Posts Tagged ‘RWS Diana 34P air rifle’

What’s for Christmas? Part 1

by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier

I know the Christmas holiday is a long way off, but this year it comes upon us faster than usual. Thanksgiving will be very late this year (November 28), and since that day traditionally kicks off the Christmas shopping season, many people will be jammed because of too little time left. So, I’m starting my Christmas shopping blog a couple weeks early.

Stocking stuffers/small, neat gifts

Things in this category are gifts that don’t cost a lot but will have great meaning to airgunners. Some of them are things that shooters won’t buy for themselves.

Leapers UTG pellet & BB trapLeapers UTG pellet & BB trap
The Leapers UTG pellet & BB trap is the best trap for BBs, and it also works for lower-velocity pellet guns. I used to tout Crosman’s model 850 pellet/BB trap. Well, they removed it from the market and replaced it with a model 852 trap that they say is only good for pellets. There doesn’t seem to be much difference between the Leapers and Crosman traps, except the Leapers trap is a few dollars more. How’s that for a switch?

But Leapers does recommend their trap for BBs, plus they sell replacement ballistic curtains for just a few dollars for the inevitable time when you shoot through them.

I’ve been using a Leapers trap for the past 4 months, and I do plan on reporting on it; but if you want the absolute best BB/pellet trap you can get, this is it!

Winchester Airgun Target Cube for BBs and pellets
For about half the money the Leapers trap costs, the Winchester Airgun Target Cube for BBs and pellets is a good BB trap that also works for pellets. I’ve reported on this trap in many reports on BB guns and even for some pellet guns. My trap now has several thousand shots in it, and the styrofoam is starting to flake off when hit, but it’s still useable.

The beauty of this trap is that it’s completely quiet. So, you get the same response as though you are shooting at an Air Venturi Quiet Pellet Trap, but at a greatly reduced price. The trap can take hits up to higher velocities because it has a steel plate embedded inside, but I recommend using it for lower-velocity BB guns and pellet guns.

Gamo squirrel field target
As long as we’re looking at things to shoot at, don’t forget the Gamo squirrel field target. This is a fine field target for low-powered airguns that prodiuce less than 12 foot-pounds of energy. It gives you something to shoot at in the yard, and the kill-zone reducers allow you to change the target as your shooting improves.

I don’t recommend this target for a club or for match use, but for informal field target practice it is perfect. It costs half of what a stronger field target costs.

Gifts under $50

This category is for those gifts that cost a little more but still represent a wonderful value to most airgunners.

Beeman P17 air pistolBeeman P17
My first pick is the Beeman P17 pistol. This single-stroke pneumatic air pistol is accurate, has a wonderful trigger and is quiet enough for shooting inside the home. Some find pumping it a little hard, so consider that; and there are reports that some guns have pump problems that allow the compressed air to leak out. I haven’t run into one that had a problem yet, but there’s a simple fix all over the internet, so don’t let that dissuade you.

S&W M&P 45 BB and pellet pistol
The S&W M&P pistol is a great buy for under $50. It’s a BB pistol I’ve reviewed and found to be an exceptional value. It’s accurate for a BB pistol, and it looks and feels like the firearm it copies. And it also shoots pellets! What a great buy for so little money! [Note from B.B.: This pistol was below $50 when this report was written and edited, but the price increased before it was published. I left it here because it's such a nice gun, but it now costs over $50.]

Colt Defender BB pistol
I found the Colt Defender BB pistol to be a wonderful BB pistol when I reviewed it.

Gifts under $100

Let’s look at some gifts for under $100. These are things airgunners probably want but may not remember to ask for — so you need to ask them.

Champion Heavy Duty trap
The Champion Heavy-Duty trap should be an essential part of every airgunner’s equipment. They will only need one of these, and it’ll last for the rest of their lives. My own trap is close to 20 years old and must have half a million shots on it, but it still works like new! It can take rounds from a .22 long rifle and still not dent or blemish, so you know no smallbore air rifle can possibly hurt it.

Crosman 1077
The Crosman 1077 CO2 rifle is Crosman’s homage to the Ruger 1022. And, like that famous rimfire, the 1077 has become a classic in its own right. It’s a fun plinker, and the stiff double-action trigger (this rifle is really a revolver) lightens and smooths with use. It’s also surprisingly accurate — way beyond what the price indicates.

Umarex Morph 3XUmarex Morph 3X CO2 gun
The Umarex Morph 3X CO2 gun isn’t for everyone; but if your shooter likes gadgets, it might be for him. It gets its name from the way it changes from a BB pistol to a BB carbine. It also has adjustable power that compliments the barrel length options. Just seeing what it can be made to do will occupy a lot of time.

Umarex Steel Storm
If your shooter likes full-auto, consider giving him the Umarex Steel Storm. Although it’s a pistol and doesn’t have a shoulder stock, the Steel Storm is quite accurate with BBs in the semiautomatic mode. It’s a very affordable BB automatic, although it’s limited to 6-round bursts in full-auto.

