Pro Guide spring retainer system for RWS Diana rifles: Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier

Today I have something new for all you shooters who own or are considering buying an RWS Diana spring-piston rifle. It’s a new drop-in powerplant for the rifle, and its principal benefit is the elimination of vibration. It’s going to be called the Air Venturi Pro Guide spring retainer system, and the name is meant to describe what it does. Pyramyd Air should have them available for sale soon, so I’m going to take the extra time to give you a close look at the system and installation.

I chose a .22 caliber RWS Diana 48 sidelever for this report, though the Pro Guide system will fit the RWS Diana 34, 36, 38, 48, 52 and 54 rifles. I selected a sidelever because there are a couple of extra things that have to be done during disassembly/assembly. I want to show you those steps, so you can decide if this is an item you can install.

The RWS Diana rifles have been made easier to work on through the unitized T05 trigger module. While it isn’t as adjustable as the former T01 trigger, the T05 makes up for that by being very crisp and much easier to work with. It’s adjustable for the length of the first stage. When that stage ends, the trigger stops and breaks crisply when the second stage is completed. There’s no discernible creep in this trigger, and that’s held true for all the T05 triggers I’ve tested to date.

The trigger on the test rifle breaks at 2 lbs., 12 oz. which is pretty hard to beat in a sporting trigger. The trigger blade and safety slide are black plastic, and I know that displeases many shooters, but the fact is that it doesn’t matter that much. The way the T05 is designed, the trigger blade is just a lever that pushes on the metal sear. It’s under very little strain and plastic works fine. The trigger on the FWB 124 was originally plastic, too, and replacing it with an aluminum blade does nothing to improve the pull.

How the sidelever powerplant works
You have to understand how the sidelever powerplant works to appreciate what this new system can do. A sliding compression chamber is pulled back when the sidelever is rotated all the way to the rear. Inside the compression chamber, the piston is also pushed back until the connecting rod enters the T05 trigger and pushes the sear into engagement. Two generations ago, Diana used three ball bearings to hold the piston rod. They’ve eliminated the bearings but kept the central latching sear that it requires. You need to know that to appreciate the Pro Guide system

In the factory rifle, a rear spring guide was fitted inside the mainspring and kept it from kinking when the rifle was cocked. The deep, hollow Diana piston also guided the mainspring and kept it from kinking.

In the patented Pro Guide system, a rear retainer made from Delrin fits around the outside of the mainspring as it’s cocked. The factory spring guide would allow some gentle kinking as the spring compressed, but the Pro Guide retainer doesn’t allow any. Since it’s made of Delrin, it doesn’t add any drag when the spring uncoils. The rear retailer also concentrates a minimum amount of grease on the mainspring and doesn’t allow it to fling off. Just by itself, the rear retainer has helped smooth the firing cycle by damping the mainspring when it relaxes.


The patented Air Venturi Pro Guide has a spring retainer on both ends of the spring. The rear retainer (bottom) prevents the spring from buckling and holds a small amount of grease. It also damps any spring vibration. The front retainer is fitted tightly to the mainspring and damps any vibration instantly. The piston rod slides inside this retainer.


The front guide fits so tight within the mainspring that it’s a struggle to pull it off…not that you ever need to. This part slips inside the stock piston, which doesn’t even have to be removed from the rifle when the Pro Guide is installed.


The front guide has a hole down the center, so it slides over the piston rod.


With the rear guide off, you can see what’s meant by a “small amount of grease.” Because the parts of the Pro Guide system are Delrin, you don’t need a lot of lube on the mainspring.

But that’s only half of the system. At the front of the mainspring, a second Delrin retainer is fitted tight inside the spring. A hole through the center allows it to slide over the piston’s connecting rod. Therefore, the mainspring stays tight between the walls of the deep metal piston and this retainer, allowing very little space for the mainspring to go. When the gun fires, this retainer also helps damp the spring’s vibrations.

