RWS Diana 460 Magnum – Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

There was a good response to my question about a scope primer, so I will do it. I’ve probably written most of this stuff before, but this time I’ll write it with an eye toward chapters in a small book. Thanks for your input.

Scopestop asked me for links to all the scope posts I’ve made. Here are about half of them:
Sighting in a scope – Don’t get carried away
Where (and how) to locate a scope
Scope mounting height
Adjustable scope mounts
Another problem with scopes: Not mounting them correctly
Shooting with a pistol scope
Adjusting a scope
At what range should you zero your scope?
What causes scope shift?
Another cause of scope shift: over-adjusted scope knobs
More about sighting-in: How to determine the two intersection points
How to optically center a scope
Scope mount basics – part one
Scope mount basics – part two

On to the rifle!
Reader KTK advised me that the rear sight element can be switched to a square notch, as well as the U-shaped notch I criticized yesterday, and indeed, it can. Diana used to put four different notches on the outside of the rear sight, so you could see what was available, and I never thought to look closer on this one. A tiny Allen screw on the left side of the scope holds the notch plate. Flip it over and enjoy the other notch. Thanks, KTK!

I mounted a scope on the RWS Diana 460 Magnum using a prototype of the new RWS Diana scope mount I’ve been talking about that solves the scope stop situation. It works well, but there are a few more details to refine before it goes into production, so I wouldn’t put off scoping my rifle if I were you.

One thing I can tell you. When this new type of mount does become available, you’ll be able to scope any RWS Diana spring rifle in less than 10 minutes, not including sighting-in! It’s that easy.

I used two scopes for this test, because I was also testing the mount. The first was the UTG Tactedge 4×40 sniper scope that I think is such a great deal. The other was a Leapers 3-9x40AO scope with red and green illuminated reticle.

First shots
The first few shots were at a target in my backyard, where I’m limited to about 20 yards. Right off the bat, the accuracy was superb, because I started shooting with Beeman Kodiaks, and, as my testing later revealed, they’re the No. 1 pellet for this rifle.


This group of 5 Kodiaks at 20 yards got me excited and sent me off to the big range, in spite of the wind. It measures 0.407″ center-to-center.

The rifle kicks pretty hard and buzzes a little. But the T05 trigger is great – both light and crisp. I used the artillery hold, but this rifle isn’t as sensitive as a breakbarrel. There is no dieseling to speak of and the Kodiak pellets are definitely not supersonic.

At the big range, I initially started shooting at 35 yards. The 4×40 Tactedge scope was still sighted-in from home, but I did have to adjust it up a little. The wind was gusting 10-15 m.p.h., but those heavy Kodiaks flew true just the same.


This 35-yard group of Beeman Kodiaks measures 0.814″ center-to-center.

Then, I switched scopes to the 3-9x, but the groups didn’t get any tighter. Maybe farther out the more powerful scope would have been an advantage. I also tried JSB Diabolo Exact pellets, Crosman Premier 7.9-grain pellets, Logun Penetrators and Gamo Tomahawk pellets. None of these others were nearly as accurate as the Kodiaks.

While this was transpiring, the cocking became smoother, though not necessarily any lighter. I measured it again at home after 125 shots, and the scale now says it takes 44 lbs. of force, so just a quick shooting session dropped 3 lbs.

Finally, I pulled back to 25 yards and shot another group with the Kodiaks and the 3-9x scope.


This 25-yard group of 5 Beeman Kodiaks measures 0.379″ center-to-center. That’s smaller than the 20-yard group that got me started! This rifle can really shoot. The group looks like only 4 holes, but that hole on top passed 2 pellets. In your hands it appears larger and cleaner.

So, the 460 Magnum can shoot. It’s such a pleasure to shoot a rifle that actually helps you shoot well, rather than one that takes all the technique in the world to deliver adequate accuracy. Tomorrow, we’ll look at the velocity.

28 Responses to “RWS Diana 460 Magnum – Part 2”

  • Anonymous Says:

    bb,

    maybe i read over it, but, what caliber is the rifle you are testing? also, how does the cocking effort, accuracy, and firing behavior relate to the 350 magnum?

    DED

  • Anonymous Says:

    BB

    ok, now you have confused me.
    Look at your pic no2, where you have a photo of your 35yard Beeman Kodiak group. You say that the group sive is 0.814 inches centre to centre. It looked far larger to me so i enlarged your pic, and with a measuring device found that the distance between the top left pellet and the bottom right pellet is 1.25 inches. We obviously know each hole is approx 4.5mm (if anything slightly larger, but i based it on 4.5mm) so how are group sizes actually determined? I assumed it was the centre to centre distance of the 2 furthest away pellets?

    Paul

  • Anonymous Says:

    i seem to remember Beeman Kodiaks are also known under another name? Could you tell me what this is please

    BTW that looks like a great springer, im keen to see its ME

    Thanks

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    DED,

    I didn’t say the caliber, but it’s a .177.

    B.B.