Gifts a little over $100

Instead of giving you a list with price breaks from zero to infinity, I’m doing this in a more rational way. This is the way people shop — or at least they should shop. There are a couple items for a little over $100 that make wonderful gifts, but they don’t belong in an under $300 category. You’ll see what I mean when you look at them.

Dan Wesson BB revolverDan Wesson BB revolver
I really enjoyed testing the Dan Wesson BB revolver. It’s a CO2 revolver that functions just like the firearm it copies. They come in barrel lengths of 2-1/2 inches, 4 inches, 6 inches and the one I like the best — the 8-inch barrel. Loading is very realistic, and the accuracy is quite good. Read about it here.

Air Venturi Bronco
You knew I had to put the Air Venturi Bronco on the list. For $130, it’s the best value you can find in a spring-piston airgun. The stocks are now stained a darker brown color, so those who didn’t like the blonde stock will now get their wish. It’s great for older youth as well as adults. A wonderful all-day plinker!

EBOS CO2 BB gun
If your shooter wants a full-auto BB gun, I think the Electronic Burst of Steel (EBOS) from Umarex has no equal. It’s accurate, powerful, reliable and everything works as it should. Yes, it’s over $100, but it’s worth it! You can read about it here.

Gifts under $300

This category is much harder to pick for because so much personal taste is involved. But this is my blog, so I get to pick ‘em!

Diana RWS 34P
I really like the Diana 34P imported by RWS USA. I don’t care for the 34P Compact because the shorter barrel makes it harder to cock. I like the standard 34P. I also dislike its fiberoptic sights, but most people will scope their rifle, so that doesn’t really matter.

Diana has made vast improvements in the model 34 over the years, and I think it has evolved into the best value for the money. If you want power and accuracy at a bargain price, the Diana 34P is for you. If you want a wood stock, get the regular Diana 34. It’s still under $300.

Benjamin Discovery + hand pumpBenjamin Discovery
The best deal around in a precharged rifle has got to be the Benjamin Discovery. It also requires a way to put pressurized air into the gun, and that can be either a hand pump or a scuba tank, so this gift may also entail additional items for your shooter. It’s a big decision, but the Discovery is really the easiest way to get into precharged airguns. And if you do decide to get a Discovery, know that there is a package deal that includes both the rifle and hand pump at a significant savings. Of course it takes you out of the under $300 category.

Gifts without limit

I’m not going to list the most expensive things here. I’m just going to list the few things that I would recommend that are more than $300.

Beeman P1 pistolBeeman P1 pistol
For your handgunner, I recommend the Beeman P1 pistol. This spring-piston pistol is a wonderful target gun for everything short of full-blown 10-meter competition. It features 2 power levels and a wonderfully adjustable trigger. At the time of publication, this pistol is selling for $460.

Benjamin Marauder
Then we come to the Benjamin Marauder precharged air rifle. It comes in .177, .22 and .25 calibers. It’s very quiet, has a wonderfully adjustable trigger, is quite accurate and has more adjustability than many European air rifles costing over a thousand dollars. As this is published, the Marauder sells for $470, which has to be the best PCP value around.

AirForce Talon SS
The Talon SS from AirForce Airguns is a stunningly accurate PCP that allows the user to change calibers as well as barrel lengths in minutes. It isn’t one rifle — it’s a whole shooting system! It was the first PCP to use a shroud to reduce the muzzle report, and it was one of the first to offer adjustable power. This is the kind of airgun a shooter joins with in a serious way because it can be so many different things. At the time of publication, the Talon SS retailed for $575.

Air Arms TX200 Mark III
The last gift I will put on today’s list is the always-popular Air Arms TX200 Mark III. It would be difficult to think of a finer gift for an airgunner. Even the inveterate PCP owner needs one of these, just to know how high the spring-piston bar can be raised. Beazer — feel free to chime in, being a new TX200 owner and all.

Now that I’ve given you my list, I expect to hear from you on those things I failed to mention. I’ll come back and do a second list in a week or so, and I’ll consider all that you say. There are gifts I intentionally left off this report, but I also want to hear what you guys think.

Remember, the 2013 Christmas season will be brief because of how late Thanksgiving is this year. No matter if you’re a gift-giver or a hopeful gift recipient, the time to act is right now. And if you thought of buying one of the last Sheridan Blue Streaks (because Crosman has stopped making them), the opportunity is quickly disappearing. Pyramyd Air is sold out at present but will get a final shipment of this venerable multi-pump around Dec. 6. If you want one, pre-order it. Cause once they’re in stock, they’ll vaporize pretty quickly.

The new best airguns for the money: Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier

Blog reader Kevin Lentz asked for this report; but as soon as he posted his request, it was seconded by a couple other readers. The first time I did a report with this title was way back in 2007, and that was a four-parter. This time, I’ll hold it to just two parts to save some time, because there are a lot of new models coming out at this time of year. Kevin revised the categories just a little and I went with his suggestions.