What does it do?
The Pro Guide claims that it reduces powerplant vibration without resorting to button bearings on the piston, overly tight rear spring guides or heavy tar-like grease on the mainspring. I do note that the front guide of the system is equally tight on the spring as a rear spring guide from one of the tuners might be, but because the system comes with the guide installed, it’s of no concern. You don’t have to put it on. The claim, therefore, is that the install is easy. I’ll be testing that for you.

In this series, I’ll disassemble an RWS Diana 48 and give complete instructions plus detailed photos, so those who want to try this themselves can do so. It does require a mainspring compressor, so you may want to brush up on how they work. Read about how to build one here and also here. I’ll use the B-Square mainspring compressor I showed you in the13-part series on tuning a spring gun.

55 thoughts on “Pro Guide spring retainer system for RWS Diana rifles: Part 1

  1. ‘drop-in powerplant’ – I assume it’s gonna include the spring? Will the spring deliver power identical to the factory spring?



  2. BB,

    yes, you’re right I think this is very interesting. I really enjoy the pistol tuition as well.

    thanks for bringing us all this fabulous info.


  3. BB,Very interesting info.I”ve heard that Diana 48s and 52s respond very well to custom tunes.I am considering it.Have you heard feedback about Rich from Mich”s work.


  4. BB, this is just what I was looking for! Any idea when this will be available from PA? Price?

    Also, can the T-01 trigger blade be used on a T-05 trigger assembly? I’d love to have two adjusting screws instead of the single one the T-05 has.

    Thanks a lot, I’m sure this will be another extremely interesting series from you. Juan


  5. My comment on this is that i tape my springends and guides long before this “├»nvention”
    If you look at the Weihrauch for example; it has a fixed frontspringguide in the piston which is good i think.
    Gamo hunter 1250 has a fixed rear springguide which is also good.
    Point is they transport recoil.
    If you combine these two types of springuiding;
    You tape the frontspringguide of the gamo hunter 1250 so that it stays fixed in the piston and the spring. It will not jump up and down anymore. (Heavy recoil)
    You tape the rear springguide a bit on the back and bit on the guide itself. You do need a fork on your springcompressor.
    In the hw97K i fixed the rearspringguide on the triggerhousing and taped the springends.
    What you get in both airguns is a airgun suspention
    that will give less springvibration to tube/housing of the airgun.
    It saves scopes, less recoil and add’s a lot to accuracy.
    It last’s over 5000 shots.
    With a cleaning job i refress the duked tape if needed.
    Other tunekits work with frontspringguides for the hw kind of piston.
    What i mis is a fixing of the rear springguide. In my opinion this is not enough.

    to me it is Old wine in new boxes
    badly executed.
    Just my two cents.




  6. B.B.

    IIRC, the Diana 48 has a piston casing sleeve. Will this new system? I know, I know….more info is coming….I’m just too impatient at times ;-)

    Just-a-Plinker


  7. Oops. Sorry, I meant to say, will this new system work with or without the piston casing sleeve?

    Also, what is the purpose of the sleeve anyways???

    Just-A-Plinker



  8. B.B. & Volvo

    Oh poop! I guess something went wrong from Air Arms…. The shipment is now predicted for 8/18….bummer, I wish they wouldn't get our hopes up like that… they slipped shipping dates 3 times on the JBS pellets… I hope that doesn't happen with the S410 carbine .22 cal…

    I'm sure glad to have the .177 S410 to play with until they get here..

    No one said what the foot pounds of a .177 Eunjin 16.1 grain going 900fps is.. I get that it not as good for hunting as .22 cal… but the Air Arms S410 is so accurate, I think the pellet can be placed where it needs to be placed, even at 50 yards… So I still think the .177 cal S410 could be a great Field Target and good hunting rifle..
    What do you think B.B. and All?

    Wayne,

    Ashland Air Rifle Range



  9. B.B.,
    This looks very good.

    Will you also be checking to see if it affects the accuracy of this particular 48? And maybe noise?

