RWS Diana Schutze – Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

Today, I’ll finish the report on the RWS Diana Schutze, which is marked on the gun as the model 240. We’ll look at accuracy in this report.

I had a head-start on this final report because I already shot a few groups at 21 yards while testing another air rifle. I just wanted to get a sense of how much work I’d have to do to get the Schutze on target. As it turned out, there was nothing to do.

In part 2, we saw that the velocity is right on the specification. With a rifle that shoots below 600 f.p.s., that means light- to medium-weight pellets will probably be best. I chose RWS Superdomes, RWS Hobbys and JSB Exact domes for this test.

Shooting style
I used a modified artillery hold with the firearm laying across the backs of my fingers while my hand was resting on a sandbag. The trigger is still heavy with some creep in the second stage. The creep is entirely predictable, so I pull through it and then the rifle is set to fire. The firing behavior is somewhat abrupt and harsh, though no vibration lingers after the shot.

The first target was shot with RWS Superpoints. They all landed in the black, which was a pleasant surprise. They also showed signs of wanting to group, which was encouraging. Next came the RWS Hobbys. They shot to almost the center of the bull and were even tighter than the Superpoints. The JSB Exacts were last and four out of five were in the black but not as tight as the first two pellets had been. It was time to get serious.


RWS Hobbys went to the right place with no sight adjustments. That’s always a good way to start things.

I’ve mentioned this before but it bears repeating. I seldom shoot as well at the start of a session as I will after some warmup groups. Knowing this, I always try to concentrate when I think I’ve found the right pellet and hold for a particular gun. It was time to go back to RWS Hobby pellets and get serious.

The rifle holds very neutral without the sensitivity normally associated with a breakbarrel. Perhaps the low power has something to do with it, but I think the Schutze is a natural shooter. The next group of Hobbys was encouraging but not as good as the first group. Then, I realized I had to concentrate on the front sight blade. As much as I shoot, you’d think that would come naturally to me, but it doesn’t.

For the next group, I did concentrate on the front sight blade and let the rear notch and bullseye go fuzzy. That’s all it took. The group was exactly what I was looking for.


This is what I was looking for. The Schutze can really shoot. This was done by a 60-year-old man who wasn’t wearing his bifocals while using the gun’s open sights!

Have you spotted what’s different about this test, yet? I’m using open sights. The concentration I mentioned is on the front sight blade. I didn’t install a scope, and the target shows none was needed.

Summary
The Schutze is pretty much what it should be: a light, accurate youth air rifle. It has neutral handling characteristics, so special techniques aren’t as critical to accuracy, though they do have to be employed. The trigger could be lighter by half and the cocking effort could also be a few pounds lighter and the gun would be even nicer, but those things don’t detract much from a very nice air rifle. I’m glad because I now have one more model I can recommend to parents and to those looking for a smaller, lighter spring rifle for themselves.

If this were my personal gun, I’d tune it to remove the harsh firing cycle and do something about the trigger. I wouldn’t mount a scope, because it isn’t needed.

42 thoughts on “RWS Diana Schutze – Part 3

  1. B.B. At what distance did you do your shooting at? When firing a springer I hold the rifle lightly and let if jump natually the way it wants to,but when it does sometimes it jumps of target. How do you keep alight grip,and still hold on target for your follow through. Thanks



  2. B.B.–Scott2988–I saw the picture of the Beeman muzzle break-rws also makes one specific for the 350, are you familiar with this one? In both cases is there filling involved where the front sight was located-I believe you have to shave off a little metal on the dovetail where the front sight is located-if this is done, at some point is it possible to go back to using the front sight or is this a one shot deal? As always tell your wife I was asking about her and I hope all is well. Can’t wait for the next holiday so the “family can get together again”–thanks for the input, Scott298


  3. BB,
    Both targets pictured today have 4 black rings, plus the center bull. Could you please give me the measurement (outside dia.) of the fourth (largest) ring, so that I can tell if my monitor is showing it in correct size? Yes, I’m trying to compare my shooting to yours, and NO, you have NOTHING to worry about! Thanks, JR.






