Wednesday, November 29, 2006

RWS Diana 54 - Part 3

Part 1
Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Let's look at the accuracy of the Diana RWS 54, plus a few things I have learned from testing it.

The range
I picked a bad day to test a pellet rifle. The wind was blowing 10-20 mph, so I had to shoot through it. There was no waiting for the wind to calm down; it never did! Therefore, the distance was reduced from the hoped-for 50 yards to a more conservative 35 yards. We know the rifle is shooting well (.22 Crosman Premiers at 800 f.p.s.), so it should be able to tough out these conditions.

The mount
I promised to show you this, so here it is. I used a B-Square AA 1-piece mount and hung the scope stop pin in front of the Diana scope rail. When the mount tries to back up, the pin prevents it. It's simple and it works. From the picture, you should be able to see why a 2-piece mount won't work.


The front of the Diana scope rail will be used to stop the mount from moving.



The mount extends past the rail on the receiver so the stop pin can be butted against the rail. It looks odd, but it works.


The scope
I used a Sightron SII 4-16x42 scope. Although expensive (over $670), this scope is very compact for its power. It's more the size of a 3-12x, so it doesn't hang over the rifle's loading port. That's an important feature for a sidelever or underlever, because a too-long scope can get in the way of easy loading.


Sightron SII is a compact 4-16x scope. It's pricey but very clear and bright.


Shooting
I had sighted in the rifle before this day, so it was already pretty close to the mark. I had to crank the rear ring 2.5 turns higher than the front ring to compensate for a bad case of barrel droop. Without an adjustable mount, it would have been impossible to sight in this rifle.

I started with 15.8-grain JSB Exacts, because they're the most accurate pellet in 90 percent of the rifles I test. But the groups I got were disappointing. I was shooting off a sandbag rest and resting the stock directly on the bag - something you never do with a recoiling spring gun. I'd thought the recoil mechanism would compensate for the lack of the artillery hold, but 1" groups at 35 yards are hardly good for a German air rifle. So, I switched to the artillery hold, with my off hand resting on the bag. No improvement.

By this point, I was wondering what was wrong with the rifle, because a 48 or a 52 will group in half an inch at 35 yards all day long. Could it be the pellet? Just as a test, I loaded and shot some .22 Crosman Premiers. The group shrank to an unexpected 0.27" group! There was the accuracy I was looking for!


Shooting JSB Exacts, this was the best group.



Crosman Premiers tightened things up plenty!


Then, I tried shooting directly from the rest and it worked! The 54 doesn't require the technique of a typical spring air rifle. It shoots more like a PCP. After I learned that, I had fun with the gun. On a calm day, I'm sure I could push those groups out another 10 yards.

So, this has turned out to be a very good test. The RWS Diana 54 is easy to shoot, quite accurate, recoiless from the shooter's perspective, powerful and easy on the eye. It's in the same class as the TX200, which is the highest praise I can give.

82 Comments:

At November 29, 2006 6:49 AM, Blogger Nuglor said...

You said it brother!

 
At November 29, 2006 7:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

B.B., have you ever considered doing a write up of the BAM B50 pcp rifle?

Keith

 
At November 29, 2006 8:02 AM, Anonymous B.B. Pelletier said...

Keith,

It's in the que.

B.B.

 
At November 29, 2006 8:19 AM, Blogger Nuglor said...

B.B.,

You stated that you had a bad case of "barrel droop". Could you explain what this means a little more in depth?

Thanks,

Nuglor

 
At November 29, 2006 8:22 AM, Blogger Nuglor said...

B.B.,

Also, what were thoughts and feelings about the T5 trigger?

Nuglor

 
At November 29, 2006 8:34 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Nuglor,

Droop means the barrel points down instead of straight ahead. The rifle I am testing has the T1 trigger.

B.B.

 
At November 29, 2006 8:43 AM, Blogger Nuglor said...

O.K.,

I understand droop means it's pointing down, but is that due to the barrel not being lined up properly with the receiver, is the barrel itself not perfectly straight, or is it just the scope rail not being lined up perfect?

Nuglor

 
At November 29, 2006 9:02 AM, Anonymous B.B. Pelletier said...

Nuglor,

The barrel is not in alignment with the scope rail. This is due to a number of faults:

Barrel not straight in the receiver,
Scope rail not in alignment with the receiver, and
Bore not drilled straight through the barrel.

Firearms have the same faults, but since no one tries to shoot them with precision at 25 yards, they seldom display their faults prominently. At 100 yards, the faults are so slight that nobody notices.

B.B.

 
At November 29, 2006 9:25 AM, Blogger Nuglor said...

B.B.,

Thanks for the explanation. That helps clarify things for me. After a few hundred shots, let us know if the scope stop screw is starting to make an indention in the front of the scope rail. With 4 bolts to tighten the base onto the rail, it doesn't look like it should ever move, but that line of thinking has gotten me in trouble before.

Nuglor

 
At November 29, 2006 10:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Damn Fine Group, sir.

 
At November 29, 2006 11:06 AM, Anonymous Michael E said...

One time that I failed to tighten the mounts tight enough on my RWS54 scope rail...the mount slid forward. Although, when I first obtained this gun, I used that funny screw head on the scope rail as a scope stop and the mount slid backward and practically sheared the screw off.

Seems that the mount can move either direction under the crazy recoil of this rifle.

 
At November 29, 2006 12:23 PM, Blogger SJ Schnell said...

B.B.,

Nice writeup, but I think you're overlooking the hoops one has to jump through to keep that mount from moving around on the rifle, or the scope from moving around in the mount.