    My 54, although very accurate and consistent with no recoil, has some vibration buzz and is, I my opinion, fairly noisey.

    I’m looking forward to the remaining installments.
    Lloyd





  10. Thanks B.B.

    That is a cool little info page… it says the 16.1 gr at 900 fps would produce 28.96 foot-pounds… that is pretty darn good for a .177 air rifle… It works for me anyway…

    Wayne


  11. B.B.,

    Alright so I was the first to ask a stupid question. Air Venturi developed the Air Venturi. Have you heard of Air Venturi, or anyone else, working to develope a ram air gas spring (like the ones developed for the gamo’s, webley’s and ?) to replace the metal spring in the RWS Diana rifles? I haven’t had any experience with the ram air gas springs. Do you think this would be a worthwhile improvement for the RWS Diana rifles?

    kevin


  12. Kevin,

    Development of an Air Venturi gas spring for RWS Diana rifles is underway. The Diana piston is more difficult to latch, so this isn’t an easy unit to design. I will show you what I mean in an upcoming blog.

    B.B.


  13. B.B.,

    I have no intention of “stealing your thunder” but would a gas spring be an even greater updgrade than the drop in system you’re describing?

    kevin


  14. Kevin,

    That’s hard to answer until I test both systems. I don’t even know yet whether this system is worth the cost, whatever that’s going to be.

    The good news, though, is that both systems can be retrofit into existing rifles, so you can get a rifle before making the choice on either system.

    I can tell you this, though it won’t help. When I tested the Gamo Whisper .177 with a gas spring I was amazed by the total transformation of the gun. But I’ve tested other guns with gas spring that were not as responsive. So I really do need to test this thing before saying anything.

    B.B.


  15. BB, I’m not surprised that you noticed a big difference with the gas ram in the Gamo – after all, those powerplants are notoriously noisy. However, Bob Werner (Charlie da Tuna of GRT trigger fame) has been counseling shooters to retain their original components if they convert to gas ram – apparently some customers are eventually finding out that they prefer a tuned spring powerplant for whatever reason.


  16. B.B.,

    Thinking about these retrofits for the rws diana 54 that you helped me decide to purchase. All right, I’ll shut up and be patient and let you do the testing. This is an exciting development and interesting option for the rws rifles though. Thanks for bringing it to our attention before anyone else did.

    kevin


  17. B.B>,

    In the Diana 34 exploded view diagram, part number 84 and the parts list says Piston casing Pipe. It is a sleeve that encases the spring. The sleeve (with the sprig inside) go into the piston.

    At first, I thought it was a restrictor to prevent swapping of bigger springs. Then I thought it was to help tame the spring twang. Doesn't seem to make a difference though.

    Thanks.
    Just-a-Plinker



  18. Hi BB
    This RWS upgrade sounds great. I tested a friends panther and I love that rifle!(its on my wish list) On an off topic – will you be testing the Air Venturi gas ram on the Walther Falcon Hunter .25? I was on the brink of buying the spring version when PA anounced the gas ram! i would like to see a test before I buy.

    Ton


  19. B.B.

    I got your famous condor today….

    I’ve got the 4-16×50 Air force scope on, but I can’t get eye relief… I force my cheek down very hard and then can barely get the scope to sight.. the mounts are “high” but the tank is too big around to get lined up… are there taller mounts or something? I need about 1/2″ more room for my cheek..

    Wayne,
    Ashland Air Rifle Range


  20. This is off topic, but could anyone give me any advice on my plans for my first air gun purchase:
    1 Leapers 5th Gen 3-9x32mm Scope
    1 Leapers Accushot Premium 1″ Rings, Low, Weaver Mount,
    1 Diana RWS 34 Panther
    1 Crosman .177 Premier Ultra Magnum
    1 RWS .177 Super-H-Point
    2 RWS .177 Superdom


  21. colin,

    I think your way better off to go PCP… start with the Discovery… you can shoot it way more accurately right from the start, and skip a lot of frustration…. If your going to start with a springer, don’t start with that one, I think it’s not much better than a Chinese made Beeman RS1… I like my RS1 a lot more than my RWS 34…

    But a PCP has no recoil and you can watch where you hit, where as you have to learn to shoot a springer, it will knock you off your target..

