RWS 34/36 Revisited
In a prior post HERE https://airgunwarriors.com/community/airgun-talk/rws-34-am-i-the-only-one-not-impressed/ I expressed my concerns on the RWS 34/36 platform with regards to accuracy. I had lamented that often, seasoned airgunners suggest this gun to a new person as a good starter gun, but I have had limited success with two I've owned far as accuracy. Indeed, others chimed in with the same complaints of lackluster accuracy. In the post, Ed K chimed in touting the benefits of a tune. I have had guns tuned by the other big name tuners, and have home tuned several of my own, but had not had a gun worked on by Ed so I took him up on the challenge. I say challenge because while I am well aware of the benefits of a tune, even a home tune, I typically have spent the time and resources on a gun that was already accurate by my standards (a couple of project Chinese springers being the exception here). I just wanted to see what Ed would do with it and the difference it may or may not make. I'll speak a bit about the process of having a gun tuned by Ed and I realize this will sound more like a commercial, but it's really information.
The first thing I noticed when dealing with Ed was that I was kept informed during EVERY step of the tune process. From the moment I shipped my gun
and sent him tracking info, I knew exactly what was going on and when. I'm not picky about such as I realize that most tuners and airgunsmiths are
part time, but I will admit that it was a nice touch to be kept in the loop the entire time. When I got the gun back I noted that it was expertly packed and each component was labelled, another nice touch. I have to say that aesthetically, the gun came back to me in much better shape than it was shipped to him and Ed had not only fixed some minor dings in the stock, but
had resolved and issue I had with the block 'rubbing' on the stock. I was given very specific instructions on screw tightening, pellet selection and also on the work done, along with trigger adjustment instructions and of course the offer to call him for any questions. There was a test target included as well as a card of stick on targets, a nice touch! I kind of liken a tune to a having a car detailed. I can pop in a tune kit, just as I can run my car through the wash... and truth told, I can probably do the majority of what a 'real' tune entails, if there are no issues. The benefit of a professional tune is the experience they have can be helpful in situations where there are issues and they can be resolved quickly. But, as with the car was analogy, I typically dont do all the bells and whistles. I get it 'good enough'. With a professional tune, like having a car detailed, good enough isnt enough. As expected, the gun fired with a dead thump and felt like a completely different gun. What wasnt expected was the much improved feel on the trigger. That was a welcomed surprise. After a series of shooting and tightening screws, mounted a new Tasco 2.5-10x40 scope on the gun and decided to see about accuracy. This was a brand new scope and I got lucky in that it was 1 mil high at 25 yards. I literally didnt have to touch the adjustments on it. I know that Ed had done some work in straightening the barrel and perhaps he used a similar scope to do so, but still, the chances of not having to adjust a new scope is pretty thin so that was interesting. In any case, the day before I did groups, I took a few shots on a leaf at approximately 20-25 yards on a rainy day from the garage so I had an idea of what to expect. On the next day, during better weather, I set up a target at a lazered 25 yards and did 15 shots. Dead on hold on the center target and then 1 mil high on the other two. No cherry picking groups, just shooting. The center target was looking great till the small flyer (called) but nonetheless, all groups could be covered with a dime. I'm not the best springer shooter around by far so I'm more than happy with the results.
So does this change my opinion on recommending this gun to a new shooter? I think so. Typically, a new shooter will want to get something relatively cheap and likely their expectations of accuracy will not be the same as a seasoned airgunner. Will a Gamo super gun meet a new shooters expectations? Perhaps. But then if they are hooked, they have no where to go with that gun, really. Sure, they can pop in a tune kit but at the end of the day, they still have a Gamo. At least with a good starting platform, they have real options. Their accuracy goals will likely be met and if not, they can research installing a tune kit and have a better gun and if they want to invest a little more on a professional tune, they can have a quality gun that they can shoot to expectations for a lifetime and pass down.
told ya so 🙂
D34 is tough to beat. Some say R9, and that's a fight I won't pick, but for the $, D34 wins.
Nice write up Rob. Looks like you have a real sweet gun now. I have owned several Diana spring guns over the years and they are nice guns. I once owned an Ed K tuned gun and it was a sweet gun, but for the life of me, I can't remember what gun. Sadly, my body won't let me shoot spring guns anymore unless it very easy to cock. Nice seeing your beautiful guns at the NC show Rob.
Bob in WV
Thanks for the nice write-up. I'm glad you're happy with the results. As with many other brands, I knew some things that were weak spots on the RWS/Diana rifles, and I headed directly for them. Sure enough, they needed taken care of...
There's an issue with the screw bracket on their older barrel cocking rifles, and many need the muzzle crown resurfaced, like yours did. The latter is included in my full service tune. It costs $15-20 extra on my cheaper tune. It's one of the reasons it's cheaper. Keep in mind that yours had the T01 trigger in it, and that model hasn't been made for years. It appears they've taken care of the screw bracket issue on the newer versions.