Guns under $150: Air rifles
A couple guns that used to be in this category have fallen off the list, in my opinion. They did so due to major changes in product quality. Even at this low level, a gun has to shine to make the list.

Crosman’s 1077 is a wonderful 12-shot CO2 repeater. It’s accurate, reliable and a lot of fun to shoot. This budget rifle is accurate enough to benefit from a scope.

The Crosman M4-177 multi-pump is another wonderful value for the price. It’s accurate, has a tactical look and is very rugged. As a bonus, this is a five-shot repeater!

The Gamo Lady Recon makes the list for its accuracy, ease of operation and the fact that it comes with open sights. The plain Recon doesn’t have open sights and misses the list for the lack. This is a lot of youth air rifle for the money, but I suppose only girls will like it because of the pink color.

Stoeger’s X5 makes the list for accuracy and build quality. The one drawback with this one is the heavy trigger. But if you get past that, this is a lot of airgun for the money.

Daisy’s Powerline 953 TargetPro is a budget version of that company’s 853 target rifle. Though it lacks the Lothar Walther barrel, the 953 manages to do quite well with its domestic barrel. It’s a great way to get into target shooting without spending a bundle.

Buy the Daisy Avanti Champion 499 only if you like hitting what you shoot at. Billed as the world’s most accurate BB gun and the only gun used in the International BB Gun Championships (because nothing else can compete with it), the 499 is every target shooter’s dream. Sure, it’s a BB gun, but one that will put 10 shots inside Roosevelt’s head on a dime offhand at 5 yards.

And the winner among air rifles in this price range is the Air Venturi Bronco. It is, without question, the most accurate pellet rifle under $150, and it has the best trigger of the category as well.

What can I say? I love this air rifle.

Guns under $150: Air pistols
For informal target shooting, you can’t do any better than Beeman’s P17 single-stroke pistol. It’s a Chinese-made copy of the German-made Beeman P3 that costs many times more, yet the P17 holds its own on power and accuracy. A few of them have been known to have reliability issues; but if you oil yours with Pellgunoil, I think you’ll get past that. I’ve owned two, and both were perfect.

There used to be several different models of this next gun to choose from, but the last one standing is the Crosman 357W. A pellet revolver for under $50, this CO2-powered gun has inspired shooters for decades. It has the accuracy you want and ease of operation, plus it’s a pellet revolver!

Another super buy is the Crosman 2240 .22-caliber single-shot pistol. This gun is the direct descendant of Crosman pistols dating all the way back to the 1940s. It’s accurate, powerful and a wonderful value.

The Crosman 1377C is a classic multi-pump air pistol selling for half the price of most other pump guns. It has the power and accuracy to hold its own against challengers selling at more than twice the price. Plus, it’s the basis of many hobby airgunners’ projects.

The Makarov BB pistol is the best BB pistol in this or any other price category. It’s accurate, reliable and extremely realistic. If you like to hit what you shoot at and want to shoot BBs, this is the gun to buy!

If you want a fun, realistic BB revolver, they don’t get any better than the Dan Wesson BB revolver. I’ve linked to the 8-inch barreled gun, but all the barrel lengths and finishes cost the same and provide the same great service.

Guns $150-250: Air rifles
Not as many guns in this price category, because I hold them to a higher standard. With guns like the Bronco and the Beeman P17 out there, most higher-priced guns can’t deliver.

Hatsan recently decided to go it alone in the U.S., but I haven’t had a chance to test anything they offer. Back when they were making guns for whatever conglomerate financial organization owned Webley at the time, who knows what craziness they were forced to make? So, they should be given the chance to make and sell good guns on their own. Time will tell, but this year I have no information, so they didn’t make the list.

With all the product-cheapening that’s been going on, it’s been difficult to see that the Diana RWS 34P has progressively morphed into a fine air rifle. The barrel got better, the trigger did the same and the powerplant went from a cheap buzzy nightmare in the 1980s to a dream gun in 2012. Diana avoided the Gamo pitfall of going to more power, and, instead, they concentrated on giving us a great rifle with reasonable power and splendid accuracy. You do need to use the artillery hold to get it, though. This one deserves credit for being a wonderful air rifle. When I list the 34P, I’m actually including all 34 rifles.

Guns $150-250: Air pistols
Same thing goes for air pistols as for rifles. Too much competition from the lower-price category and not enough innovation and quality in this one.

I can’t say enough good things about the Smith & Wesson 586 4-inch CO2 revolver. It’s a “real” gun! Get one if you like fine double- and single-action triggers, smooth revolver actions plus stunning accuracy. The realism cannot be faulted. Same thing goes for the 6-inch barreled gun.

Some of you may remember my story about telling the then-president of Crosman why airgunners would drop $150 on a handgun he sold for $39.95. Well, he left the company, and the new management decided to build these modified guns themselves! The Crosman 2300S is one such gun. It’s based on the 2240 frame, but has a boatload of high-value appointments that are just what most airgunners want. Can’t beat it for the price.

