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.