  4. B.B.–Scott298–In the description of the Beeman muzzle break Pyramyd says that some filing will be required to attach the muzzle break-but with your experience your saying all I have to do is slip it on and tighten the screws? Pyramyd even recommends having a gunsmith do the instalation-I,m confused? Also no comment on the rws muzzle break made for the 350? I’m not questioning your judgement by any means but when you read it in black and white your still saying -no filling involved? Thanks again -Scott298


  5. Scott298,

    Here is the problem. You ask the techs at Pyramyd Air who do this sort of thing every day and they tell you their experiences. Or that’s what is written on the website. Then you ask me, who may have done this a couple of times years ago. As a matter of fact I have never installed any muzzle brakes on a 350 Magnum barrel.

    In my experience with these muzzlebrakes, whose manufacturer changes every two or three years (and so the specs change with them), I have never filed a dovetail. I have also noted that Weihrauch barrels are larger than Diana barrels, but not when the Diana barrel has a sleeve.

    When I searched for muzzle brakes on the site, the Diana brake never came up. It still doesn’t. And I don’t see it linked with the 350 Magnum rifle I checked.

    But if there is one, why wouldn’t it be best?

    B.B.



  6. B.B.

    Let’s hear it for RWS Hobby pellets, now my favorite–and so cheap.

    I had always assumed that a scope was an improvement over iron sights. The monster scopes used by field target shooters seem to suggest that there is no limit to how much power you want. But is it possible that at sufficiently short ranges or with sufficiently high power, the scope is actually a liability because the jumping of the reticle is distracting and demoralizing? Or is this just a matter of perception, and you are really holding tighter with a scope regardless of what it looks like? My indoor range is too short and I haven’t shot enough different kinds of rifles with scopes and without to tell for sure.

    Matt61


  7. BB,
    Looks like it shoots pretty well. If it likes Hobby pellets, I bet it would love RWS MK (8.2gr).

    You won’t get any argument from me about shooting open sights — much more fun and relaxing, up to about 25 yards.


  8. Matt61,

    As the range increases, the advantage a scope has over open sights increases. At close range, there advantage isn’t very noticeable.

    HOWEVER – and this is a very big deal – a field target shooter is concerned about hundredths and even thousandths of an inch. You may not care that your pellet hits 0.080″ to the right of where you intended, but someone shooting a .177 pellet through a hole 0.250″ in diameter who doesn’t want to touch the side of the hole certainly does.

    When a pellet touches the side of the target face at the kill zone, it pushes the target face backwards and locks up the target’s trigger. When the rest of the pellet breaks off and passes through the kill zone to impact the trigger of the target, it cannot move the trigger, because it is now locked. This condition is called a split.

    So, if the object is to hit somewhere on the bullseye at 10 yards, open sights are fine. If the object is to hit exactly where you want to with very little margin for error, a scope may be necessary, even at close range.

    It all depends on what you are trying to do.

    B.B.


  9. BB,
    Your proviso about scopes for field trial highlight why it holds no attraction for me! On the other hand, I got some AR silhouette animals the other day and found it to be quite relaxing to knock them over (open sights seem more than fine at the recommended ranges).


  10. BB,

    That Shutze looks like a nice little rifle. Great groups, by the way.

    I got a couple new rifles today; a walnut .22 cal AA ProSport and a .22 cal Beeman R1. Both went through Pyramid. After looking at the beech stock version of the ProSport vs the walnut, there was no hope of going back.

    I tried to get a Weihrauch 97 MK3 in .20 cal also, but there were none to be had. Seems Beeman is feeling the dreaded Weihrauch waiting period. And now so am I.