I’m going to include the Daisy Avanti 747 Triumph Match, which is somewhat quirky and more than a little clunky, but it’s the lowest-cost real target pistol available. The Lothar Walther barrel is what makes it rank above the nearly identical 717. And, Daisy, could you please give this gun a couple more names? I can still pronounce it without taking a breath.

What’s this? I put the Beeman P17 on this list for under $150 and I’m also putting the Beeman P3 on the same list? Yep. This one is good, too. Better trigger than the P17 and just as accurate and powerful. Want a better gun? Get a P3.

Well, that’s my list. You might ask me what the criteria were to make the list. Simple. These are the airguns I can recommend and not hear anything bad about them. That doesn’t mean that everyone likes all of them. It means that the guns, themselves, don’t have any bad habits or features that make people mad at me for recommending them. Next time, I’ll do a $250-500 list and an unlimited one. You think I was picky today? Just wait.

A note from Edith: This is a G-rated site
Recently, I’ve noticed some acronyms creeping in that aren’t G-rated. If you have a budding young airgunner that you’ve encouraged to read the blog and the comments, do you want to have to explain to him what those initials mean? Probably not, so it’s best if we don’t use those colorful words/acronyms in our comments.

Also, when symbols have to replace letters in a word because the word is offensive, please don’t use that word…with or without symbols. I appreciate your help in keeping Airgun Academy a G-rated site and a place where airgunners of every age can comfortably ask questions and grow to love the shooting sports.

BSA Comet breakbarrel air rifle: Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier

Before we start, I wanted to let you know that there are two new videos on Airgun Academy. We’ve started a series on airgun maintenance. Episode 27 is about properly maintaining pneumatics, and episode 28 is CO2 gun maintenance.


It’s medium-sized and lightweight. The velocity in .177 is 825 f.p.s. The BSA Comet is a different air rifle.

Before I start today’s report I’d like to say a couple words about yesterday’s test of some non-lead pellets. There were several early comments that ranged from observationa that an FWB 150 will shoot anything accurately to why don’t I test these pellets in a more real-world type of rifle? Those comments, as well as my own curiosity, will probably drive me to fashion some sort of test that is more encompassing than what I did yesterday.

I’m leaning away from the test that uses the more common type of pellet rifle, simply because it’s endless. And, what would we learn — except that some guns do well with non-lead pellets while others don’t? If I can set up a controlled test where I test the same pellets at two or even three power levels in the same gun using the same barrel, then we might learn something useful.

It seemed to me that perhaps these non-lead pellets perform well at lower velocities, but from my past experience they don’t do as well at higher velocities. Is that true? Many readers seem to think so. I have a way to find out. I can set up my Whiscombe rifle in .177 caliber to shoot the subject pellets at very low velocity, then at a medium velocity and, if they’re still grouping okay, perhaps bumping them up to supersonic. That can all be done in the exact same barrel, which is the benefit of using the Whiscombe. I have air transfer port limiters that control the velocity of the rifle. If you recall, my Whiscombe came to me with a 12 foot-pound limiter installed, and I freaked out until learning about the limiter and the reasoning behind it. That’s discussed back in 2006, in Part 2 of the Whiscombe report.

I’m aware that a test like this will not be of interest to everyone. As always, I’ll serialize it and put some space between the reports. It seems to me that we might be able to really learn something important this way, and I’d like to pursue it. Okay, that’s all that was on my mind. Let’s move on to today’s report.

I’ll tell you exactly why I chose to test the BSA Comet (serial number CD-398513-09). It was the velocity. This is a .177 breakbarrel spring rifle that sells for over $300, so what velocity would you expect it to have? Over 1,000 f.p.s., right?

“Me too,” seems to be the most popular slogan in the world of consumer goods today. Once the market is defined, every manufacturer rushes to make the same product and sell it for less. If they can’t do that, they pack it with “features” that justify the extra expense. Not so for the BSA Comet.

In a forest of 1,000 f.p.s. air rifles, here’s one that touts 825 f.p.s. Are they out of their minds? Or are they marching to the beat of a different drummer? Only a thorough test will reveal which is the case. At this time the Comet is available only in .177 caliber.

Like the others?
In many respects the Comet is a cookie cut from the same sheet of dough as all other modern breakbarrels. It has a synthetic stock, the metal is not finished bright (excuse me, sir, that’s a hunter matte finish) and it has the requisite green and red adjustable fiberoptic sights that guarantee minute-of-pop-can accuracy.

One look at the rifle tells you that it probably wasn’t made in the United Kingdom. Look at the Gamo-style trigger for starters. Oh, and do the words, “Made for BSA” lasered on the right side of the action sound a little non-specific to you?