    And go for a leapers or centerpoint 3-9x40AO for just a little more money on the scope… just an idea for you…

    Wayne,
    Ashland Air Rifle Range


  22. luckily my affordable rws34 panther doesn’t suffer from vibrations, and even if it did, buying this spring retainer would likely make my gun unaffordable.


  23. BB,

    How is the scoring in the Olympics 10m air rifle measured? I thought 10 was perfect, but I saw 10.8 on the scoreboards.

    Thanks.

    David



  24. Wayne,

    You don’t hold an AirForce rifle like a deer rifle. Place the toe of the buttplate against your collarbone. That elevates the scope up high enough for everyone. It feels strange for a while, but it works.

    B.B.


  25. Colin,

    Regarding your first purchase, my only comment is about the pellets. Get 8.9-grain Premiers i the cardboard box. Don’t get the RWS pellets, but substitute some JSB 8.4-grain Exacts that are more accurate. The rest of the list sounds fine.

    B.B.



  26. Sounds like the AF ARs would definately benifit from a scope with AO/PX ajustments for hard to position sight aligment.

    Is the Air Venturi Pro Guide already used in AV Avenger 1100 and fit the Mendoza ARs?

    The Discovery is probably has the best performance for the money and gives the Spring/gas springs ARs a run for the money.

    If you could add a lothar walther, they’d give everyone a run for the money. If the unreg Discovery with a stock barrel is hitting well then that’s probably all most would need.

    Good luck on the JSBs, some are extremely hard to get.



  27. I noticed that you mentioned the Diana 350 in the list of guns that this kit will work with, yet on the PA site the 350 is not mentioned. I see that the a new spring is included in the kit as well as all the other stuff. I was under the impression that the 350 spring was different from the other guns. Does this kit actually fit the 350? And can you use the spring that comes with the kit in a 350?
    –Davee1


  28. B.B.
    Have you heard any news about offering the Pro Guide for the RWS Diana 350 and 460 rifles?
    Thanks for your work in sharing the news.
    Rob


  29. (Re your advice to Collin: Get 8.9-grain Premiers i the cardboard box. Don’t get the RWS pellets, but substitute some JSB 8.4-grain Exacts that are more accurate. The rest of the list sounds fine.)

    I assume you mean the 7.9 gr Crosman .177 Premier Domed Light, no? I am looking to branch out from RWS pellets in my 34, so this is no idle curiosity.

    –aim


  30. B.B.

    On the new Condor combo 4-16×50, I couldn’t get the Air Force mounts and scope to work, with my cheek bone, I guess I have a big cheek bone from smiling all the time… no eye relief without a lot of pressure on my cheek.. but I switched to accushot high mounts and a leapers 3-9x50AO and got about 1/8″ more height, just enough to get the scope to line up with my eye… I took the butt plate off too, and it’s more comfortable.. It’s nice it’s so adaptable….

    Wow, now I see why people rave about it… the Condor is very accurate.. even with the 9 power scope, I can’t wait to get the 6-24×50 centerpoint, I ordered on it..It’s really powerful too… pellets coming out the back of the 2×6 at 30 yards, at 7 on the power setting, when we put 10 shots on a dot..

    We haven’t shot it that much yet of course, but Randy and I both got 1″ – 5 shot groups at 50 yards off knee in a chair tonight..

    It’s probably as accurate as my Air Arms S410 .177 repeater, but the Condor won’t “shoot rings around” my .177 cal s410s, It looks like they can both do 1/2″ groups at 50 yards in a rest.. maybe the .22 cal S410 you tested is not as accurate as the .177 cal Air Arms s410..

    Any way, no doubt beyond 50 yards, or when a lot more power is needed, the Condor is the ticket for sure… I love it.. and it doesn’t have a wood stock, OH DEAR, new territory..

