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Education / Training Diana RWS 34P breakbarrel air rifle: Part 3

Diana RWS 34P breakbarrel air rifle: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

Diana RWS 34P breakbarrel air rifle
Diana RWS 34P breakbarrel air rifle.

This report covers:

• First up — Crosman Premier lite pellets
• H&N Baracuda Match pellets — 4.53mm head
• The hold
• Air Arms Falcon pellets
• Back to Premier lite pellets
• What now?
• Final observation

Today, we’ll look at the accuracy of the Diana 34P air rifle I’m testing. While this has been a conventional test for those interested in the Diana 34, it’s also a precursor to the next part of The great pellet comparison test. I needed a baselined powerful pellet rifle to test the accuracy of premium pellets against bargain pellets. When I finish that test, I’ll write a summary of what’s been learned about the differences between premium and bargain pellets.

But, right now, we’re concentrating on this Diana 34P. We just want to see how well it can do at 25 yards with the best pellets. I went back and read the previous tests of this rifle and started the test by mounting a scope.

This rifle is a drooper, and I don’t have a UTG Drooper scope base on hand, so I used a prototype UTG drooper scope base that was left over from the work I did with Leapers when they developed the base. It has some droop, but I forgot that this rifle is the champion of all droopers. At 20 yards, it shoots 21 inches low! So, even with the drooper mount base, the rifle still shot 7 inches low at 25 yards. I do have other prototype bases with even greater droop, but they looked so severe that I thought I could get away with this one. Nope!

Anyway, I just proceeded with the test and shot at one bull while the pellets hit the bull below. In one instance I missed the bull altogether, but the group was still recorded.

First up — Crosman Premier lite pellets
The first pellet I tested was the Crosman 7.9-grain Premier lite. In past tests, this was the best pellet in this rifle, so I figured it was a good place to start.

The first group of 10 pellets at 25 yards measures 0.848 inches. But look at the group, and you’ll see that 8 of those pellets landed in a much smaller 0.442-inch group. You’ll have to trust me when I tell you that I called both stray shots. I didn’t know they were going to be fliers; but before each shot, I felt some tension in my off hand. I know that sounds like a cop-out — and perhaps it is — but when you see the other groups, I think you’ll see a pattern.

01-15-15-01-Diana-RWS-34P-breakbarrel-air-rifle-Premier-group-25-yards Pre,ier group 25 yards
Ten Premier lite pellets went into 0.848 inches at 25 yards, but 8 of them are in 0.442 inches.

H&N Baracuda Match pellets — 4.53mm head
I’ll come back to Premier lites in a bit, but the next pellet I tried was the H&N Baracuda Match with a 4.53mm head. No particular reason for choosing this one over the other head sizes that are available. It’s just the biggest, so I gave it a try.

The first 10 pellets didn’t seem to want to group, and I was just about to write off this pellet when I tried a different hold. I’ll describe that now, because I want to record it.

The hold
I’d been holding the rifle with a classic artillery hold — with my off hand back near the triggerguard. While that’s a good hold for this rifle, look at what happened to the Premier group — how I threw 2 shots just by not relaxing all the way. Or, at least that’s what I thought. So, after I fired 8 shots with the Baracudas, I slid my off hand forward until it was about 2 inches up the cocking slot. That stabilized the rifle greatly! It was no longer muzzle-heavy, and the muzzle wasn’t moving around. I didn’t have to fight to keep the crosshairs high enough on the target.

Those 2 shots went into the same hole, so I switched to a fresh bull and shot a second group. This one turned out to be the best group of the session. It measured 0.572 inches between centers for all 10 shots at 25 yards. I’m writing this detail of the hold more for myself for future reference, since I plan to come back to this rifle in the pellet comparison test.

01-15-15-01-Diana-RWS-34P-breakbarrel-air-rifle-Premier-group-25-yards Baracuda Match 4.53mm head group 25 yards
Ten H&N Baracuda Match pellets with 4.53mm heads made this 0.572-inch group at 25 yards. No fliers here!

The secret of this alternate way of holding the rifle is how it really steadies the gun. Couple that with the 24-oz. trigger, and I get a perfect shot every time.