I have been around the block a few times, and did a bit of research, and read your entire scope-problem series of posts, and still could not keep this rifle from throwing my scope. I used the RWS C-Mount and the B-Quare mount you're using in this write-up. Neither worked. Loc-tite didn't work. Nothing worked.

My 54 even broke a scope. This rifle is one of the toughest on scopes, and I think it would be great if you would not skim over that. I wouldn't mind bying another 54 if I thought I could keep a scope on it.

Regards,

Steve in PA

 
At November 29, 2006 12:31 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Steve in PA,

Unfortunately I will be switching scopes on the test gun, but if anything happens I'll let everyone know. I'll probably use a Leapers TS scope, and they have withstood Patriots, so I don't think the 54 can do them in.

But I will tell everyone if it does.

B.B.

 
At November 29, 2006 1:23 PM, Blogger Nuglor said...

SJ Schnell,

Try using a Beeman Professional scope stop. If you go back to part 1 of this series and read the comments, I had a fairly detailed discussion about this with B.B.

If you paste this link into your browser, it will show you a picture of how I have mine set up.

http://i109.photobucket.com/albums/n75/nuglor/DVC00406.jpg

Nuglor

 
At November 29, 2006 2:09 PM, Blogger SJ Schnell said...

BB,

Thanks, but I was more concerned about the mount.Sory if I wasn't more clear. In regard to the scope, the one I had on my 54 was too weak; however, I could not get this mount to work no matter how I tried.

If possible, could you suggest some ways to make this mount withstand the pounding the 54 dishes out? Is it more than just loc-tite? I tried everything you have suggested thus far, and I feel I must be missing something.

Regards,

Steve in PA

 
At November 29, 2006 2:11 PM, Blogger SJ Schnell said...

Nuglor,

Thanks for the sugestion. However, you link did not seem to work. Could you check it for me?

Thanks!

Steve in PA

 
At November 29, 2006 2:30 PM, Anonymous B.B. Pelletier said...

Steve in PA,

I don't have the time with the 54 yet, but I've never seen a B-Square AA mount fail if it was installed correctly. I mention that mount because of the droop problem with RWS Diana rifles.

B.B.

 
At November 29, 2006 2:32 PM, Anonymous B.B. Pelletier said...

Steve in PA,

I've never had a properly installed B-Square AA mount fail, but as you point out, I don't have a lot of experience with the 54. But on the 52 and 48, it works great.

You do need some kind of adjustment on Dianas because of barrel droop.

B.B.

 
At November 29, 2006 2:53 PM, Blogger Nuglor said...

Steve,

You have to actually cut and paste the link into your browsers address bar and click on "Go". Unfortunately, this forum won't allow me to paste a link that you can actually click on with your mouse. B.B. can do that, but I can't. I can't paste pics here either, that's why I have it on photobucket. I haven't experienced the droop that B.B. talks about on my 54, but I just bought mine recently so it's the latest model with the T-5 trigger. B.B.'s 54 is an older model with the T-1 trigger assy. I mounted my scope without bore sighting and it was still on the paper with the first shot. It didn't take long to dial it in from there, and it's stayed true with over 700 shots on it. Now, I realize 700 shots isn't that many, but I'm hoping if my scope was going to move, it would have by now.

Nuglor

 
At November 29, 2006 3:45 PM, Blogger comicfan93 said...

Just bought a Gamo Recon for fun and it is pretty accurate for a $89 gun at 30% off at a going out of buissiness sale. Just one problem: it wieghs only 4 lbs. It's impossible to hold steady. What is an easy way to add a 1 lb with out changing the awsome looks.

 
At November 29, 2006 4:06 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

chicken_man666,

The classic way is lead inside the stock.

B.B.

 
At November 29, 2006 4:48 PM, Blogger SJ Schnell said...

Nuglor,

I did copy and paste it into my browser, and it gave me a file not found error.

Thanks for the info on your setup. It sounds like whatever you did, it worked. My 54 with the B-Square mount would not hold zero more than 100 shots or so. It was even worse with the RWS C-Mount, which is similar.

I eventually returned my 54 to Cabela's (where I purchased it). I was sorry to see it go, but I was very tired of trying to keep it on zero with all the scope shifting.

In the meantime, I have gotten a PCP rifle and I'm VERY pleased with it, even though I have to fill it via hand-pump.

Now what I would REALLY like to have is one of those Whiscombes!

Regards,

Steve in PA

 
At November 29, 2006 4:57 PM, Blogger Nuglor said...

Steve,

You can email me at Nuglor@austin.rr.com and I will reply back with the picture and one more.

Nuglor

 
At November 29, 2006 7:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

B.B.
Why would 100 yards be kinder to a firearm's construction misalignments than 25 yards is to airgun misalignments? Mathematics seem to dictate that a bore axis ray which diverges from a scope axis ray will exhibit 4x the deviation at 100 yards relative to 25 yards, requiring the firearm sighting system to provide 4x the adjustment range. I have ignored projectile trajectory, but am I missing something else?

Thank you for providing all of us with so much valuable airgunning information via your blog!

 
At November 29, 2006 7:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

SJ Schnell...Your not alone with that shift problem. Never got my 48 to hold zero for any length of time, never know then it would shift, found myself re-sighting it in the field to offer, sold it. Shot fine groups, if you don't mind where.

 
At November 30, 2006 6:34 AM, Anonymous B.B. Pelletier said...

100 yards,

Don't think DIvergence; think CONvergence! As the range increases, the sights and bore come together purposely, because that's what happens when you sight in. The angular differences between the bore and scope sight line decrease as the sight picture is refined.