    Being the 10 meter pistolero that you are, do you know anything about either the Air Match 600 pistol or the FAS 604? Both are SSP guns. Ever shot either? Preference? I’m shooting an IZH 46M now, but I haven’t competed in several years.

    Thanks as always!

    Derrick


  11. Derrick,

    A friend of mine owns both the FAS and the AirMatch. He is also a 10-meter shooter. He says they are quite accurate, but of course not as adjustable as top pistols today.

    I have seen both but never shot either. They fall into the Walther LP III category for me. If I ever own a single-stroke for serious competition, it will be the FWB 103 or whatever replaces it.

    B.B.


  12. Scott298,

    I have had to remove displaced metal from the barrel on several rifles when installing muzzle brakes. It really just depends on how close the slip fit is. If the inside diameter of the brake is just a thousandth or so bigger than the outside diameter of the barrel, you’ll be filing displaced metal from the sight groove. If the brake uses a separate shim, you’ll likely be OK.

    SIZES VIA MY CALIPER ON ACTAUL BRAKES:

    RWS “Barrel weight Stabilisator 16mm for mod. 34-45 and 350 Magnum .0620″

    Beeman Drilled (Ported) new style 0.566″

    Beeman Original (ribbed) old style .672″

    The Beeman original came with 3 sizing shim inserts to sleeve it down for smaller barrel diameters. Shims can also be made from a pop can in a pinch or brass tubing available at hobby shops works especially well.

    Sorry for such a long post. I bought several brakes over the years only to find they didn’t fit after I got them home.

    Derrick



  13. I may grab the FAS as it just fits my hand so incredibly well and I’m a sucker for anything well made. (and the price is relatively reasonable) Only problem is it won’t compress even a bit of air. I can probably fix it. Remembering your LGR story here…or was it the LGV???

    Derrick yet again



  14. Hi BB,
    Im in the market for a new scope and i like the Leapers brand. However i want this scope for target shooting and i want a duplex reticule. Do you know of any Leapers with a duplex? Im thinkin in the 4-16x range. Thanks

    Nate in Mass


  15. Doggonitt again BB,

    My patience broke last night. My Izh 46 isn’t here yet. I asked you about the HW57 a few days ago, and after you reminded me that the Weirauch HW57 has a Rekord trigger (something I’d conveniently forgotten), my resistance broke down entirely and I ordered the used one from PA. Maybe this one will get here shortly. So many guns, so little time and money…

    /Dave


  16. bg_farmer

    I’m jealous of your silhouettes. That does sound like fun. My chances to shoot tin cans were one of life’s highest thrills as far as I’m concerned.

    Matt61




  17. Matt,
    I highly recommend the silhouettes — even if you have to put them all at 20 yards, they’re good practice, more challenging than cans, but with the same gratifying action on impact. When I’ve pushed my 10m targets to the day’s limit (past the point of improvement), a few cans or the silhouettes are a good way to wrap up, too.


  18. Nice report B.B. I expected no less from you. Thank you so much for your kind words to me regarding my last post here,regarding my fps post from my own Diana 24.(I posted 535 fps shooting Super Points). I must agree with you on all of your report on the new “24″. It is a well behaved little springer that is VERY accurate,& not so hold sensative as to turn off a newb. to springer accuracy issues. A fine gun indeed! I recently had the chance to shoot an R-7,Man what a nice gun! I must say however, a Diana 24/240 is also a must have! Hope all is well Mr. Tom,Sorry I have been away so long,Nice to come back here & see all the familiar names again.This is the site that really got me started.A Big hello to my old friends here,Tim (Dragonslayer)


  19. B. B.

    I am a proud owner of a Diana 24. Its a 1986 model in .177 which I recently bought second hand at the usual premium we pay here.

    The gun was misused. Using your excellent tuning guide here, I opened it up to discover loads of oil in the compression tube (the previous owner had warned me about it)AND a few tack nails (no word about those)!!!