Air Arms Falcon pellets
I tried Air Arms Falcon pellets with 4.52mm heads next. Ten of them went into 0.727 inches. While that’s not bad, the group looks rather open to me. Five of the pellets are in one hole, and the other 5 are scattered up and to the left. A group like this tells me I almost have the hold right, but not quite. If this was the only pellet that gave good results I would spend more time with it; but with those Baracuda Match pellets already in the bag, I didn’t have to.

Diana RWS 34P breakbarrel air rifle Falcon 25-yards
Ten Air Arms Falcon pellets with 4.52mm heads went into 0.727 inches at 25 yards. While this is a small group and there are 5 pellets in the lower hole, this entire group is too open for me. I could spend more time trying to find the right hold to tighten up this pellet, but I already have the H&N Baracuda Match pellets in the bag.

Back to Premier lite pellets
This new hold was so successful that I wanted to see if it would work for Premier lites, as well. Was this the magic hold that would eliminate those 2 fliers? Well, after 6 shots I had an open group that measures 0.796 inches, and no 2 pellets were in the same hole! It seems that Premier lites want the classic artillery hold, and Baracuda Match pellets want the off hand slid forward. That seems odd, but I’m never completely surprised by anything a spring-piston rifle wants to do. They have minds of their own, and each one is unique unto itself.

Diana RWS 34P breakbarrel air rifle Premier lite alternate hold 25-yards
When I slid my off hand forward, these 6 Premier lites scattered everywhere! This “group” measures 0.796 inches between centers. It’s clear the rifle does not want to be held this way with this pellet.

What now?
Now, I have the Diana 34P baselined and ready for the pellet comparison test. In fact, I already have the results with premium pellets, as I’m going with the group made by the H&N Baracuda Match with the 4.53mm heads. The next thing I’ll do is shoot this rifle with all of the bargain pellets and compare how it does against today’s results.

Because I’ve used 2 different holds for today’s test, I guess I have to also test each pellet that way; but I will find a way to do it that doesn’t take a lot of time. I have an idea formulating. I’ll shoot 5 shots with one hold and if it isn’t extremely small, I’ll switch to the other hold and try that for another 10 shots. I promise I’ll do my best to get the smallest groups this rifle can produce with all the bargain pellets.

Final observation
This is my last formal look at the RWS Diana 34P rifle, and I think I should say a few things. First — I have watched this rifle evolve over the past 30 years from a bargain basement breakbarrel into what I believe to be the best value on the market today. Yes, that statement means for the money, because a TX200 Mark III and a Walther LGV can outshoot a 34 out of the box. But I remember when the 34 was just an entry-level air rifle. It has certainly changed over the years.

The rifle I’m testing has an obsolete Air Venturi tuning kit in it. While you can’t buy that kit anymore, there are others on the internet for this popular rifle. It shoots like a finely tuned air rifle that costs at least double what you pay to buy the gun new. If you’re thinking about which spring rifle to buy next, you won’t make a mistake buying one of these!

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

115 thoughts on “Diana RWS 34P breakbarrel air rifle: Part 3”

  1. For the hold bench rested:
    You win some, and you lose some.
    Ive noticed that with the HW85 and HW80/R1 resting the stock in your hand way off the triggerguard (close to the cocking slot) will give excellent groups. But it comes with a price: the POI will change.
    If I dail in the scope benchrested with my hand close to the cocking slot, all my shots tend to be low when shooting offhand and kneeling. I have to agree with you, its a great way to achieve the best accuracy, but the shift in POI is unacceptable for me, since most of my shooting is done offhand and kneeling. So at the bench I rest the back of my hand on the rice bag, with my hand close to the triggerguard. No more shifts in POI.
    Im interested if other shooters experience the same ‘problem’, or if its my style of bench shooting.

  2. Very Interesting! I’m BIG on RWS Diana! And have a 24! I think is as good as it gets! But! I have Beeman AR .22 cal or 5.5mm that I like as much! I don’t have the ones that came out of Germany in early 80’s! My mistake for letting them get away from me! But, again Beeman AR is heavy and I shoot alot and it becomes work? Which time I go to Beeman and other Air Pistols! I want to spend my dollars well! I would like to have a gas piston period! Maybe R-2? Here again going back over the blog of past years and reading comments through this year! I find many changes which change my mind and feel like I can’t make a clear judgement in what I want! Again Thankful for the blog and comments!