At 25 yards, the separation of bore and sight line makes a big difference, plus airgunners are trying to hit things only fractions of an inch apart. At 100 yards shooters have both the bore (with trajectory factored in) and silght lines converged on a point, plus everyone except benchresters is happy with a one-inch group.

If that doesn't clear it up, I can do a posting.

B.B.

 
At November 30, 2006 9:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BB,

From looking at your previous article in regards to your favorite air rifles, you didn't list the RWS model 54. You did list the HW77, TX200, and the Webley Tomahawk as your favorite air rifles. So is the RWS model 54 another one of your favorite rifle now?

 
At November 30, 2006 10:13 AM, Anonymous B.B. Pelletier said...

It could be, but not yet. To be a favorite, a rifle really has to earn its way onto the list. I'm still evaluating the 54.

B.B.

 
At November 30, 2006 11:43 AM, Blogger Nuglor said...

Give it time... give it time.

 
At June 02, 2007 8:59 AM, Blogger RexDart said...

BB,

Thanks for the great review of the 54, Just a few questions if you please before I purchase from Pyramid air. What scopes would you recommend for the 54 in the $150-$200 price range? I realize that the full sized (16" or so) ones would prevent access (or at least be awkward)to the loading port. I mainly bench rest plink and target shoot in the 35-50 yard range and would like something in the 4-16x camp that is bright and tough. Is there a Leapers that fits this bill that you can point me to?

I already trust the 17101 mount for my other (Diana 34) springer, thanks to your reccommendations. I did a few mods to my 34--milled an aluminum trigger guard and installed an adjustable rubber butt pad. Very happy with my first airgun and looking to get another RWS. Thanks in advance for your time and expertise!

-Paul

 
At June 02, 2007 9:30 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Paul,

There are so many scopes that fit your requirements. Here is an inexpensive one:

http://www.pyramydair.com/s/a/accessory/1808

If you really must spend more then get the AirForce 4-16. It's very bright and made for magnum springers.

B.B.

 
At June 02, 2007 11:11 AM, Blogger RexDart said...

Thank you!

 
At June 03, 2007 8:51 AM, Blogger RexDart said...

Hi BB,

I have another question regarding the 54 before I purchase, and you have been my trusted source for the best info out there, so please bear with me!

I'm a little foggy (and a bit apprehensive) about the cocking/pellet loading sequence. I was a carpenter for 25 years and knock wood have all my fingers due to very strict personal safety awareness. I'd like to keep them all!

I've never used a side lever with compression chamber and would like to know how to safely load this airgun consistently.

Can you please briefly tell me the proper sequence to "cock n' load", and what's happening with all the parts (chamber, lever, ratchet release)as you do?

Thanks a billion!

-Paul Capello

 
At June 03, 2007 11:00 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Paul,

The RWS Diana 48/52 and 54 rifles all use what I call a sliding compression chamber. When the rifle is cocked, the compression chamber moves to the rear, pushing the piston into lockup with the sear. After the pellet is loaded, it returns to the front. If the gun were to be fired inadvertently with the chamber to the rear, the piston would push it forward with force sufficient to amputate any digits in its path.

To prevent that from happening, Diana has placed a ratchet that catches the chamber incrementally as it slides back. It is safe to load the gun with the lever all the way retracted and the chamber all the way to the rear, because this ratchet holds the chamber securely. Diana also employs an automatic safety that goes on the moment the gun is cocked, so the trigger will not function, either.

But mechanical devices have been known to fail. so what I recommend is holding that cocking lever open by inserting it between your legs. Then you will have to hold the rifle with one hand and load with the other. That makes it impossible to have a hand on the trigger, which is the biggest cause of beartrap "accidents."

THAT'S HOW TO DO IT THE SAFEST WAY. But I must tell you, it is also very difficult to actually do. I trust the safety ratche and simply load the rifle without restraining the cocking lever.

There is a button on the left of the stock that is pushed down as the cocking lever is returned home to rest.

B.B.

 
At June 03, 2007 10:52 PM, Blogger RexDart said...

BB,

I see now! I was not sure that the ratchet engaged before the lever was fully cocked. It seems it has some degree of catching as you pull back.

Now with the spring fully compressed, you're relying on the trigger to do all the chamber holding while you engage the button on the left and return the lever to closed. Looks like there is plenty of wood on the 54 to hold onto while cocking, keeping fingers from the trigger will not be a problem. Thanks again for clearing the fog!

 
At June 09, 2007 2:40 PM, Anonymous Gregg said...

I recently purchased a Diana 54 and returned it almost immediately.

I disliked the gun for the follwing reasons.

Excessively heavy.
Very difficult to cock.
Cheap plastic trigger mechanisim. I'm used to underlever style guns and found the side lever cocking on the 54 to be awkward. The side lever is also not tubular and very hard on the hand you are pulling it with.

Finally, I thought the groups I got with this almost $600 gun to be marginal at best.

I own a Gamo CF-30 which at half the price outperformed the 54 hands down. The Gamo CF-30 is lighter, easier to cock and more accurate.

 
At November 07, 2007 5:06 PM, Anonymous JP said...

BB,

Just purchased and received a 54 today and had a question. Is it safe to cock the side lever with the butt of the gun on the ground?

When I cock the 54 with the butt of the gun on the ground, I have better leverage, but it actually seems harder to cock (more resistance after that 90-degree "stop point"), and it seems to make more noise, as if the floating action is either "falling" due to gravity, or whatnot (not certain of what's actually happening).