    The synthetic washer was charred to little pieces and the piston head dented and chipped. I filed it to the required profile and fit a local make synthetic washer which did the trick. Slicon oil and Moly grease as usual and she shoots beautifully. Does 510 odd fps with local match wadcutters. I managed a 1cm, 5 shot group from a rest with it.

    It has a non adjustable trigger which is unitised, not sure if its a TO3 or 4.

    Very happy with the acquisition.

    Manish
    Mumbai
    India


  20. Manish,

    Finding tacks and nails in the compression chamber is always a shock the first time, but it is a universal thing. Many people thing when shooters run out of pellets they improvise, and I agree with that. I have dug out plenty of them over the years.

    Isn’t it a source of pride when you restore a fins airgun to working status? Making a synthetic washer isn’t easy, so you have done something few other airgunners have had to do. Good for you!

    B.B.





  21. Most good gun stores also stock better European airguns like Beeman HW brands and RWS. Also, some larger sporting goods dealers sell RWS brands. They would stock Hobbys.

    B.B.


  22. Diana currently has a great mid-power rifle called the 280, which also comes in a professional version. It is available in germany/europe, but Umarex USA does not carry it! I think this is an oversight and a gap in the RWS line, but they seem more focused on super magnum super expensive guns….but Diana Germany has the full line. It, and others can be seen here:
    http://www.diana-airguns.de/index.php?id=274&L=1&width=800&height=600

    the 280 is a wonerful gun with a little more power than the HW30s. In .177, it is listed at 810 fps, in .22 it has 640 fps. It weighs just 6.6 lbs/7.7 in the pro version. Its a shame we dont have this in the US. It would be great for younger shooters, and those who want a lighter rifle with mellower shooting characteristics, but the schutze is not quite up to par–from the research i've done. I think it could use a better trigger and a little more power.

    I was wondering if this is something pyamyd could special order form Germany/Diana?? I will also check with Umarex about this. I love RWS and have always bought from them, but right now, they just jump from schutze to the very heavy 34/52/54/350's, and I know its probably mostly capitalist reasons for this/marketing etc., but what a great gun this would be for the line. Can it be special ordered??? Thanks.


  23. BB

    Don't know if you respond to new comments on old threads, but here goes…

    Do you know of there is a direct replacement for the mainspring in a Diana/RWS 240 Schutze? Ideally, I would like to increase the power if possible, but even a straight replacement spring would be good.

    Thanks


  24. New spring,

    Actually a stronger mainspring will probably not improve the power very much. Spring guns don't derive their power from the strength of their mainspring. They do it from the swept volume of their piston.

    But you can get a more powerful mainspring. Contact John Groenewold for this:

    John Groenewold, PO Box 830, Mundelein, IL 60060-0830, (847) 566-2365
    http://www.jgairguns.biz

    If he doesn't have what you need, try Jim Maccari at Air Rifle Headquarters:

    http://www.airrifleheadquarters.com/page/page/251327.htm

    Good luck!

    B.B.


  25. Thanks BB. So a more general question: what are the best ways (if there are any) to reliably increase the power of a 240? Thanks again.


  26. Any increase would only be a small one. You might boost it from 550 f.p.s. to 580, or something like that. The 24 powerplant is made for a certain power level and it doesn't expand easily.

    To get the boost you need to shave the piston crown as much as possible to get more swept volume.

    It's a little like trying to boost the horsepower of a lawnmower engine. There's not a lot to gain and very few parts to do iot.

    B.B.


  27. Anonymous… upping the spring might produce a bit more power, but because of the design limitations of the smallish powerplant typical in lower-powered guns you are very limited in what you can get.

    And if you do, in exchange you'll get harder cocking, a more difficult trigger if it's a direct sear, faster parts wear and a less pleasant firing cycle.

    Why are you looking for more power? Hunting? Shooting at longer ranges?

    If your gun really is underpowered for its intended use, you really need a different rifle.




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