RWS Diana 460 Magnum in .22! – Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

The day looked good for testing the RWS Diana 460 Magnum, but as I loaded the car to go to the range, it started raining, so I gave up on the weather and set up a 21-yard range in my house. Wind and rain are what prevent me from finishing the 75-yard Air Arms S410 sidelever shoot, too.

I mounted a Leapers 3-9×40 scope on the rifle with the prototype mount we are developing for the RWS Diana guns. It’ll be nice when completed, but this prototype still isn’t able to correct all of the 21″ drop this rifle has at 20 yards.

Not so good at first
I was surprised that the rifle didn’t seem to want to group at first. JSB Exact domes, which are usually quite good in most air rifles, were giving me groups of nearly one inch, which is way too large for this distance – especially indoors! H&N Trophy Hunters didn’t do much better, which tipped me that this could be a technique problem.


With the wrong technique, 5 JSB Exacts went in this 0.947″ group at 21 yards. Horrible!


Just by changing how I held the rifle, the JSBs shrank into this 0.349″ group.

The right technique!
When I switched to Crosman Premiers, I also changed my hold. Up to this point, I was laying the gun on the flat of my open palm, but the bag was causing the palm to be on a slant. I substituted one finger as a rest, which leveled out the hold, and the first group of Premiers told the story. Three-tenths of an inch! When I switched back to JSBs with this new hold, they were almost as tight.


Crosman Premiers were the best with this rifle. This groups measures 0.30″.

Problem with Gamo Hunters!
I thought the Gamo Hunter was going to be another great pellet when the first two sailed through the same hole, but shot three landed over an inch away. They had been loading snug, but the third one had loaded easily. When I loaded the next pellet it went into the breech very easily, so I blew it off. That’s field target talk for shooting intentionally at a different place, just to get rid of the pellet. The next pellet also loaded too easily, and when I raised the muzzle before closing the breech, I saw it drop back out again. That hasn’t happened to me since the bad old days of testing Chinese air rifles. Gamo Hunters may be too irregular for this rifle.

What not to shoot
Stay away from RWS Hobbys, as they just don’t want to group in the 460. Also, I didn’t try the heavier Kodiaks because of the velocity drop we saw in part one of this report.

Final impression
The RWS Diana 460 Magnum is a big magnum spring air rifle. Without a doubt, it’s best-suited to the larger .22 caliber. It does take technique to shoot accurately, but no more than most breakbarrels. Once you have the technique, the rifle shoots very well. The T05 trigger is well-suited to hunting, with just a little creep and a reasonably light let-off.

49 thoughts on “RWS Diana 460 Magnum in .22! – Part 2

  1. BB,

    Thanks for the final on the 460. My son ordered the Hammerli Nova for his own us. He has a very bad Ground Hog problem. He uses my Rem Genesis and has done very good, dispatching 9 this year with All but one being single shots. Any thoughts on the Nova B.B? Reviews I’ve seen are mixed.

    Thanks,

    BobC NJ



  2. BobC NJ
    Does yor son live in NJ as well? I’m in northwest NJ and its been the worst year ever for those pests. Over the summer a single groundhog ate the spark plug wires and ABS wires on both of our newer cars. Would not have beleaved it, but lifted the hood one day and saw him in the engine bay! Over $700 in damage to cars so far.

    But thanks to him I got back into airgunning with my two children. And we been having a blast.

    So I guess sometimes a curse we dont understand, can turn into a blessing we cherish.

    Wait till Spring Mr.Groundhog !

    We also received 8-9 inches of snow on Monday. Go Figure.

    JoeG in Jersey


  3. B.B. – Earlier this year, I bought the first spring rifle I’ve owned in over 30 years… a Remington Summit. It’s hold sensitive, and I’ve benefitted a lot from the articles you’ve written about proper spring gun technique. However, there seems to be quite a bit of latitude in what is “proper technique”, depending upon the rifle. The RWS 460 Magnum that you tested here is a good case in point. Is there any chance of getting some photos of your hand placement and grip for some popular hold sensitive spring rifles? Thanks!