When I cock the 54 with the butt of the gun between my knees, bringing the side lever out to my right, my leverage suffers, but it seems to cock more fluidly.

Can you shed any light on this for me? I always get paranoid thinking I'm damaging a new mechanism I'm not used to...

Thanks,
-jp

 
At November 07, 2007 5:13 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

JP,

At some point the lever is moving the action, which is what you are feeling, I think. I would advise you to cock the gun off the ground. It isn't that difficult and as you do it you will develop a pattern for it.

B.B.

 
At November 07, 2007 5:33 PM, Anonymous JP said...

BB,

I'll try to get into the habit of cocking to the side. I hope I haven't damaged anything thus far. A few shots I took sounded "twangier" than others, though I still didn't feel any recoil.

-jp

 
At November 08, 2007 7:38 AM, Anonymous JP said...

BB,

I identified my issue, and I'm hoping you can clear up one more thing for me...

How much (if at all) is the action supposed to move around on the rail when the 54 is UN-cocked (and how easily)?

What was/is happening in my case is that if I stand the rifle upright (muzzle towards the air), the weight of the action (?) plus gravity are sometimes causing the action to drop down. When this occurs, the side lever never makes it past about the 100-degree point, because when it gets to the point where the side lever should slide the action back that last 1.5-2", it's already back (hope I'm being clear).

While this doesn't occur if I cock the rifle on my leg (muzzle OUT versus UP), I'm still curious as to how much the action should move around when un-cocked, and how easily. In my case, it doesn't take much at all to move the action from the front to the back.

The first photo you have in part 2 of this series best shows it: http://www.pyramydair.com/blog/images/54-sledge-forward-web.jpg

If I take the 54 un-cocked when the action is all the way forward (as shown), and point the muzzle up into the air, sometimes the action/sledge/whatever falls BACK (into that groove), and then a full cock becomes impossible if initiated with the action in that position.

Is this normal?

Your help is *greatly* appreciated, as always.

-jp

 
At November 08, 2007 8:20 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

JP,

I'm working from memory and I didn't spend that much time with the 54. But it is supposed to lock in the forward position. If it's slipping off that, you might have to tighten the screw under the stock that puts tension on the action.

Best call Umarex USA who is also RWS USA and ask their maintenance tech about this. Let's not screw up this action.

B.B.

 
At November 08, 2007 8:35 AM, Anonymous JP said...

BB,

Will do. Thanks again.

-jp

 
At December 30, 2007 3:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am trying to decide between the tx200 .22 or the rws 54 .22. I would like to use it for hunting, but i dont know if the tx200 has enough power. What do you recommend? thanks very much

 
At December 30, 2007 10:38 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Bopth rifles are fine for hunting. The 54 is more powerful, and the TX200 has the better trigger. Also the 54 is more difficult to mount a scope, but that will be solved in 2008, I hope.

B.B.

 
At January 07, 2008 1:20 PM, Anonymous MetalAV8B said...

B.B.

Great suggestion on mounting the scope mount with the pin in front of the dovetail. Looks a little un-orthodox, but seems to be keeping everything in place. I love my 54 but was getting very frustrated with the scope bouncing around. Just did the same thing with a B-Square mount on my 460. Thank you!

 
At January 07, 2008 1:23 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

MetalAV8B,

Now that you know it works, would you please chime in the next time someone asks me if I REALLY mean to do this? I have to hold so many hands over this, then they find out it works and they are converted forever. But a fresh supply of newbies is always waiting in the wings.

B.B.

 
At January 10, 2008 7:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi B.B.

I just purchased a Model 54 from Pyramyd and I am astonished at how poor its ergonomics are. When this gun is cocked and the action moves into battery the trigger moves so far forward in the trigger guard that I am unable to properly get the pad of my index finger on it. The trigger itself ends up in the forward 1/3 of the trigger guard. The length of the pull on this gun when cocked is 14½ inches while the standard pull for most rifles sold or issued in this country is 13½ inches.

The grip distance (from the back of the pistol grip to the trigger) on any well designed rifle stock (or well designed pistol for that matter) is around 2 3/4 inches. The grip distance on the Model 54 is 3 3/4 inches. To make matters worse the 54's pistol grip is as flat as a 2X4 and just as thick.

You don’t mention this rifle’s “fit” in your review so I assume the gun must have been a good fit for you. Are you a large guy who would find the pull and grip of this rifle comfortable? I am 5'7" and weigh 170 with size 5 hands. I have another RWS gun, a 350, which is a big gun but it fits me fine, so RWS must know how to fit a rifle. My take on the Model 54 I received is that it is the worst fitting long gun I have ever shouldered, and I have shouldered a fair number.

I would appreciate any insight you have on this rifle or any technique you use to make this thing more manageable.

Thanks for your time.
Greg A.

 
At January 11, 2008 10:19 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Greg,

I'm 5' 10-1/2": and have the arms and neck of someone 4 inches taller. Yes the 54 is a large gun, but it fit me fine.

The 350 is a remarkable rifle that I likened to a 1903 Springfield for fit. It is a rifleman's rifle! Even the R1 that I like so much doesn't fit as well.

I usually don't notice fit because I'm always testing different airguns. Only when one is really fine or way out of whack do I comment.

B.B.

 
At April 22, 2008 4:47 PM, Blogger Eric said...

Hello BB et al.

The main reason I am writing is my desire to extoll the virtues of my new .22 RWS Diana 54. I was sold with the idea of no recoil. I am brand new to air gunning and I want to express my sincere appreciation for this blog, Tom Gaylord and the team at PyramidAir.