Okay, we know that the Spanish airgun maker Gamo owns BSA. It’s not much of a stretch to think that the Comet was made in Spain for BSA. That’s not bad because Gamo has come a long way in the past decade. They’ve upgraded their airguns to the point that they’re very nearly on par with German guns at the lower end of the cost spectrum.

BSA also has the reputation of making some of the finest barrels in the world. They’re on par with Lothar Walther when they want to be, and their barrels have ended up in some very expensive top-end airguns.

Here’s what I hope. I hope the Comet is a diamond in disguise. I hope that the lower muzzle velocity and the (possibly) BSA barrel combine to make this one heck of a good shooter. At this price, they’re $100 more than the RWS Diana 34, so the rifle needs to be accurate, smooth and have a decent, adjustable trigger. These are things I’ll be looking for in this evaluation.

The rifle
The Comet is lightweight, at 5.9 lbs without a scope, and it’s medium-sized, at 42.5 inches overall. Given its power, could it be positioned against the Beeman R7? This is all speculation, and only thorough testing will reveal what the Comet is really like. I’m curious to discover this rifle’s secrets, if it has any.

The shape of the stock and location of controls such as the safety make the Comet a 100 percent ambidextrous rifle. The breakbarrel design lends itself to that. Looking underneath the stock, I was surprised to see a two-piece articulated cocking link. That means the cocking slot in the stock can be shorter, which helps reduce vibration.

The triggerguard is cast into the stock as one piece, and there are side panels on either side of the forearm that remind me of many Gamo rifles. I know the forearm screws are located beneath those panels because I’ve already had them off the gun.

The breech seal is located on the end of the spring tube instead of the rear of the barrel. That shouldn’t make any difference in the performance, but it’s worth noting.

The pull of the stock is 13.75 inches, which is compact. The 17.5-inch barrel offsets that a little. It also biases the weight forward for a muzzle-heavy balance.

The trigger is two-stage and adjustable for engagement. I will find out what that means in Part 2. The manual safety blade is located in front of the trigger and is pulled back to set and pushed forward to release. The safety blocks the trigger blade from moving and can be set and released whether or not the gun is cocked.


There is no denying the Gamo heritage when you look at the Comet’s trigger.

I had to remove the stock to adjust the trigger because the one adjustment screw is not conveniently placed. Once the action was out of the stock I could see that this trigger is changed and improved from the Gamo triggers of a decade ago. I’ll show pictures next time.

These’s no mention of the force required to cock the Comet, but I’ll measure it in Part 2. I shot the rifle a couple times just to familiarize myself with its operation and can observe that it cocks easily enough.

An 11mm dovetail is cut directly into the top of the spring tube, and there’s an appropriate hole at the rear to accept a vertical scope stop pin. But BSA has a reputation for having some of the widest dovetails on the market, sometimes pushing 14mm, so I’ll look at that when I mount a scope for you.

First impression
I like the smaller size, lighter weight and lower power of this breakbarrel. If it also producea some good groups, we may have something here.

One more observation. In the few (10?) times I’ve fired the rifle, it seems to be dieseling pretty aggressively. I think a break-in period may be necessary before good performance can be realized.

Comparing the T05 trigger to the T06: Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

RWS Diana 34 Panther
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Pro-Guide spring retainer system for RWS Diana rifles — Part 5 The RWS Diana 34 Panther
Part 5

I’m testing the T06 trigger today using the accuracy test as a means to evaluate the operation of the trigger. The object is not to see how accurate this RWS Diana model 34P is. We already know that from tests run long ago. But as I try to shoot groups with the gun, I can get the feel of the new trigger better than any other method. So, today is about a trigger and not about this air rifle.

Of course, I’ve already used the trigger a lot in the velocity testing I did a couple days ago. Now, however, I’ll be holding tight on a small target, and any aberration in the trigger will come though loud and clear. This is where the rubber meets the road!

New BKL adjustable mount
I’m also testing the new BKL adjustable scope mount at the same time, and the next report will be exclusively about that. I showed you the new mount in Part 1, but what I didn’t show you was the bubble level that’s attached to the left side of the mount base.


The optional BKL bubble level is mounted on the left side of the new BKL adjustable scope mount. This view shows the rear of the mount raised up to compensate for this rifle’s barrel droop.

With this level attached, I can sight with one eye and watch the bubble with the other. I can’t see both at the same time, which is why a scope with an internal bubble level would be so desirable, but at least I don’t have to move my head to see the bubble like you do with some other levels. I’ll be reporting on it when I cover the mount in the next report.

Back to the accuracy test
I learned in the past that this rifle really likes 7.9-grain Crosman Premiers, so instead of fooling around with many different pellets, I selected just these pellets for the test. That way I could forget about trying to make the rifle shoot well and concentrate on the trigger.


Ten Crosman Premier lites went into this 0.443-inch group at 25 yards. It’s a little larger than Roosevelt’s head on the dime but smaller than the entire coin.