  4. Jim O.

    Photographs are possible, but let me explain what I do and maybe they won’t be necessary. I’m refining the artillery hold all the time, and recently I have noticed that when the gun moves, if it doesn’t have a flat platform on which to move, it will throw the shots wide. This is one reason that a repeatable hold is so important.

    So here’s what to do. Set up the hold so the gun can move straight back and forth when it recoils. If anything hinders that, change it. I usually use the flat of my open palm, but this time my palm was slanted, so I used just one finger held crossways to the stock.

    I think if you can understand what I’m saying it will help a lot more than photos, which cannot show where the weight of the rifle is placed.

    B.B.


  5. BobC,

    It’s hard to keep up with all the new airguns, but I believe I have heard some good reports about the Nova. Of course your son will soon be an expert, so I hope he will share his feelings with us.

    B.B.


  6. Hi JoeG,

    We Both live in the home of Rutgers. I never knew how distructive Ground Hogs could be until they undermined a corner of my deck from under the deck. After a heavy rain, the deck shifted,separating from the ledger that attached it to the house. $1600.00 to repair. On top of that, there were squirrels in the attic. The squirrels tore out the insulation and chewed through the insulation on the cables. One day the power went out and I smelled that something was burning. Instinctively I knew what had happened. I grabbed A fire extinguisher, pulled down the attic stairs and put the small fire out. I was very lucky to be home at the that time. That cost me $2200 for new Romex(?) wiring. Now you can see why I have A hatred for those sweet little critters ( :-) The rifle I used was the .22cal Crosman 2100 multi pump and I became an excellent shot with it.

    Thanks for listening JoeG, you’re absolutely right.

    BobC NJ


  7. BB – I found a similar result as you found with using my rws 48. I have had good luck sitting the rifle on the bag at the front screw where the tripod would go, and resting my left hand on my chest making a v where the butt of the stock goes. I don’t know what that’s called, but maybe a post on bench shooting might be nice for us amatures.


  8. First, let me thank you for all this great information, you have helped me a lot! This is one of the first places I tell new shooters to visit.

    Now some background before a question.
    I had a Mendoza with peep (seemed like 1/2 .125) that I loved (the peep, not the Mendoza), and now I have a Benjamin with a new peep (seems 3/8 disc 0.05). In your peep sights post you mention to get the smallest aperture possible for target and maybe larger for rapid target acquisition. But you don’t mention disk size. I have seen discs in 3/8, 1/2 and 1″

    Could you tell me what is the impact of disc size in precision, target acquisition and low light conditions?



  9. Why in the world do animals want to eat the things described? Or is it just their method of tunneling?

    B.B., the 21″ drop on this gun sounds pretty bad. I seemed to remember reading somewhere that RWS manufactures barrel droop on purpose for Europeans and it had something to do with allowing them to shoot at 10 meters as well as other distances–my memories are fragmentary. Anyway, whatever the reason, it doesn’t seem worth it.

    On the subject of the artillery hold, I had the impression from descriptions that the flat of the supporting hand must be positioned so that the fingers align with the gun’s barrel. However, this was putting me in a weird position–strain on the elbow–in a prone rest that produced very unimpressive groupings. I finally relaxed and let the hand point at an angle to the barrel while preserving as much of a flat surface as I could and not gripping the stock, and things improved. I don’t know if this is the orthodox technique, but it seems to help.

    Thanks, by the way, for agreeing to write about your start in airgunning. Years of seeing teaching evaluations have convinced me that students learn at least as much from who the teacher is as from what the teacher says.

    Matt


  10. Fabiuan,

    When I said that I was referring to the size of the hole – not the diameter of the disk. However, disk size is also important for precision work, because it blacks out everything except the target. With a military peep like on the M16 or the Garand, you can see around the tiny disk and you don’t concentrate on the center hole as much.

    When it comes to disk sizes, bigger is better. I have see European disks that were over three inches in diameter! The BFS S54 Target had one.

    B.B.