I was prompted into air gunning because of a squirrel over population. I started off in Walmart with a Beeman Sport rifle with sope and 2 barrels. I was impressed with the power, but after about 60 shots, the scope broke. During this time I was really frustrated with my inability to hold the rifle still during the shot, my groupings were really bad ( was using Crossman pellets from Walmart), and I was lucky if I hit a squirrel. I needed help,, badly

I started looking first in the library for a 'how-to' book to sharpen my shooting skills, but to no avail. Thanks to Google search I ended up on the PyramidAir website and with the seeming endless source of wonderful knowledge all about air guns. Who needs a book?

This rifle was full of suprizes from the very start. My first shot was scopeless at a can at 20 yards. Of course I missed completely and comparing my experience with the Beeman I thought: "did this gun even discharge the pellet - did it somehow misfire?" I felt nothing except the heaviness of the rifle, it was motionless. And of course I saw nothing happen. After I cocked it again and found the pellet had exited,,,,I was pretty much speechless,,,except the ever popular expression of "wow." I was falling in love, it was a Hallmark moment. No recoil was true.

I started looking more closely at the details: the flawless and beautiful etching of Diana on the receiver, the gorgeous stock, rubber butt, Monte Carlo cheek feature, hand gripping, all superb. And it is made in Germany - am glad to have something that isn't made in China. (This is the second rifle I've owned)

But wait,,,more surprises for me. After handling the gun a bit I notice some ever- so-slight movement of something in this gun, which to my mind - shouldn't be there. I try tightening the stock screws - they were tight. It still moved. I took the stock off and had a look around. I saw nothing awry (I have a reasonable mechanical aptitude). My honeymoon with this gun quickly became in question about my initial perception of perfection with this German beauty.

After some more shooting I had an 'ah ha' connection with what BB wrote about the rail system on this rifle, which makes it recoil-less. The barrel-reciever actually moves about an inch forward and back during the complete cycle of cocking and firing. Now I finally realized what some the different fellows meant when they said they didn't like the feel of this rifle. Some reality was starting to nullify my honeymoon moment. I wasn't sure how I liked this "feature."

But I move on to mount my scope with confidence thanks to you BB. I mounted a Leapers Accushot full size SWAT 3-12 X 44 30mm tube with their one piece high profile mount (The mount recommendation was from the sales rep - I was confused from all the different options and considerations) I almost used the screw head at the back of the rail as the scope stop - which I figured: 'this must be its intended design', until I decided to read your article and following blog again. Then I decided to hang the scope-stop set screw over the front of the mounting rail as you recommended. About half of the chamber opening is covered by the full sized scope with this arrangement but I can still load it just fine.



I took care of the barrel droop with with two thicknesses of a common plastic soda bottle wall trimmed to fit in the rear scope mount (which is also what the technicians at PyramidAir use everyday with some scopes - I was told). I chose to sight in at 20 yards which is where most of my shooting will be Two thickness got me within 1 inch of the bullseye. I adjusted from there.

Here is the final pleasant surpize for me. Accuracy. Heretofore unacheived accuracy. At 20 yards I, a beginner, was getting groupings of one-half inch using Beeman Kodiaks. Yes, I decided was in love with this gun. I didn't care about the ever-so-slight movement of the receiver. No relationship is really perfect. And my first shot at a squirrel was dead on,,,knocked him over. I was pleased with my accomplishments.

I have fired only 16 shots with this gun. Time will tell if the scope mount configuration holds up.

I really enjoy reading your articles BB and the accompanying blogs

Thank you so much

Eric

 
At April 23, 2008 6:00 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Eric,

You have the makings of a guest blogger. If you would like to tell everyone about your experience, send me an email at

blogger@pyramydair.com

B.B.

 
At May 30, 2008 6:16 PM, Blogger kevin said...

B.B.,

I've lost track of the hours spent this past week reading your blogs. What an enormous amount of great information. I've a novice air gun user but have been a hunter for over 40 years. I need an air rifle. I own a property that has an enormous population of ground squirrels (similar in size to tree squirrels0 and muskrats. I don't intend to be a collector of air rifles. I want to buy what I need first rather than waste time and money to make my 4th gun the one I should have purchased first. I need something easy to shoot, reliable, accurate, powerful enough for my jobs (leaning towards 22 but have eradicated squirrels and muskrats with an old Benjamin 397 in .177) that will be with me a long time. Noise is a very minor consideration. I think I've ruled out the Gamo CFX because the scope and mounts it comes with are almost universally disliked and the "third world" trigger is a concern to me. Yes I can buy a decent scope and mounts and have Charlie Da Tuna sell me a GRTIII trigger but then I'm in a different price catagory. I'm leaning towards the RWS54 but have concerns about the lack of a true scope stop and the necessity for adjustable mounts. Should I wait for the new scope base you're producing with Leapers? Would it make sense for me to step up in price to a MK3 for my task? What are your thoughts about the Benjamin Super Streak for my needs? Sorry to be so naive and needy but I've come to value your experience and judgement. kevin

 
At May 31, 2008 7:34 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Kevin,

If you are considering the RWS Diana 54 and the TX 200, you are way past the Benjamin Super Streak, as far as build quality goes. And a breakbarrel is always harder to shoot than a fixed barrel.

I vote for the 54 in .22 caliber. It's remarkably smooth and accurate, and I know you will be happy with it.

The scope base is coming, despite what it looks like now. I would wait for it at this point. The rifle comes with open sights, so you can get it now and get used to it before the scope has to be mounted.