Though I’m only showing you a single 10-shot group, I shot much more than that. I probably shot 50 shots for today’s test, on top of about 20 the day before when I was checking out and adjusting the new mount. With all this testing, I became very familiar with the T06 trigger.

How the T06 trigger differs from the T05
The T06 operates differently than the T05 did. The T05 stopped cleanly at stage two and held there until the instant the sear released. There was no feeling of movement once stage two was engaged.

The T06 also stops cleanly at stage two, but as you continue to pull you can feel the trigger moving through the stage. Normally this is called creep, but it is absolutely smooth with no pauses or hesitations, and it doesn’t fit the popular definition for trigger creep. In fact, this movement becomes entirely predictable and something a shooter can learn to live with.

Something else about the stage-two pull on the T06 — on most triggers, when you pause part way through stage two, back off and then return to it again, as much of it that was pulled through is still gone. You’ve advanced the trigger or shortened the stage-two pull, whichever you prefer. Not so on the T06.

Because the Diana 34P requires so much technique (the artillery hold) to shoot accurately, I found myself stopping several times before the trigger released to take another breath. When I did that, naturally I relaxed my trigger finger as well. Then, I had to settle myself again before returning to the trigger. What I found when I got back on the trigger was that it had reset itself to the start point. The full trigger-pull was restored. This is what I want all triggers to do, because anything else means an unpredictable trigger that could release before I’m ready. From that standpoint, the T06 is a very nice trigger. The T05 didn’t have the problem of pulling part way through stage two, so of course it always acted like it had just been set whenever you came back to it as well.

The bottom line
Diana has made a change with the T06 trigger. In my observation, it isn’t any better or worse than the T05; it’s just different. If you want a metal trigger blade, the T06 has it. If you want adjustments, the T06 has more of them. I wasn’t able to eliminate the travel in stage two, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. I spent all of 30 minutes adjusting the unit. Someone who is willing to put in more time can probably discover secrets that I didn’t find.

The bottom line as far as I see it is the T06 trigger is now here and the T05 is a thing of the past. I alerted you to the difference between the T05 and T06 pistons, so you know they go together and a T01 trigger can also use the same piston as the T05.

The new trigger is nice and predictable. It has the features I’ve mentioned, and they all work well. If you wind up with one on your next Diana airgun you should be satisfied with it. But if you currently own a T01 or a T05 trigger, I wouldn’t plan to change it.

Comparing the T05 trigger to the T06: Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

RWS Diana 34 Panther
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Pro-Guide spring retainer system for RWS Diana rifles — Part 5 The RWS Diana 34 Panther
Part 5

You’ll notice that I’m doing something different in today’s report on the RWS Diana model 34P T06 trigger. I linked not only to Part 1 of the T05/T06 trigger report, but also to the entire RWS Diana 34P report (it used be called the 34 Panther) that was done way back in 2007. I did that because in changing the rifle to the new T06 trigger, I also had to replace the piston. (In Part 1, I mentioned that the T06 trigger requires a different piston to work.)

I also linked to the report where I installed and tested the Air Venturi RWS Diana Pro Guide spring retainer system in this rifle. That single link takes you to the fifth report in an entire series on just the Pro Guide, and that tune is still in this test rifle.

On to today’s report
When I removed the old piston from the rifle for the new trigger installation, I saw that the edge of the seal had been chipped in a couple places, which might have had an effect on the old velocity figures. Although the mainspring remains the same (it’s that Air Venturi Pro Guide upgrade kit I told you about) for both pistons, I have no way of knowing if the piston seal was damaged when I did the velocity test before, so I’m doing the test, again, today.


Here you can see the main cut near the top of the piston seal and a smaller one at the 3 o’clock position. What looks like a third nick on the other side of the seal is just some excess material sloughing off. Although these are very small imperfections, they might have caused some loss of velocity.


You saw the T06 trigger adjustments in the last report. Here’s what the T05 trigger looks like.


The T05 trigger and piston shown together. Compare them to the same picture of the T06 trigger and piston in the last report.

Some of the more anal among you may wonder whether the new seal made it into the gun okay this time, or am I faced with yet another damaged seal. Well, knowing what happened last time I was very careful to tuck in the new seal past all sharp edges of the mainspring tube as the piston slid in, which is usually where such damage happens. I feel reasonably certain that the new seal isn’t damaged. If testing proves otherwise, I’ll pull the piston and examine the seal.

Something new
Another reason I’m doing the test this way is because of a new BKL product. Last week, I told blog reader Kevin about a new BKL adjustable low mount, and now I’m going to show it to everyone. The mount I’m using here is a prototype, but the production mounts are very close to being completed and shipped and should be available for sale in less than two months.

This new mount is adjustable for height, so it’s an anti-droop mount. And, this RWS Diana 34P is the very gun I used to test the original Leapers UTG Diana drooper mounts. This is the rifle that shoots 21 inches low at 20 yards (that’s 6 inches low at 35 yards with the elevation cranked up as far as it will go)! What better gun on which to test an anti-droop mount than the very one that droops the most of any I’ve tested?


