Picked up a vintage RWS 320M
Howdy! It's been awhile. I picked up a vintage German rifle, said by the owner to have been bought some 10 years ago for $100. He only sent me one pic of it, and it's, " in transit" in the USPS system at the moment. Many of us on a couple forums/Facebook groups, I manage 11 or 12, created 9 of them. Bought it last Friday, owner chimed in Monday that it wasn't a Diana, like he thought? It is stamped RWS 320M. I've been having trouble finding info on it, and your archives don't give much hard info in the incomplete posts? Not to mention, some say 1000FPS, others say or indicate 900FPS. So which is it? Another guy on GTA said none of the 320 or 320M's have the weighted suppressor like thing machined into the end of the barrel. But mine does. And it seems to be the earlier model, since it has the red/black shimmed butt pad. .177 caliber. It's second from the top in this seller photo;
I looked the rifle up in my 2002 Dynamit Nobel catalog
and I would think it could be a Cometa built rifle or from China
RWS had done business with Cometa for some time with the rebranding of the Indian pistol
even though RWS had many Diana produces over the year they also rounded out there produce line with many pistols and rifle from other manufactures
your new rifle will have a manufacture stamp on it
so PA has some pictures on there site and in enlarging the picture it is marked made in China
In my book, 10 years old isn't old enough to be considered "vintage". It's just plain used, or pre-owned. Also, most likely not German.
RWS 320 is definitely Chinese. The first of the R9 clones, followed by the B25, and later B26 and B26-2, which switched from a 25mm to 26mm compression tube. They did a pretty good job, right down to a copy of the Rekord trigger, and a sleeved piston. I picked up an RWS 320 at Findlay a couple of years ago, and when I got it home I noticed the serial number is B320001. A JM Apex seal and Tarantula mainspring were drop-ins, and its a fine shooter. The original stock looks just like the one pictured, and appears to be typical (of that time) overfinished mystery monkeywood. But the metal finishing is certainly on par with any other RWS offerings of the time. I have since dropped it into a recontoured and refinished B26-2 stock, which was the thumbhole version with the ridiculously high comb. I planed it down and added a slight concavity, giving what I refer to as a semi-rolean cheekpiece. It's a nice gun, and one I'll probably keep, just due to the unique serial number. Might be the first one?
I do remember handling a non-RWS B320 many years ago. Actually bought it on Saturday at Standing Stone, then returned it on Sunday. The fit and finish was not on par with the RWS-stamped version.
Hey Jim, I think the B25 is more of a Diana M34 clone?
And yes the B26-2 had the ridiculously high comb. I have a MM tuned one that Howie Intveld redid for Warren Agguire into a Tyro type stock. One of my treasured rifles.
My bad. You're right, the B25 was a Diana 34 clone. Hard to keep them all straight. I also had a Ruger Airhawk, which I believe was "based on" the Diana 34, but had an articulated cocking linkage. That gun tuned up nicely. I also "vintage-ized" the stock, giving it a rounded pistol grip and fore-end finger grooves. Nice gun. Traded for an AR2078 at a show.
When I get some time this weekend I'll post a couple of pics of the semi-rolean. It came out nice. I'm generally not a fan of thumbhole stocks, but I like the more vertical pistol grip and the generous asymmetrical palm swell. FWIW, I'm keeping the original 320 stock, just so I can return it to original if the need ever arises. It is, after all, SN#1. Just my luck to wind up with a collectible example of a very non-collectible air rifle! 🙂
As already mentioned, the RWS 320 is a Chinese copy of the HW95/older Beeman R9. I have an XS-B26, which was imported by Xisico, that I got from Mike M several years ago. It's a decent copy of the original German made gun, similar to the way the Chinese Beeman P17 pistol compares to the German Beeman P3/HW40. Mike did a nice job on the trigger and it's good, but it's not as nice as an actual Rekord trigger. The metal polish & bluing aren't as good as what you'll see on an HW, either. From what I've read about the RWS 320 I think I would have preferred one of them over my B26. RWS had pretty good standards to meet before they put their stamp on something.
Here's a couple pics of my B26 for comparison to the RWS 320.
EDIT: My mistake, the B26 wasn't made by Xisico, it was imported by them. I've corrected my post for that.
Hey Jim. Here’s my Mike Melick tuned, Howie Intveld stocked B26 I got from Warren Aguirre.
Looks good, Andy. Been a while since I've seen any of Howie's stock work. I like the way he reshaped the comb/cheek piece on that. Looks considerably better than the way they came from the factory. IIRC, Warren had several AGs that wore Howie stocks. And speaking of Warren, I miss chatting with him on the forums. He was quite a character, lol.
Found this interesting list of Chinese clones.
Thanks to Travis Bowers for posting it on FB.
I think the first of the Chinese R9 clones was the XS B20. They were well made guns and responded well to tuning andnshot about the 12ftlb power level.
Some pics of my recontoured B26-2 stock.
That stock would make some really nice pallets... er... I think you know what I mean... my first Chinese airgun was that bright orange color, like no one knew how to mix brown!
#2 was a B3 with bright orange and filler GALORE, would have done better to paint over it instead of stripping.
It had some weird angled breech that smeared the seal, if I'd have known the first thing about break-barrel airguns the $13 would have gone for gas.