I would try RWS Superdomes, Crosman Premiers and JSB Exacts in 15.8 grains. All of these are domes, which I find to be the best all-around hunting pellets. Plus they are all accurate.

Read the manual on trigger adjustment and you will be pleased with the results.

The TX 200 mark III has a better trigger and is just as accurate as the 54, plus it has a better scope mounting system. It's very smooth, but not quite up to the 54 in that one area. The fit and finish is superior to every other spring rifle on the market. It's another rifle that I know you will be pleased with.

Same pellets for the TX.

B.B.

 
At June 01, 2008 12:02 PM, Blogger Eric said...

Kevin

I've only been hunting a couple of times decades ago.

I found myself on a piece of land seemingly just like you with an enormous squirrel population. Of course about 4 years ago I thought they were very cute so I fed them on all those fun looking contraptions - not knowing what I was creating.

They had gotten into my house, chewed on wiring, and turned me into a hunter. I found myself on the same quest for the most suitable air rifle to fix my problem I helped create.

I found this blog with all of its wellspring of knowledge. I ended up with the Diana 54. I was so close to the Mark III, but I had already tried one springer with which I couldn't hit anything. I was sold on the 'semi-recoiless' nature of the 54. And it has proven to live up to all the claims written about it. I simply love it,,,,does the job I need incredibly well.

I too am waiting for the new scope mount. I have a Leapers scope mounted and I had to rezero it after about couple of hundred shots.

After I had resolved the squirrel over population, I kind of missed them. They make excellent target practice. I have actually had a lot of fun with this whole process.

Wishing you fun

 
At June 02, 2008 7:50 AM, Blogger kevin said...

B.B. & Eric,

Thanks for the experienced insight. Appreciate the advice. A 54 it is. Any update on when the bb/leapers scope mount will be available? kevin

 
At June 02, 2008 11:08 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Kevin,

Leapers made a small mistake in the packaging and they are now saying July.

B.B.

 
At June 02, 2008 11:20 AM, Blogger kevin said...

B.B.,


Thanks for the reply. Checked the pyramyd website earlier and they're saying july 21st. I'd like pyramyd to mount a leapers 3-12 x44 swat mini scope that you recommend on the new base that you designed but i'm not sure i can wait that long. patience is not in my possession. kevin

 
At June 02, 2008 12:23 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Kevin,

Then your other option is to go with the workaround mounting system we are doing right now.

B.B.

 
At June 03, 2008 1:45 PM, Blogger kevin said...

B.B,

Thanks again. Need to re-read your base and mounts that you advise. Maybe if I only need to buy the base when yours becomes available I'll proceed with the temporary solution.
kevin

 
At June 19, 2008 12:09 PM, Blogger kevin said...

BB,

Followed your advice and purchased a RWS Diana 54 in 22 caliber with a Leapers Accushot 3x12x44 AO full size swat scope from Pyramyd Air. A little disappointed in Pyramyd Air. They shipped the wrong pellet trap, shipped the wrong sidewheel and most distressing they didn't mount the scope the way you recommend and the way I discussed with them when ordering (scope stop over the front rail). Guess I'll remount the scope. Nevertheless, I'm very pleased with the gun. Writing to thank you for the advice and ask one more question. I plan on replacing this one piece mount with your new leapers mount when it comes out. Which weaver/picatinny rings do you recommend for the new leapers base for the RWS 54 that you helped design? Low? Medium? High? Since Pyramyd has not seen/touched the new base they are unable to recommend the right rings. Appreciate your help. Part number would also be helpful if you don't mind. kevin

 
At June 19, 2008 12:28 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Kevin,

My experience with the new base is that you can use a low mount, which these days means a medium mount. The base raises the scope so high that even a 50mm objective has plenty of clearance.

How do you like that smooth shooting?

B.B.

 
At June 20, 2008 8:30 AM, Blogger kevin said...

BB,

Love the gun. I'm old school as far as firearms and "German Made" played a role in my decision of the RWS 54. I'm a novice as far as pellet guns. I have only shot the gun 8 times so far. Followed your instructions for sighting a pellet rifle scope. A couple shots at 10 feet and then moved the target to 10 meters and adjusted the scope to shoot 1.5 inches low at that distance. 8 shots later the scope is adjusted and I'm very impressed with the ease and accuracy of shooting the 54. Plan on spending a lot of time with the gun this weekend. Want to play with the trigger adjustment and get comfortable with what the gun can do at a distance. A friend has a Gamo CFX that intially interested me in springers. No comparison in these two guns. Hate his trigger and he's always readjusting the scope. The twang and subsequent jarring effect in firing the gamo is absent in the 54. I like the sledge design of the 54. Out of the box I can shoot it accurately without cradling the gun like the gamo requires for mediocre accuracy. The differance in quality of these two rifles is monumental. Can't wait to install your new base and a set of rings on the 54. You say medium rings. Does that mean the Leapers 30mm rings, medium, weaver mount, see thru (pyramyd part number PY-A-2235)?? Thanks again for your patience with a novice like me that continually bothers you with basic questions. You've been great. kevin

 
At June 20, 2008 8:46 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Kevin,

Yes, those rings will work well with the new base. A few bases have just arrived at Pyramyd Air for photos, etc., so they will be here shortly.

B.B.

 
At June 20, 2008 9:16 AM, Blogger kevin said...