  3. BB,

    OK, I am confused. I went back through the report of this air rifle and where you were talking about the tune kit, you show a picture of it and the way it is worded I am thinking that the new piston seal is the white neoprene washer on the end of the tophat. Wait a minute, how does that work? Would I be correct in my assumption that the new piston seal was already installed on the piston and you did not picture it?

    As far as this air rifle is concerned, the only negative I have about it are the glowy thingy sights and that is a personal preference thing. There are versions of this air rifle without them, or any open sights for that matter. Diana makes several very nice models, but this one has been the one so many first think of when German air rifles are mentioned.

    • RR,

      You know, it’s been so many years since I installed the kit that I don’t remember. From the way the article is written I assume that the white seal is now in this rifle — as shown in the first report on the kit.

      This rifle no longer has a fiberoptic front sight tube. It broke off years ago. Since I only use a a scope with it, it doesn’t matter to me.


      • Ok, I looked back at the report and that white neoprene washer goes inside the piston.

        I was referring to the models that have the all metal sights or no sights at all. Even with this particular model, they can be removed.

  4. The “champion of all droopers” kind of gets me right out of the box. While I can’t reference other test, 21″ at 20 yards seems unfathonable. I guess I will pay much closer attention to references to droop in the future for comparison sake.

    • Chris

      I have one that was probably worse than that. It was easy to see that the barrel was pointing severely downward . You could not miss it. Almost half of the droop was caused by the breech seal being too thick. Even after fixing the breech seal problem, it was still horrible.


  5. I took the Regal back over to my buddy’s place so he could reap the rewards of his labor after I got the eye relief adjusted. What a mistake! He wants to buy it, scope and all. I’m torn! Do I take the money and help create another airgunner? Or do I keep dialing it in and just take it over on occasion? I’m gonna try to get him set up with his own.
    By the way Gunfun1, you were absolutely correct about that scope. Clear as a bell!
    In your opinion what would be a comparable starter scope for my buddy and his soon to be new NP? I believe that’s what he fell in love with. It sure is nice being able to see what you’re aiming at!
    It’s been a long row to hoe! But starting to get there.

    • The barracuda match in 4.53mm head size was also tops in my 34p pro compact. As I remember in my own testing, it also generated one of the highest muzzle energies. This is a double good thing as this pellet has a relatively high ballistic coefficient and carries more energy downrange than lighter pellets. The semi-pointed noise makes it a good compromise of shock and penetration for hunting.
      I shoot all my rifles from a rest and standing offhand with my off hand under the balance point and not back next to the trigger guard. This helps minimize shift in poi between rested and offhand shooting for me. I only touch the rifle with the thumb and forefinger of my trigger hand, using a pinch technique to minimize pulling it off target during the shot cycle.

      • PS,
        The best medium weight pellet I tried is the H&N FTT 8.64 gr in 4.51mm head size, shooting at 890fps and making about 15.2 ft lb. Nice flat trajectory!
        Also, I put in a Maccari spring kit from Air Rifle Headquarters and lube my pellets with Krytech Finish Line wax.
        On the pro compact model, the large muzzle brake/handgrip has two positions; a retracted position for a short overall length and a forward position that provides better balance and nice leverage for easy cocking. You have to use loctite on the setscrews to keep them tight.
        I love the matte black finish on this gun and call it my Black Beauty.

    • Just put 4 rounds through it 2 in the same hole 1 into my birdfeeder backstop and another into my spinner backstop, shooting about 4-5 inches high @20 yds. I’ll have to make another roadtrip to Abilene in a couple hours so I’ll have to get back on it when I’ve got some time. but I’m starting to be impressed.Spotted a squirrel @ about 15 yds running down the phone wire but didn’t have time to clean it. I wanted to see if it would turn him inside out.

      • Reb,

        For what it is worth, attempting to shoot anything off of a telecommunication cable is not a good idea.

        IF you should hit the cable by mistake, the pellet could do serious damage to the many pairs of small wires or fiber optic cables within the sheath. This will not endear you to the telecommunication provider nor the customers whom may be affected.

        Imagine what the the “news” headline would be for such an act.

        It will also give a black eye to air guns in general, and in this day and age could cause more restrictions on their possession, use and even velocity/FPE. Think, before you act, just saying.


        • Bugbuster
          You know that’s true that kind of shot shouldn’t be taken IF somebody thought about it.

          I think that when you have that air gun in your hand that the thought process should be like your handling a big caliber firearm or a shotgun or even a rimfire gun.