Strange what colors a stock ends up. There was a Spanish GAMO at the pawn shop, had horrendous wannabe black cherry aka VERY dark red/purple, maybe plum?
Thanks for the list, was hoping to find a "Sea Lion" in there, it's a cute little thing I bought for $15 instead of the $40 purple GAMO.
Nothing like the guns in this thread though, the sear is actually a stack of thin plates!
Nice job on the stock, Jim. Looks like you were able to take enough off the top of the comb (about an inch?) to keep the scope mounted low but give good eye/scope alignment. And the stain you used gives it more character than whatever the stuff is that the factory put on them. Looks good.
I took the action out and just started planing. I used a 16" piece of 1" electrical conduit that I would lay into the inletting to test for eye placement.
Hey, whatever works, lol. And it looks like it worked just fine. 😉
unionrdr, you asked about the velocity. The RWS 320 (which I believe is a re-badged B20) may have been advertised as a 1000fps rifle but real world numbers with average weight pellets would probably be somewhere around the high 800's to 900fps mark.
Hey Jim, nice job on the 26-2. Yeah, I don't know what they were thinking when they designed that comb. There was no way it would ever work!
Sorry I didn't report back sooner. But work on another rifle mixed with more research on this one took time. I talked with Jim at Flying Dragon air Rifles this morning, and he has some parts for it. He went on to tell me to expect about 880FPS tops out of it real world. I thought the guts were missing out of the suppressor, which has an odd-size Allen screw in it? More than 1.5mm, but less than 2.0mm? And it has threads in the end on the inside after a bevel like a valve seat. He said the stock one just pushes on. So mine might be aftermarket Apex? Here's some new pics after cleaning it up and the stampings on it. I think the last three numbers in the odd serial number mean build # 137?
The muzzle brake looked like this when it was still available from Apex at Walmart.com;
That's not one of JM's Apex muzzle pieces. They're made of aluminum and the end plug is pressed in, not threaded. That looks like it might be made of steel. It reminds me of the brake that came on my RWS/Diana 34 Pro Compact. It's made of steel and is threaded like that for the end cap. And yes, since your 320 has a rear sight I'd say someone removed the front sight and added that brake.
BTW, if those screws aren't 1.5mm or 2mm they might be a standard fractional size, maybe a 5/64".
And congrats on the 320! It looks like it's in nice shape.
Here are the breech block stamps on my B320.
I wonder what the difference is between a 320 and a 320M.
I honestly haven't figured that out yet? If I'm right about the serial numbers, yours is build number 1, and mine is 320M build number 137? That being true, we both got a low serial number example, adding more to their value. I'll have to remove the muzzle brake and have a look...
Well, hell. Somebody rounded it off inside. Nothing fits. It does have a smaller hole in the bottom of the screw that kinda looks like hex? Or Torx maybe? Idk, I can't budge the friggin' thing!
Well, hell. Somebody rounded it off inside.
That's a bummer. What I've found that sometimes works for a stripped out hex screw like that is a Torx bit of the appropriate size. If that fails, they do make small size screw extractors that might get it out. Good luck.
I'll need it. Idk if I have a Torx bit that small? * Nope Torx or four sided bit can't quite grab it hard enough. Some fool must've been hoggin' on it and over-torqued it?
You can usually find multi-bit precision screwdriver sets at Walmart, Lowe's, or Home Depot that have small Torx bits. I have one similar to this one from HF. Not the best quality but it's held up pretty well and sees quite a bit of use.
Sorry, can't remember where I saw the mini screw extractors at. But I'm sure a google search would turn something up.
Oops! I see you've already tried a Torx bit. Must have added that while I was typing my post up, lol. Almost sounds like someone may have used some thread locker on it. Maybe some gentle heat and then try the Torx bit again? I guess there are a couple other options other than the mini screw extractors. One is maybe try a small flat blade screw driver with the tip sharpened like a chisel. Carefully tap it into the screw and see if that will break it loose. The other, and a bit riskier option, is to try and carefully drill it out.
Can also use that narrow screwdriver chisel action to torx shape the inside hole for yourself, then beat a torx in with a light hammer at high velocity.
Consider that a sacrificial bit, but don't break it off!
Reverse-twist drill bit. Kinda hard to find, but will definitely do the trick. The heat from drilling will soften any threadlocker, and eventually the bit will snag and back the screw right out. Worst case is you drill it out completely, then re-tap one size up. Just watch your depth, so you don't divot the barrel.
A word of advice, Easy-Outs are more like Easy-Snaps, they swell the fastener for a tighter fit, save yourself the heartache and $$.
Still not convinced? Go listen to "Three Dog Night, Mama Told Me Not To Come"
All due respect to Jim, when drilling completely through a fastener, I never could understand why direction of rotation mattered very much.
EDIT, WENT THROUGH MY BRAIN'S INVENTORY, only ONCE can I recall a left twist bit pulling a fastener, and I've broke 3, had a heck of a time hand sharpening them.
For the trouble of getting a special bit, you could use a regular type + retap and be done same day. I'm prejudiced against special tooling 🙁
Then again, people who bring ME stuff to fix are more like this guy... yeah... THAT GUY...