BB,

Thanks again. You sure know your stuff. kevin

 
At June 20, 2008 10:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BB,

It's 20 June 2008 and I am reading this Blog for the first time. I stumbled on it while researching the Mod.54. You started this discussion with a test of the gun back in 06. Have you had much more trigger time with it since then? You were reserving your final opinion about this rifles standing in your all time favorites list until you had more time with it. What are your "final" thoughts on the 54?
Quick question too... Do you recommend against buying the combo from Pyramyd which includes the (RWS?) scope and mounts? Are the RWS scopes any good for this magnum springer (I am a cheapskate and want to get off easy on the overall price)?

p.s. If I were you I would never get tired of hearing this so I am going to throw it out there for you one more time...you are a wealth of knowledge in all things pellet guns and I have bookmarked your blogs for future refrence. Pyramyd is lucky to have you on their team as I am sure that you have improved their position in the pellet gun retail market.
Thanks!

 
At June 20, 2008 11:08 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

20 June,

That rifle belonged to a friend and I had to give it back. But I developed a healthy respect for the gun while I had it. It;s as nice as a TX 200 and easier to shoot accurately.

Yes, it's on my all-time favorites list. For a small amount of money you can get most of the performance of a Whiscombe rifle by buying a 54.

As far as the combo goes, you will save some money with that deal. I personally favor Leapers scopes over RWS, but there is nothing wrong with RWS. Both are made in China, where 98 percent of all scopes are made today.

Here's what I would do. Wait for the new Diana scope base from Leapers to come out. It takes care of anchoring the scope and droop at the same time. It will be here in another two weeks. You'll need Weaver rings and Leapers has a cheap set of medium-height rings that are perfect. Then mount whatever scope you like.

Thank you for your kind words,

B.B.

 
At June 23, 2008 9:30 AM, Blogger kevin said...

Anonymous,

I also thought about buying the 54 with the scope combination to save some money. After reading the numerous reviews about the rws scope that is provided in the "package deal" along with their poor mounting base & rings I opted to buy a scope, base and rings separately. If you go to pyramyd air site, click on the rws diana 54 combo scope and rifle, then click on reviews (upper right hand corner) you'll see what I'm refering to. kevin

 
At July 12, 2008 11:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a Diana 54 and I've ordered the new Leapers scope base specifically for the Diana models that's coming out in a couple of weeks as well as the Leapers 4x16x56mm scope. With this size objective, should I mount it with the Leapers Weaver High 30mm mounts instead of the medium?

 
At July 13, 2008 6:39 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Medium rings should be high enough.

B.B.

 
At July 13, 2008 7:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the advice. I know there's been so much discussion about 40, 44 and 50mm objectives with this new mounting system, but I hadn't seen any discussions with 56mm objectives. I just want to make sure that there's enough clearance to load the pellet easy and I really hate the look of objectives that practically "lay" on the barrel, damage the bluing on the rifle and make it difficult to put on and remove the sun shade and flip caps.

I was actually tempted to order both the medium and high rings and see which works the best and send the least optimum set back. I'm also willing to order a smaller scope, like the Leapers 3x12x44mm SWAT AO if it is a better scope for this rifle than the Leapers 4x16x56mm AO. I like both scope models with sidewheel parralax and a large wheel.

Anyone had any experience using both of these scopes for the 54 and feel one is better for it?

Thanks again!

 
At August 01, 2008 5:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello everyone, I just wanted to give an update on the new Leaper's Diana scope droop mount and the scope I ordered. Everything came in perfectly from Pyramid Air and everything works wonderfully. The scope mount takes literally just minutes to mount and it is as secure on the 54 as a mount can get. Also, the MEDIUM Leaper's Weaver rings are perfect for this mount and rifle just like B.B. has said (thanks again for the advice B.B.)

Just one note, the Leapers 4x16x56mm AO scope is ENORMOUS! Probably waaaay more than is needed on the 54. A smaller scope such as the 3x12x44mm SWAT AO would be a better choice for this rifle, but I will tell you this, for the 4th day in a row, I am getting 1 1/2" groups with this combination from 85 yards rested. I think this is incredible accuracy for a spring powered rifle. Then again, maybe having the 4x16x56mm scope on the Diana 54 is responsible for these groupings and is worth getting....

 
At August 01, 2008 6:21 AM, Blogger Eric said...

Thanks for the input about your positive experience with the new scope mount and your groupings from 85 yards with your enormous scope. I enjoy these comments

 
At August 02, 2008 7:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eric - Anytime, I enjoyed reading about your enormous squirrel adventure. Hope your enjoying the Diana 54 as much as I am. I too was debating for the longest time between the 54 and the TX200, so I decided to just get them both. I started with the 54 in .22 cal. and haven't regretted it.

Next up is the TX200 MkIII, Walnut in .177 cal. in a few months.

By the way, is anyone else getting groupings like these with the Diana 54? This thing is amazing on accuracy....

 
At August 08, 2008 9:44 AM, Blogger Eric said...

Ho,,,Anonymus

,,,guess you and I are quite alike,,,,,I still drool over the TX200 MkIII......then I remember that the 54 has more power, which in the beginning I thought was sooo important,,,,and it is,,,my 54 blows right thru squirrels, every time with Kodiaks ( well every time I hit them that is - I miss a few, and when I do I go re-sight my gun - I hate missing)

Then I was reading a guest blogger about some older classic gun which is lower power but he loves it anyhow because it still does the job he needs to have done (birds around his house) with out punching holes in his house siding. And I thought,,,,yeah,,,,guess I don't always need that much power.