The new BKL adjustable mount is lower than most adjustables, yet it allows a 50mm objective to clear the spring tube when full droop is applied. The black post at the rear of the mount controls the vertical adjustment. This mount is a prototype that hasn’t been anodized black.

I’m not going to cover the mount today, but I’ll do a special report on it after the accuracy testing is completed. Remember, folks, what we’re really looking at in this series is the performance of the new Diana T06 trigger. But time and circumstances have allowed us to also look at some additional things as we do.

Today’s report
We’re going to establish the velocity of the rifle with the new piston and seal. I didn’t expect to have any velocity change from the old piston until I saw that seal. As I report the findings, I’ll remind you of the velocities obtained with the same pellets back in 2008 in Part 5 of the Pro Guide test (after it had been installed in this rifle).

Crosman Premier lite
The first pellet I tested was the venerable Crosman Premier 7.9-grain domed pellet. This pellet proved to be quite accurate in this rifle, and I expect it to continue to be accurate in this test. In the original model 34, as it came from the factory, this Premier pellet averaged 919 f.p.s. After the Pro Guide was installed in 2008 in the gun with the T05 trigger, the average velocity increased to 936 f.p.s. When I tested it this time, the average was 956 f.p.s. The spread went from 937 all the way up to 971 f.p.s., so the gun is getting used to its new situation, but that’s still a small increase.

RWS Hobby
The next pellet I tried was the RWS Hobby. In the factory 34, Hobbys gave me an average of 1021 f.p.s. After the 2008 installation of the Pro Guide system, the average was still 1021 f.p.s. With the latest T06 trigger installation, the average is still 1021 f.p.s. Apparently, that’s a speed this rifle likes for Hobbys. The spread this time went from 1011 to 1031 f.p.s., so just 20 f.p.s. That’s pretty consistent for a springer.

H&N Baracuda Match
The last pellet tested was the H&N Baracuda Match. These pellets underwent a weight change over the past two years; although they became lighter, they still registered lower velocity with the latest tune. In factory trim, they averaged 820 f.p.s.; after the Pro Guide was installed, that increased to 825 f.p.s. With the latest tune, they now average 801 f.p.s., with a spread from 795 to 808 f.p.s. That’s a very tight 13 foot-second spread; but as you can see, the average has fallen. I do believe this is a different pellet than the one I used before even though the name is the same, but there’s no way to prove it and it doesn’t matter anyway. The current pellet is all you can buy, so it is what it is.

Based on the results of this test, which I verified with additional shots after the chronographing was completed, I proved that the gun was shooting as well as could be expected when the T05 trigger was installed. The cuts on the piston seal appear to have made no difference. There has been almost no change with the new installation.

The T06 trigger
My initial impressions of the T06 trigger is that it is a fine sporting trigger, but it offers no substantial improvements over the T05. This trigger has some creep in the second stage that I’ll try to adjust out. The T05 had zero creep. Its pull can be adjusted lighter than the T05 pull, but it’s somewhat creepy, which more than offsets the lighter breaking weight.

The real test of a trigger comes when you’re trying to shoot for accuracy, so I’ll reserve final comment until then. After the accuracy test, I plan a special report on the new BKL adjustable low mount to show you all the features. By that time, I’ll have hundreds of shots on the gun with the scope mounted, which will serve as a test of it’s stability. And, there’s more…but you’ll just have to wait.

Comparing the T05 trigger to the T06: Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier

A new airgun site
Pyramyd Air’s new beta website is going live today! The top request we get from customers is for a way to organize search results and to limit searches to certain criteria. Your wish is our command! But that’s just the beginning. There are so many new things that it would take the whole blog to cover all of them. Instead, I’ll let you discover all the wonderful changes on your own. We’re in the process of having two videos created that will give you a tour of the new site and its many features. We’ll give you a heads-up when they’re available. In the meantime, click here to be transported to our new site. Still want to use the old site? It’s still in the same place.

Now, on to today’s blog.

This will be a difficult report to do, as there is a lot of worldwide support for the new Diana T06 trigger — from people who have never seen it but are ready to spring to its defense if necessary.

I’ve used the T05 trigger that comes on many of the current RWS Diana air rifles and find it to be a great airgun trigger. It’s certainly not as adjustable as Weihrauch’s Rekord trigger, but when something works right why does it need to be adjusted? I suppose I’m less critical of trigger adjustments because of all the different guns I shoot. I can understand why the owner of a single gun would want it to be exactly right. Since I never get that, I guess the importance is lost on me. What I mean is that I understand it in my head but not in my heart.

I selected an RWS Diana model 34P as my testbed. The reason is that the model 34 is very popular, and it’s evolved over the years into a pretty nice spring-piston rifle. I remember the 34s of the 1980s that were crude and rough by comparison to what you get today. The 34P is identical to all other RWS Diana 34 models, except that it has a black synthetic stock.

