWS 34 to tune for them. Most of them can be made very nice, even if you have the older T01 or T05 triggers. I just go ahead and tune the triggers while I'm well I'm tuning the rest of the rifle. And, of course, I'm going to use a Maccari spring.

You don't have to spend the money to buy a whole spring kit if you don't want to.  As long as your factory guide hasn't been irreparably-damaged, the spring he makes for the RWS 34 fits almost as well as a custom spring and guide, and you won't get any vibration out of it. He deliberately make something that size. You can read about it on his site under the heading of the GRT spring. With my needing a project now, I'm doing a one-time discount and two-week turnaround on the next rifle I get to tune as long as I can get the parts I need. I already have a JM seal here. I think I may have a spring in stock, too.

Safe and Happy Shooting!

Ed, the Airgun TuneMeister

https://www.airguntunemeister.com/


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ekmeister
(@ekmeister)
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2019-08-23 16:33:01  

(This was a duplicate.  Please delete).

Safe and Happy Shooting!

Ed, the Airgun TuneMeister

https://www.airguntunemeister.com/


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Rob in NC
(@rob-in-nc)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 177
2019-08-23 19:17:01  

I may be changing my opinion on the 34...   I just spoke with Mr. K regarding doing a little work on my 34/36 so will see how goes.

I can say straight away that from the questions that he asked and the info he provided on the phone that he really cares about the work that he does so this I'm confident that he will breathe some new life into my gun.  ...and he was just enjoyable to yak with!

More to come!!

All those who believe in psychokinesis, raise my hand.

Good judgment comes from experience; experience usually comes from bad judgment.


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