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Paul,

    It is impossible with the internet to transmit pictures that are that accurate. I just remeasured the group and it measured 0.982″ across. Subtract 0.177″ and that gives a group size of 0.805″ There is always some difference when measuring this way, but this group is definitely under one inch.

    B.B.

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Kodiak,

    Beeman Kodiaks are also sold as H&N Baracudas. H&N makes them.

    B.B.

  • JP Says:

    I assume all the rules apply pertaining to spring-piston weapons on this rifle as well, in how you hold and fire it, right? I’ve a question about it’s construction. How solid is it? Is it made like a regular fire-arm (SOLID steel barrel), or is it a barrel tube inside a sleeve like my troublesome 22SG? JP

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    JP,

    No, this is a solid seel air rifle.

    B.B.

  • Scott Says:

    Kodiak,

    BB is right that the other name is H&N Baracuda.
    You should also know that PA is having a sale on the Baracuda Match pellets, that is currently substantially less than the price for the .177 Beeman Kodiaks and identical in cost to .22 Beeman Kodiaks.
    The match pellets are sorted, so the Baracudas are a no-brainer if you are wanting one of the best pellets available.

  • Anonymous Says:

    First let me say thank you for the effort put forth each day for this service. I truly appreciate it.

    In Part 1 you commented on the cocking effort of the 460 Magnum. This gives me the perfect opening to ask if you have ever done a report on cocking effort. How is it calculated, formulas, or actual weight? If actual weight, how is it done?Where is it calculated at, where one would normally hold the lever or way out at the tip? Is the apparent effort greater with one style of gun than another,side cocker, barrel break, underlever? I suppose this doesn’t mean a lot to the bulls amoung us but some of us older guys and folks that are not real muscular could possibly be guided a little if the term “cocking effort” was fully explained.

    Obviously, if you have done a report on it, please send me to the correct archive. I didn’t find anything when I searched, however I may have not entered the correct words.

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    For cocking effort, I take the cocking lever, which is the barrel on a breakbarrel, and place it on the pad of a bathroom scale. Then I cock the gun and note the maximum weight the scale deflects to. It’s easy to do. Perhaps not super-accurate, but ballpark and relative between guns.

    B.B.

  • Anonymous Says:

    Off topic:
    Vince,
    Many thanks for the “o” rings you sent. I noticed that among many others, you’ve got 2 Phantoms, I’m just curious as to why??. I’ve got a 48, 392 and 2270 but the Phantom is my favorite go to gun….
    Regards,
    Henry

  • Anonymous Says:

    I posted a note in yesterday’s blog, asking about Tomahawk rail width (you told me 11mm – THANK YOU). I had responded that I would try RWS C mount.

    Well, it didn’t work. Tomahawk receiver top has a radius, making it difficult to find a mount that takes this into account as well. Luckily for me, I remember having much the same problem when scoping a CZ Slavia 631. – removing that scope, these mounts (B-Square Air Sport 9.5 – 13mm rail) did the trick – rock solid.

    The trick is (as you mentioned in 1st response) – Tommy has no provision for a pin scope stop – just rail grooves ground into tube. May have to buy a stop, just to keep it from sliding. But will shoot first to see if it works.

    Just updating – thanks again for the help.

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Tomahawk,

    Sorry about the radius. I haven’t had a Tomahawk in my hands for several months, so I forgot that.

    Keep us posted.

    B.B.

  • pestbgone Says:

    Hello B.B.,
    Wow, I missed your blog yesterday but this is certainly a handsome airgun! I have a couple of questions (OK, a laundry list!)that I hope you will answer in tomorrow’s blog. 1)A subjective assesment of the 460′s loudness? 2)Being an underlever, is it somewhat forgiving in the technique department? 3)Velocity, which I know you will be covering, but also a prediction of how the .22 version would shoot, both velocity and accuracy? 4)I don’t have large hands and at times find my B40 a bit bulky, sounds like this might be a better fit? And finally…5)Do you know if Pyramyd might have any of these in Roanoke next month?
    Thanks so much,
    Pestbgone

  • jw burns Says:

    BB This is suppose to be one of the most advanced rifles that RWS has produced. I contacted RWS the other evening, and stated that they really need not just “good” review but a totally in depth review of this rifle. Please tell me you are going to do a review and comparison of the 350. and 460 in 22. cal.

    thanks

  • Anonymous Says:

    BB,

    The best (quick and easy) procedure I’ve ever seen or tried to optically center a scope:

    “The starting position for doing both adjustments (elevation and windage) are with THAT knob/turret pointing straight up.

    Start with the elevation knob first (straight up).

    Choose an easy-to-see object in the distance that the horizontal line is lying upon. That’s your ‘target object’. Set your parallax adjustment ring to that approximate distance.

    Rotate the turret to the 6 o’clock position, noting if the horizontal line is higher or lower than it was at 12 o’clock.

    Rotate the turret back to starting position, noting where the horizontal line is in relationship to the 6 o’clock position.