  11. JoeG in Jersey

    If you post your impressions of the Daisy 953, please let us know. This rifle seems to have cheapness and accuracy which interest me a great deal. Thanks.

    Matt


  12. Matt,

    When I first wrote about the artillery hold I never said the fingers had to align with the barrel. That seems clumsy to me. Just give the gun a flat fleshy platform on which to move.

    B.B.


  13. BB
    Reading Bob c’s comment about the Hammerli brought up an off topic question. RWS-RWS Diana- RWS Hammerli- are these all the same company? If so, whats Diana and Hammerli? Also,what does RWS stand for? (You always say “there are no stupid questions”) thanks, and Have a great Thanksgiving! J.R.


  14. b.b. – Is there a term for the shooting position in which you sit and rest the gun (right in front of the trigger guard) in the crook of your arm (at the elbow)? More importantly, I’m wondering whether this gives the same effect as the artillery hold. My own experiments with my Viper are that it groups just as tightly, but several inches off in elevation (up if memory serves). With my Summit I don’t seem to get good results. Thanks and Happy Thanksgiving!


  15. airdog,

    You are describing one of the two classic field target holds, and it can work like the artillery hold if you hold the rest of the rifle loosely. In AAFTA, they are sitting when they use this hold.

    B.B.


  16. J.R.,

    RWS is a huge German conglomerate that got started with the production of dynamite in the 19th century. They produce a lot on munitions and pellets, but no airguns. However, they have a close arrangement with Diana, the German company that makes all the guns for them.

    Hammerli used to be a Swiss maker of fine target arms. They also made a few airguns. Umarex purchased them a couple of years ago and started putting the name on Chinese guns and some other makes of airguns. I always saw that as a pity, since ten years ago the name Hammerli meant the absolute pinnacle in perfection in the shooting sports. No no more!

    Umarex has an agreement with RWS that they (Umarex) are the RWS representatives in the U.S. So Umarex USA is also RWS USA, except for firearms and firearms ammunition.

    I hope that clears it up for you.

    B.B.


  17. Hi BB,
    Are the Hw30 and R7 the same gun? Ive heard the r7 was a beeman (american) version of the HW30. the velocities are listed as different and so are the trigger pulls. also on the beeman sight it lists them as two totally different rifles. I was just wondering why one is $100 more than the other.

    Nate in Mass


  18. Hi BB,
    Are the Hw30 and R7 the same gun? Ive heard the r7 was a beeman (american) version of the HW30. the velocities are listed as different and so are the trigger pulls. also on the beeman sight it lists them as two totally different rifles. I was just wondering why one is $100 more than the other.

    Nate in Mass



  19. I know of the crook-of-the-arm hold only from the movie, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly where Clint Eastwood uses it with a Winchester rifle to shoot a rope that Eli Wallach is about to hang from. I thought the hold was fanciful, but maybe I’ll give it a try.

    B.B., Hammerli hasn’t gone all bad has it? I hear good things about the RWS Hammerli 850 magnum.

    Matt


  20. Nate,

    The R7 is derived from the HW30. There are versions of the 30 that have Rekord triggers and there are versions that don’t. That would explain some of the price difference. The American R7stock is longer, which also adds to price.

    B.B.


  21. Matt,

    I’m an old fart, and from my perspective, it all bad. But the truth is, the 850 AirMagnum is not a bad airgun. However, to call it a Hammerli to someone like me is to try to convince us that the latest Ford Escort is really a baby Ferrari because they put that name on the car.

    Hammerli free pistols enjoyed an enviable string of gold medals for most of the last century. The P210 pistol that the Swiss carried for several decades now sells for $3000 and up. They call it a SIG now, but it’s really a Hammerli.

    B.B.




  22. Mike,

    It’s a thin high-viscosity petroleum-based oil. On the Pyramyd website you could use Ballistol or FP-10. Crosman Pellgunoil will also work, now that we know it’s just 20-weight oil.

    Other dealers may sell products labeled as spring oil.

    Just avoid chamber oil because that is synthetic, and does not lubricate.

    In your case, I might use more than 10 drops. Maybe 10 and work it in and five more if it still makes noise.