To test the triggers, I first shot the rifle with the T05 trigger that came standard until I got used to it. Next I will install the T06 trigger and piston that were generously supplied by Umarex USA.


The RWS Diana 34P breakbarrel rifle was used to test both triggers.


The T05 trigger came with the test rifle. The only adjustment screw is inside the trigger blade, and it adjusts only the length of the first stage.

There’s no reason to test the rifle for accuracy or velocity, because the trigger doesn’t affect either of these attributes. If the original trigger had been really bad, there could be an improvement in accuracy due to a more reliable sear release point, but such is not the case. The T05 trigger is crisp and positive in all respects. The T05 is already so nice that the T06 has a lot to live up to.

The RWS Diana model 34 has been in production since 1984, and it began life in a plain wooden stock with the T01 trigger. The trigger blade of the T01 was made of stamped metal. It worked, but it was hollow in the back so it looked cheap. However, the T01 trigger was very adjustable and someone familiar with it could adjust it to a remarkable release.

Sometime around the year 2000, Diana changed the trigger design to the new T05 that had a solid trigger blade that was even straighter than the T01 blade had been. Unfortunately for Diana, they made the new trigger blade — and a couple other obvious trigger parts like the new safety bar — from plastic. Apparently, no one at Diana remembers the hue and cry back in the 1970s when FWB sold their 124 and 127 sporting rifles with plastic trigger blades. Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it.

Not plastic
The T05 TRIGGER is actually not plastic! The trigger BLADE is plastic, but the blade alone is not the entire trigger. The actual unitized mechanism that is the trigger contains many metal parts. The way the trigger unit is designed, the trigger blade does not touch the sear, though if you listen to all the wounded souls whose lives have been ruined by that “plastic trigger,” you might think that it does.

I remember as a kid our old 1940s Kelvinator refrigerator had a nickelplated metal locking handle on the door. My fridge today, which is three times larger and far more efficient, has a plastic handle and the door is held shut by a magnet. Should I stop eating in protest? What about those plastic bumpers on today’s cars? Should we all walk because we no longer have steel hanging out in front and behind?

The T05 trigger works just fine. The one on the test rifle releases crisply at 2 lbs., 10 ozs. and it’s good enough that I was able to shoot dime-sized 10-shot groups at 20 yards and sub-half-inch groups at 35 yards. Read about it in this four-part report.

There’s only one adjustment on the T05 trigger, and aside from the plastic trigger blade, it’s the focus of most of the criticism. The screw in front of the trigger blade controls how long the first stage is, and that’s all you can adjust. Fortunately, the pull weight and let-off are very nice as they come, but there’s no easy way to adjust them. When people feel they have no choices, they don’t like it.

T06 trigger
The T06 trigger, by way of contrast, has adjustments for the pull weight, the length of the first stage and the sear engagement. The T06 trigger has three adjustment screws. The one in front adjusts the length of the stage-one pull. The screw behind that, which is buried deep inside the aluminum trigger blade, is for adjusting the sear contact (I think) and a screw located behind the trigger blade is for adjusting the weight of the trigger-pull.


The front screw on the T06 trigger blade adjusts the length of the first stage pull. Deep inside the hole behind it is the screw that adjusts the sear contact, I believe, and the screw behind the trigger blade is for adjusting the pull weight.

Thankfully, Diana also replaced the old plastic safety bar with one that looks identical and made from aluminum. I think they got the message about plastic.

The T06 trigger requires a different piston to work. It looks the same as the one in the T05 guns, but the lockup surfaces on the piston rod are different and must be configured to mesh with a T06 trigger. Making the switch isn’t just a matter of replacing the modular trigger unit, but the piston, as well.


The T06 trigger and piston used in this test were provided by Umarex USA.

I haven’t seen an owner’s manual for this trigger, so everything I’ll tell you will come from trial and error. My next job is to tear down the 34P and swap in the T06 trigger and piston for the T05. Following that, I’ll shoot the gun extensively, adjusting the trigger as I go. Although I’ll give the weight of the T06 trigger-pull, most of this report will be subjective — my observations after shooting the rifle with both triggers.

Top-notch springer
Air Arms TX200 air rifle

When it comes to spring-piston air rifles, the Air Arms TX200 Mk III is a favorite of many airgunners, including airgun writer Tom Gaylord. His favorite caliber is .177. While the gun will initially impress you with its beauty and superior craftsmanship, you'll be even more impressed with the incredible accuracy! Tom claims this is "the most accurate spring gun below $3,000." Beech or walnut, left-hand or right-hand stock. Isn't it time you got yours?

All the fun, none of the hassles!
Uzi CO2 BB submachine gun

You've seen tons of movies with guys spraying bullets from their Uzi submachine guns and probably thought it would be a blast. Except for the cost of ammo! You can have all that fun with this Uzi BB submachine gun at just pennies a round. Throw shots downrange for hours on end with all the fun, none of the firearm hassles and a fraction of the cost.

Archives