    Now, If you want the crosshair to go ‘up’ from where it is now, turn the knob in the opposite direction, towards ‘down’. You’ll see that the line moves that way. Turn the knob enough to try and ‘split’ the difference between the 6 and 12 O’clock positions of the line. (Conversely, if you want the line to move ‘down’ from where it is now, turn the knob in the ‘up’ direction).

    Repeat as necessary until THAT line is centered. (Ignore the other, vertical line, we’ll get there).

    Now, face the windage knob straight up.

    Repeat the above steps, ignoring the ‘left’ and ‘right’ arrows and words.

    Start the comparison procedure as before, 6 o’clock, then 12 o’clock again. If you want the crosshair to go ‘up’ in the 12 o’clock position, turn the knob in the same ‘down’ direction as before, as if it was also an elevation knob.

    Continue as before until that crosshair is centered.

    Final check: Rotate the scope in the vee blocks, watching the intersection of the crosshairs on a ‘target object’. The intersection or center point should be stationary.

    If it’s moving more than you want, start from the beginning for a few final tweaks. Check again. You’ll soon be done.”

    KTK

  • Vince Says:

    Henry, you’re welcome for the “o” rings. I apologize for taking so long to send them.

    I don’t have 2 Phantoms. I have a Phantom and a Quest in a Phantom Stock. The stock on that Quest had cracked, and Crosman sent me a whole new gun to take care of it. That still left me with a working Quest and a broken stock! I called Crosman again and asked if they had ANY stocks available for Quest-based guns (I was looking to buy one), and the girl said there was a Phantom stock laying around that was gonna get trashed. So she sent it to me – free.

    On that one I replaced the spring with Crosman C5M77-010, which gave me a very smooth, very easy to cock and shoot mid-powered rifle perfectly suited to a younger-to-mid-teen. It still gives me 790′s with CPL’s, and I can cock it with my little finger…

    That’s why I have 2 “Phantoms”, and also why I speak so highly of Crosman’s in general.

  • Steve Says:

    BB – While the .177 is ‘cute’ – in much the same way as an ill-tempered, thoroughbred, hairless dog – the .22 is obviously where its at with a gun in the 20+ ft lb power range. Curious as to whether you will be taking a look at the Real 460?

  • Anonymous Says:

    bb,

    since you have the .177 version, could you just do a vel. test with gamo raptors? i want to know if there is a 1600 fps gun out there…just curios. even if it could, i wouldnt use it, haha. i am thinking about the .22 version though.

    DED

  • Anonymous Says:

    how does .177 compare to .22? in the 460 Mag.

  • Dr. G. Says:

    These days, when a pellet rifle that is only offered in .22 and .177 caliber is sold, probably at least 4 out of 5 customers choose to have their rifle in .22 caliber.

    BB, Why not simply always test in .22 caliber when you have a choice between only .22 and .177 on a particular rifle, simply because this will always please the most number of readers and dissapoint the fewest number. From what I have read on this blog, you sound like you are a busy man, and I gather that you do not have a little junior assistant who can test all the .177s

    Clearly, BB, from these and other comments, your public awaits a response.

  • Scott Says:

    Dr. G,

    By no means do I speak for BB, but my guess for why he usually tests the .177 instead of the .22 is because, the virtues of the .22 aside, the .177 is STILL the most popular caliber of all.
    Also, it is probably considerably easier to get the .177 version.
    For example, as far as I know, PA is the ONLY U.S. distributor of the .22 version of the excellent Gamo CFX.
    Also, it is usually pretty easy to infer MV in identical rifles from .177 to .22, .e.g. my .177 CFX launches the RWS Superdome at 796fps, while my .22 CFX sends Superdomes at 660fps.
    The 460 Magnum is a super magnum, so I doubt that the difference in MV between the two calibers will be so great as with mine, but my guess is that it will still be at least 100fps with identical representatives of pellets in their respective calibers.
    I suspect that the 460 will also rate in the top five fastest .22 air rifles available.
    Also, keep in mind that you actually don’t want pellets going above 1,000fps due to the transonic shock wave instability that occurs at approx 1,050fps.

  • CyberSkin Says:

    Thanks KTK

    That technique puts things in a different perspective and is sure to save some time.

  • Anonymous Says:

    scott,

    you really think itll be one of the top 5 .22′s? i think the pcp’s kinda own that list. unless you meant top 5 springers?

    DED

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    EVERYONE!

    The response we received to this 460 magnum test is the greatest ever. Yes, I will test the .22-caliber version.

    Pestbgone, I did mention that it is forgiving in the handling technique department. The noise is a 3.8. It’s a loud springer, compared to a TX200 or a BAM B40, which are both 3.0. The less bulky comment you made is correct. It isn’t as Bulky as a BAM B40. Pyramyd plans to bring old and overstocked iems to Roanoke, but place a call to Chris and he migh tuck a rifle into the trailer if they have any left.

    B.B.

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    KTK,

    Thanks for the tip. I will try it the next time I need to optically center a scope.

    B.B.

  • Scott Says:

    DED,

    Oops, good point there.
    Certainly almost any PCP will easily beat the fastest springer, especially such a brute as the Air Force Condor, or a Daystate Harrier.

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