    Thanks again for a your help in making another great air rifle available to us shooters at a great price… Success after success.. your a legend in your own time, it sure is nice to be able to talk with the pro…

    Thanks again for being here for us..

    Wayne,

    Ashland Air Rifle Range





  31. Thanks, but……….

    Your article is fraught with poor information. Leave it to Mr. Gore to re-create it 50 years later and claim it. Wasn’t he the one who claimed the gas banger would rule the world in 1996.
    Delrin creates noise and vibration unless it’s dampened with lubricants.
    This will prove less durable than the factory guide. This is the same vendor who acted like diluted teflon grease cost a zillion dollars.
    What ever happened to Mr Gore’s RWS gas bangers?

    He has the right to market his wares and to use you for his sales smack. But when he gets lost again, now Pyramyd will be the blame.
    And the new RWS trigger is not easier to work on or to re-install. With this setup the old trigger unit would be favored by the novice for locating this in without breaking it.
    John
    Retro Sports


  32. I’m not gonna let that last comment from John at Retro Sports spoil the end of this thread.
    Lubricants are used inside of an airgun no matter what material is used for the spring guide and tophat. Some of us, WHO MAKE OUR OWN SPRING GUIDES OUT OF DELRIN, know that delrin is a wonderful material for guides, and makes less noise than metal.
    The comment from Retro Sports is very negative and fraught with biased, bad information. If it weren’t for free speech…I would delete it in a heartbeat, and ban that person from posting, if thats possible.
    How dare you attack a man who has taught myself and others many great things, and continues to do so.
    You are not a teacher, no one is going to listen to you, and you SUCK MUD.
    –davee1


  33. Retro Sports John,

    You must have personally done some testing on this new Pro Guide Spring Retainer System for the RWS Diana guns in order to justify the terse remarks about the subject of this thread. I’d be interested in knowing the results of your tests, pro and con.

    The allegation that the author, B.B., is being used for “sales smack” is incorrect at best and slanderous at worse. If you had read and understood the information and subsequent thread you would have learned that B.B. had not tested this new aftermarket device yet and was neither endorsing nor recommending the product.

    I for one would like to continue to see and enjoy these threads as an information exchange and discourage rants that are laced with thinly veiled allegations without any substance or details to back them up.

    How about a constructive contribution on what you know first hand about this Pro Guide Spring Retainer System? For instance, what facts can you provide to substantiate your statement, “This will prove less durable than the factory guide.”? and what “poor information” are you referring to?

    Anxious to hear some specifics.

    kevin



  34. Retro Sports John,

    If you think BB is promoting without testing, bring on your facts. I have been reading this blog for a long time and have never seen BB promote anything he hasn’t personally tested.

    While there have been a few occasions where PA was at fault (hardly any that I can recall) BB has been stand up and always based his comments on testing, not opinion.

    I trust BB way more than I trust you.

    Al Pellet


  35. BB,
    “The Pro Guide claims that it reduces powerplant vibration without resorting to button bearings on the piston, overly tight rear spring guides or heavy tar-like grease on the mainspring.”
    Does this mean I can get away without using tar? Would a small amount of Lithium Grease spread on the spring and then in the bottom retainer be sufficient?
    -Thanks I.B.McGinty



  36. BB,

    These springs list all the RWS models that use the same spring as the 46 (e.g. 34, 36..); any idea why the 46 isn’t listed or any problems you see in using one with a 46? Or for that matter, how do I contact Air Venturi and ask them?


  37. As far as I know, there are differences between the 46 and other models. At least I know thge system has not been tested with a 46.

    To talk to Air Venturi, you’ll have to pass it through the Pyramyd Air technical department.

    B.B.


  38. I have had my RWS model 48 apart a few times and could easily do it without the use of any take down jigs or vises.

    It takes a bit of strength but nothing goes flying upon disassembly and putting it back together was done with minor assistance from my wife to get the pins back in place.


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