    B.B.


  23. B.B.,
    I am glad you continue to stress consistency and proper technique for accuracy. I have been working on follow-through to see where the POA settles after each shot. Sometimes to the right, sometimes to the left, etc, etc. But I am seeing how it is something I can actually see and control by getting everything correct BEFORE I start to squeeze the trigger. I’ll get there eventually.

    That consistent barrel droop in the Diana’s is very interesting. My 54 had 13.3″ in 20 yds which meant a .074″ taper in a 100mm long scope base. Your 460 is .114″ taper in 100mm, which really makes it seem intentional. I wonder if some smart German airgun designer a long time ago decided that having the barrel pointed one and a half degrees below the action line of the spring gave better accuracy? If that’s what they are trying to do, it seems they could build a similar taper into the scope base. Just a thought.

    Have a peaceful and relaxing Thanksgiving,
    Pestbgone


  24. If I used a Mendoza Diopter sight and a B-Square Riser/Extension base, would that compensate for the Panther’s barrel droop?

    14 in Fla


  25. Hi BB,
    I read Your review of the gamo shadow 1000. You only posted group sizes for ten meters which makes me wonder if this rifle cannot shoot longer distances accuratly. Is this the case or were there other reasons?

    Nate in Mass


  26. “Crosman Pellgunoil will also work, now that we know it’s just 20-weight oil.”

    We now know for sure? Also, I assume it’s non-detergent…


  27. BB,

    nice report, needless to say. I like the gun, and that accuracy is great (as far as a springer goes!) but being a pcp shooter i would opt for the rws54. I don’t want to spend 2 much time learning how to hold a gun.

    have a nice thanksgiving.

    -sumo


  28. Vince,

    I was at the Crosman factory three weeks ago and asked an engineer. He didn’t know the specs for certain, but he thought it was a 20-weight non-detergent oil.

    So much time has passed since Pellgunoil came into existence that the only ones who know the spec for certain are in Crosman’s purchasing department. Everyone else just calls it Red Oil.

    B.B.


  29. 14 in Fla.

    Hard to say without trying it. First, the riser has no scope stop, so it’s suspect there. Second, I’m not sure the Mendoza can’t raise up enough to work on its own.

    If the gun were an HW 50S, a peep would be understandable, but using a peep with a fiberoptic front sight seems strange to me. Are you sure that’s what you want?

    B.B.


  30. Nate,

    Back when I did that test for Airgun Illustrated magazine, that was the distance at which I tested the rifle. However, back then Gamo wasn’t making barrels as accurate as they are today. And I wasn’t cleaning every barrel before testing.

    Things have changed in the ensuing four years since that test and I think the Shadow 1000 groups as well as the Whisper or the CF-X today.

    B.B.


  31. I’m really not sure of exactly what rifle I want. I just need one that fits my budget of $250, has provisions for a scope or sight, has at least a marginally good bit of range(and is not temperature dependent), and cocks somewhat easily(for breakbarrels). So far, only the RM-600, the Whisper, and a shoulder-stocked 1377c meet my requirements. You don’t have to respond to this list I’ve come up with, I’m just putting it out there why I’m fishing everything else.

    14 in Fla


  32. Kind of off the subject, but, I have an question about my RWS 350 mag. which is about 1 month old, so far I have shot 1000-1500 pellets through it and I really like it, but recently I’ve noticed a reduction in the violence in recoil and the noise is now comprised nearly entirely of drag induced whistle and impact, very little “BANG”. Also, surprisingly, the power has increased. Before, the best it could do on a 2in chunk of 2×4 with any pellet was a lump on the exit size. Now with gamo master points it does a clean “thru-and-thru” and Crow Mags halve it cleanly. Is this a normal break-in? P.S What scope do you reccomend in the 70-120 dollar range?



  33. RWS350Mag,

    Okay, so you have experienced a break-in. That’s what happens when it goes right. The gun becomes quieter and in this case, more powerful.

    As far as a good scope goes, I would look at something in the Leapers 3-9 line. Get a TS platform for the extra strength.