I want to say right away that sometimes people get the impression I can take all of the worst of the worst air guns, and cure all of their problems. I try to be clear that, 'I may be able to do a little of healing work, but I can't raise the dead!' There are in fact some specimens that cannot be made to be great shooters, no matter what. Been there done that, pulled my hair out because of a couple of them.
Like has happened before, I don't want to get all the worst cases out there, and have people send their nicer rifles to other tuners. I'd like to get a good bit of the nice guns, too. Ones that have already proved themselves to be fairly decent performers, but need to be raised to their best as much as humanly possible. That, I can usually do.
Another thing that came back to bite me in the past after a nice post has to do with what I call, 'spare-parts guns'. That's where someone takes a few parts from one gun, adds them to parts from another gun that was made at a completely different time, then puts all of that in a stock off of something else. Sometimes a mishmash like that simply can't be made to work right. Some specifications change over time, and part A on one gun is not necessarily equal to part A on another gun from another time.
And, by all means if someone knows that their mechanical device, in this case an air rifle, has a certain problem or quirk, I would really like to know about it in advance. Those are not the good kind of secrets to keep LOL. Not from your auto mechanic, and not from your lowly air gun tuner.
Of course, some may read a post like yours and say, 'the rifle wouldn't have been any good without a tune. That cost needs to be factored in to the total cost of ownership, and, to having a decent shooting rifle.
But, yours really was a little worse than average. Someone had changed out the factory trigger spring to where you no longer had a second stage at all. That caused the let off to be totally unpredictable, and you can't get good accuracy like that. Since they stopped making that spring, I had to come up with something else to get the second stage working right again like it should be. Yes, the trigger blade needed modified to give you full first and second stage adjustments, but that was included.
With the fairly low cost of entry level pre-charged guns these days, some may wonder why someone would spend money on a springer when it needs tuned to work exactly as it should. But, if we're going to look at an apples-to-apples comparison, some of the PCP's out there need regulators added, and other modifications done to get them to work just as they ought to. By that I mean, the way their owners really want them to work. So, some of them have that can cost time, or money, too. So if someone is going to do a fair comparison, we're talkin about entry level two entry level guns in this case.
I love those Tasco scopes. I I've recommended them to for years, and I own two of them myself. When I was told a year ago that 'something had been changed, including the model number by one digit', I was concerned.
But, you'll remember that before I recommended one of them to you, I told you I called the lady in customer service at Tasco here in the United States. She told me they were still being made in the same factory, in the same country, using the same methods. With the results you're getting, I'm very hopeful and optimistic that they really are the same as they have been in the past. Please let us know if you notice any problems.
Nice write-up. It was a pleasure working with you. Thanks again. And, by the way, nice shooting--not everybody can do it. You're probably a better shot than I am.
Nice post and reply.
I recommend the 34 quite often, and am glad to see this story has a happy ending. Good on you Ed, and thanks for this post Rob!
I own two of these, one in .22 and one in .177. The .22 is perfect, and the .177 is a work in progress. We'll see, might be sending her off to Ed at some point!
Thanks, all. Will hopefully get to do some more shooting this weekend with it, but it's turning awful cold here. Love the looks of the newer 34 with the brake on the front. For now, I'll leave mine with the irons on it as well as the scope. Pleasantly surprised with that scope for $40 off Amazon. If it continues to hold up, that's a nice deal.
Thanks to Mr. K for transforming my 36 from a 'eh' gun to a sweet shooter!
Your rifle responded nicely to a tune. Most do.
But, like I said, every once in a while I get one that probably couldn't be helped much by anybody or anything, except possibly by installing another barrel, and by that, I obviously mean a good one. The problem doesn't just occur with the RWS brand, like yours is. I'm talking about any and all of them. And, obviously, installing a new barrel isn't going to be very practical on most models, unless we're talking about a barrel cocking rifle.
I suspect that in most cases, it comes down to some nebulous something further down inside the bore that can't be defined or rectified. Surely, the same thing must happen with pre-charged rifles, or any rifle or pistol, including powder burners. Ultimately, it's the barrel that touches, shapes, and spins the projectile in question, and thus determines accuracy. Unfortunately, there's no way I can tell in advance which ones are going to be problematic. It's good to know they're in the minority.
I've had some that apparently had something wrong a little farther in from the muzzle than others, because doing the crown resurfacing work one or two extra times clears up the problem.
But I've had other guns that looked good in all the other right places, that just couldn't cut it in the accuracy department. By that, I mean the velocity from shot to shot will be very consistent, and I try numerous good brands of ammunition, and nothing gives good accuracy results in spite of it.
With your rifle, like I said, there wasn't any such problem. I think half of it was the totally unpredictable trigger, and the other half was the loose screw bracket. Yes, I did resurface the muzzle crown. That was just in case. I knew I couldn't hurt it, as long as I used the same method I've used so many times before with good success.
If you have any more shooting result updates after the weekend, please let us know what happened. Thanks.