by B.B. Pelletier
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.