    B.B.


  34. B.B. I loved this gun but after about 50 shots when I cocked it the safety was activated and the cocking cycle was completed but the cocking realease button is now jammed and the lever wont go up. The gun wont fire either when I squeeze the trigger. I am so upset because it is my first quality airgun and it failed me. I bought it from Pyramid air and about 15 days ago so they should exchange it right? I am thinking about exchanging it for a model 350 or 48 since they dont seem to have any problems. And if I did exchange it for the 460 I would want a brand new rifle since something is obviously wrong with this one. I really hope it was just my gun and not all. I love the 460 but I cant afford to have a gun that wont last. I am not sure what to do and could really use your help. I would really apriciate it. THanks.


  35. Apparently there is something about the anti-beartrap that confuses shooters, which is why Diana put an orange warning tag around the gun, cautioning you to always depress the beartrap release before trying to return the lever to the closed position. The warning says your gun will jam like yours has if you fail to do this.

    Of course you should return it and get another rifle, and I would advise getting a different model. A 48/52 would be good, and they don’t have this same fault.

    B.B.


  36. Thanks B.B. but I am happy to say my problem is solved. It turns out the gun was not cocked back all the way so the anti bear trap had the lever locked. I forced the lever back some more and it engaged the safety. It is back to normal. I am having just a little problem finding the right technique. Did you use a loose hold? THanks.



  37. B.B. -
    I just wanted to thank you for the single finger hold tip. I tried it with my Summit this weekend on the ten meter range in my studio. All I can say is… Wow! Believe it or not, this ultra finicky rifle put five .177 R-10′s through a single .22 caliber hole! Not all groups were as good as that one, but they were all a LOT better than shooting across the flat of my palm. As I said… Thanks for the tip.



  38. B.B i own a gamo hunter 440, it has a scope mounted with a 1 piece gamo mount and a gamo scope stop also.. but the scope won’t stop creeping back!! i have tightend the mount and stop to the point that the screws are starting to strip! please help,
    Shaun


  39. Shaun,

    The only way a scope stop can move is if there is no positive mechanical stop. If the stop relies on clamping pressure, alone, it will continue to move.

    A drastic measure but one that works is to drill a hole in the spring tube for a vertical stop pin.

    A less-radical measure is to thoroughly degrease the stop, rings and the dovetails on the rifle and remount the scope. That sometimes works, but not always. Tuning the rifle to not vibrate so much is another good measure.

    Short of welding, that’s about it.

    B.B.


  40. On the RWS 460 .22- I’ve had good luck so far with an RWS one piece “C-mount”. They’re good if you know how to set one up and if you can find one! Umarex still may have a few recycled ones. The ramp is crowded with a separate scope stop which I like for cushioning. To anonymous of 11/25- you may have more jams like you described. Sometimes it helps to firmly pull the trigger while you complete the cocking motion. Mine has never completely jammed and seems to be working out of the tendency. Accuracy is great with only 1 inch vertical difference between firm rest and hand held at 50 yards. Power is slightly higher than the 48/52 and 350.(from 8 to 30 fps faster, depending on the pellet).


  41. Nice review BB! I am from Holland (Europe) and just the other day I purchased a DIANA 460 in .22. I remembered your review and I had a couple of boxes of Crosman Premiers left over from when I bought a HW 90 (Beeman R2). The HW 90 shot the Crosman’s all over the place, so I switched to Kodiak’s that performed very well in this gun. But the Crosman’s performed outstanding in the DIANA 460! What a gun, for power and precision! Right out of the box it shot very wel with the Crosman’s. I decided tot stick with these pellets for the 460. I also own, next to the HW 90, a Theoben Crusader in .20. Also a superior air gun. But I realy love the 490. The finish on the HW 90 and the Crusader are probably a bit better than the 406 but that gun is a looker par excellence and it performes outstandingly.The 406 outperformes the HW 90 in power and precision. So if you are deciding on just one gun, go for the 406. Personally, I like to have a few guns, just for the fun of it.
    Rob


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