RWS Diana 34 Panther – Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

Before we begin, Gamo has just changed their warranty period from three years to one. I thought you would like to know that. Son of a gun if my post a few days ago about warranty periods changing wasn’t prophetic!

Today I’ll clean the Panther’s barrel, mount a scope and head to the range.

Barrel cleaning
I’m using a new .177 brass brush loaded with JB Non-Embedding Bore Cleaning Compound. The reason for cleaning a brand new rifle is to remove latent rust from the bluing process and all the sharp burrs that remain from barrel manufacture. The first several strokes were extremely difficult, but they eased around stroke eight. By the tenth stroke the barrel was feeling very smooth, and by stroke 16, I was able to reverse directions of the brush without removing it from the bore. read more

RWS Diana 34 Panther – Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

Today I’ll continue with the physical description of the RWS Diana 34 Panther. I left off with the barrel, which is 19 inches long. The muzzle cap makes it look longer and also serves as the base for the front sight ramp, which is skeletonized.

The breech uses Diana’s time-honored ball-bearing detent, and, lest anyone say a ball bearing can’t hold the breech shut as well and a chisel detent, I have to slap the muzzle to begin breaking the barrel. Hopefully that will become easier as the gun breaks in.

This Panther seems like a hard-cocking breakbarrel! The piston seal honks like a goose, which indicates a dry seal, but I know the Diana seal is self-lubricating so I’ll not lubricate it until the gun has some shots on it. I expect it to quiet down with use – to break in, so to speak. Cocking effort is a surprisingly low 31 pounds. The surprise is because it feels like a lot more – probably due to the noisy piston seal. read more

RWS Diana 34 Panther – Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier

RWS 34 Panther is an all-black air rifle with a synthetic stock. The use of a non-Monte Carlo buttstock is a bold move, offset by the straight line of the stock (less drop).

For those of you buying a Diana rifle for the first time, you cannot compare what you receive to the guns that shipped a decade or more ago, but I can. I have owned more than one model 34 in both calibers, so I’ll make the comparison between those guns and this new RWS 34 Panther as I go. This one is a .177.

What’s new?
The Panther has a black synthetic stock that’s new. It’s shaped differently than the wood stocked Diana 34 that’s been made for so many years, and it felt a little heavier to me. Sure enough, the specifications on Pyramyd’s website indicate an extra quarter pound. That’s not much, except all the weight seems to be in the front of the gun. That makes the gun very stable to hold. read more

Does “better” cost more?

by B.B. Pelletier

“You get what you pay for” is a quote you hear when talking about the prices of things. But is it true?

Not always! Sometimes, things that cost more are no better than other things, but how do you know for sure? Today’s blog was prompted by a comment Matt made a couple months ago, “The Shadow is obviously a better gun because it costs more, but is it worth the $40 price difference?”

Don’t assume that $40 makes any difference at all. I will explain with brutal frankness. You probably know that Beerman has its R-series spring rifles made by Weihrauch. And, the Beeman R1 retails for about $150 more than the Weihrauch HW 80. There are differences between these two models, but in this case, the stock is the biggest one. If that isn’t a big deal for you, then go for the less expensive gun. read more

Flexible cleaning rods

Flexible cleaning rods

by B.B. Pelletier

Today’s topic is one that I’ve wanted to do for a long time. Ever since we talked about the Dewey cleaning rod, I’ve also wanted to address flexible cleaning rods. I use them myself, but they have some drawbacks that you need to be aware of.

They come in all types
Most people probably think of the Otis flexible rod when they think of them at all. Otis makes flexible rods for Beeman, as well as under their own name. The thing that tells you it’s an Otis is the round, padded zipper case.

Why use them?
Sometimes, you have to use a flexible rod because of the construction of the gun. If that’s the case, you’ll be putting the flexible rod through the muzzle and attaching the cleaning patch at the breech. Each time you want to use a new patch, you have to go through this procedure, which makes the flexible rod more cumbersome to use. The Otis comes with a brass crosspiece that slides through a hole in the tail of the cleaning rod, making a handle for pulling the rod through the bore. When you pull, make sure you pull in a straight line with the barrel. Don’t allow the flexible rod to ride against any particular side of the muzzle. read more

What about shooting from a vice?

by B.B. Pelletier

Several months ago, a reader asked about using a vice to test the accuracy of different pellets in an airgun. In the comment sections of our posts, this question has come up many times over the years. Let’s talk a little about using vices.

First, let me say that I’m not an expert on this subject. What I know has come from my readings and talking to airgun testers rather than actual experiments.

Even with a vice, there’s vibration
A vice does not cancel all vibration. Depending on how the barrel is held by the vice, it’ll still vibrate a lot or maybe significantly less than when it was not in a vice. You can’t stop vibration completely. Many people believe a vice cancels all possible error. While a vice will cancel human error, there are other errors that the vice will not address. read more

What’s wrong with scope adjustments?

by B.B. Pelletier

This question came in from Pestbgone, who asked why a scope with 1/4″ adjustments at 100 yards did not respond with 10 times the number of clicks at 10 yards. In other words, why don’t 10 clicks move the pellet a 1/4″ at 10 yards, if one click moves it 1/4″ at 100 yards. Great question. Simple answer.

Nothing is for certain
How do you think scope makers get the reticle to move 1/4″ at 100 yards? They do it by using a screw with a very fine thread. This screw moves the erector tube by a small amount. Attached to the screw is a ratchet or click detent that produces an audible and tactile signal that one “increment” of distance has been covered. For example, one click equals 1/4″ at 100 yards. read more