Truth is that I love these guns - a year ago if someone were to tell me I'd be so hooked into guns, I never would have believed them And I love reading the blogs. I think BB aka Tom Gaylord is very, very good. I love his philosophy about it all. I wanted, still want to do all the types of shooting that is talked about.

I bought a Marksman 2000 (Chinese copy of the Beeman P1 (I think)), which I believe is no longer available, to practice 10 meter style shooting. And wow,,,did that discipline/ practice ever help my over all shooting. It really helped,,,,a lot,,,,just like BB said. Target acquistition time and making the shot became so much more confident and quick,,,and more accurate.

Then after a while I started adding Bondo to the pistol grip to get a better 'grip' on it all,,,,a more relaxed hand, better trigger finger pad positioning. And oh my God, another seeming quantum leap in accuracy!!!,,,,and it was cheap. The Bondo doesn't bond well at all due to the finish of the gun (it likes bare metal to bond to) and so it doesn't permanently disfigure the grip, instead it just pops right on and off - like dentures. I had just completed that and haven't practiced much with it,,,,but my pistol doesn't move now when I squeeze the trigger.

I have to admit also,,,,I splurged just recently,,,,when the Izh 61s came in. I bought one of those because of BB's raving about them,,,AND I bought a Talon SS with a hand pump. I haven't shot either of them yet The Talon comes with a DVD with BB doing all the talking and instructing,,,,,and it is soooo quiet. I wanted quiet because a friend of mine in town has a major squirrel infestation around his house - both his neighbors feed them - and he had a squirrel come down his chimney, into this house. I told him about the problem I had and offered to come in and thin the population down for him. He hasn't taken me up on that offer yet - but I am prepared when he does.....and with the adjustable power - the Talon will be perfect.

But like you,,,,I still want a TX200 MkIII. I love these things. At first they were an excellent tool to get my job done. But now I admit,,,,they have become a new toy for me. But really they are tools,,,excellent tools. I have more tools than the average Joe also.

Nice hearing your stories. Thanks for responding.

 
At August 08, 2008 10:22 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Eric,

Glad you like the blog.

You know that it's always possible to de-tune your 54? Maybe you don't want to do it yourself, but a good tuner could do if for you.

B.B./Tom

 
At August 09, 2008 7:25 AM, Blogger Eric said...

BB,

good to know,,,I hadn't ever considered 'detuning' for lower power.

But in keeping with the rest of my 'tools', hammers for example, I have a range of hammers from 8 oz to 4 lbs. My 54 is my biggest gun (so far) and I want to keep it that way.

I loved your blogs on tuning our guns,,I will probably invest in that direction as well,,,as time allows.

And the books,,,secrets,,,you share with us. Its all fantastic. Keeps me engaged.

And your admonitions to better ourselves such as: "Learn the terminology!" You are definitely one of my best teachers in life.

Thanks for being there for us.

 
At August 09, 2008 10:34 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Eric,

Monday's blog will be of interest to you.

B.B.

 
At September 16, 2008 5:26 PM, Blogger kevin said...

B.B.,

A copy of your Beeman R1 book hit the yellow forum and was sold in less than 29 minutes for $65.00. This book is tougher to find than hens teeth. Doug Law is second in line for this book.

I've decided to tune my RWS Diana 54. Ed Krynowek? is one tuner I've talked to. Ed says there is an adjustment that can be made to a 54 that can modify the spring force. Ed says, at the factory an arbitrary setting is chosen since they don't know if you will be scoping the rifle or using open sights. The correct adjustment results in more accuracy. He says this adjustment is under the stock? I've attached a link to a website where another RWS Diana 54 owner has made and shared his guns modifications. I think the adjustment that Ed is talking about is also the adjustment this site talks about near the bottom titled, "RECOIL ABSORBTION SYSTEM: REGULATION OF POSITION HOLDER BEARING" that modifies the spring force by turning an allen screw hidden by the stock screw. Look here:

http://www.eddiecolwell.tzo.com/RWS-54.htm

This is not the tuners site but some overzealous 54 owner like me.

Do you have any experience/knowledge with this adjustment? I talked to tech support at pyramyd air and they didn't have a clue.

kevin

 
At September 17, 2008 7:00 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Kevin,

I have no experience with adjusting tg the recoil-absorbition system on the RWS Diana 34, but the article you linked me to seems very clear.

B.B.

 
At September 17, 2008 8:15 AM, Blogger kevin said...

B.B.,

Thank you again for sharing your knowledge.

If you don't mind me asking, what is special about a Wischo 55N?

kevin

 
At September 17, 2008 10:37 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Kevin,

My answer would take several reports, which I have written. Have you read them?

http://www.pyramydair.com/blog/2008/03/bsf-55n-part-3.html

I also wrote a huge article for Shotgun News. It was in their July 20th issue. It was about the 4 Horsemen - the 4 guns that broke the 800 f.p.s. "barrier" in the 1970s.

B.B.

 
At September 17, 2008 10:50 AM, Blogger kevin said...

B.B.,

Had trouble finding the 3 part report you did on the Wischo (now I know it's actually a bsf) but I'm almost through with your terrific 3 part series. Went to the shotgun news website and can't find your article on the 4 horsemen. Don't bother replying to this, I've taken enough of your time. I'm going to call several newstands and see if I can locate the July 20th issue of Shotgun News. The diana 27 has made me addicted to the older, well made, accurate guns of yesteryear like the fwb 124 and now the wischo (bsf) 55 n (for walnut).

kevin

 
At September 17, 2008 11:13 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Kevin,

I hope you can find that article. It was one of the best I've written about vintage air rifles.

B.B.

 

Post a Comment

<< Home