          Think about it. I still wouldn’t want to be on the wrong end of a air gun when the pellet leaves the barrel. And even if its a pellet gun you got to wonder where that pellets going to hit some where two blocks or two acres away.

          You got to know what your pointing at and you got to think about if you were standing out in your yard BBQ’n and out of the corner of your eye you catch this this little black dot come flying at your for head. And it just misses you and pokes a hole in your favorite beverage. I would say that I wouldn’t be a happy camper.

          Especially since I shoot air guns and don’t want something like that happening. Then you got the police and everybody watching.

          And Reb not getting down on you. But I just wonder how many people don’t practice safety when they shoot. You can’t change a mistake after it happens.

      • Reb
        You had better keep that regal as it will eventually settle down on the recoil and it has already proven to be an accurate gun with two pellets in the same hole. I know what you mean about your buddy falling in love with it as GF1 has the Vitamin that I traded to him out on lease to his neighbor and may have sold it to him as he has not said anything.

        I would not give up that regal as you now have a good, powerful and accurate break barrel and just put a decent scope on it and you will be very happy with it .


        • Buldawg
          Your keeping a eye on that Vitamin ain’t you.

          Yep it still mine but the neighbor still has it. He shoots it all the time now instead of that magnum Gamo hes got that takes two hands to cock. And knocks your shoulder off when you shoot it. And that you got wait for the gun to quit shaking to see if you hit what you aimed at.

          You remember what I said when he asked me if I wanted to trade.

          • GUnfuin
            Yea sort of but I have the one I found for 50 bucks that is mine if the guy will ever get me a shipping cost and how to pay him as he said it is mine but until I have it in my hand I wont count my chickens

            Yea I remember you had a sny laugh under your breath like that will never happen, I just thought you may have sold it to him. I do hope you keep it as you said its the best nitro gun you have ever shot so no need to let it go.

            I will get me another and if the guy gets off his behind I will have that one. I just hope it shoots like the Vitamin does,


              • Gunfun
                That’s the thing as all the spring guns the firepower and my venom shoot just the same so I don’t think its just the Vitamin being special. But if I ever get the one I have been after since before X-mas we will know for sure if I just got lucky 3 times or if the newer nitro guns are just that much better.


                • Buldawg
                  That’s a good question.

                  Are the newer nitro guns better?

                  What do you mean by newer? The np2 or even the trail series. What about the other brand spring and nitro guns.

                  I had a bunch of them and the Vitamin has the best shooting characteristics and held the best groups out of the others. I would say the Vitamin compares to the HW50s I had in a lot of ways other than the fit and finish being better on the HW50s along with the material and trigger to of the 50.

                  So yes I think the Vitamin is a pretty good gun.

                  Now you got to find out how the B40 shoots. Since a lot if the components of the TX seem to be interchangable with it. I want to know if they did their home work on the trigger and the barrel of the B40.

                  If the B40 does produce good groups then there it is but another cheaper gun to have fun with. And it would be something I wouldn’t be afraid to take out in the woods.

                  I think that’s a good idea finding accurate air guns for cheap that can be fitted with other guns parts that are suppose to be a higher quality.

                  TX or B40. If the guns accurate and can be matained with parts from other brands why could that be bad.

                  • Gunfun
                    What I mean by newer is from 2010 and up plain nitro guns and spring guns from crosman or more precisely from China and branded by crosman.

                    The NP2s are junk and remind me of the Gamo whisper I bought and thought it was a kids toy gun and promptly sold it so in my book the new NP2 and Gamos go with each other in the trash bin.

                    Yea the scope is mounted on the B40 and sighting will begin tomorrow and I also hope it groups very good as it will make it worth the money if it can shoot good as well. I went back and dug up the old reviews that BB did on the 177 and 22 B40s and he used his TX as a standard to measure from. Granted he stated that both days he shot the B40s and his TX were quite windy and not the best condition for target grouping, but both B40s out shot his TX on those particular days so if mine is as good it should be a real shooter.

                    It is pretty cool that the parts between them interchange so readily and it will be in the woods hunting as well as FT shooting. In fact while I was chronying it today a squirrel was just sitting in the top of a tree and I tried to hit it but with out the scope on it I was just guessing, but I came close enough to hit the branch he was on and made him run for the thickets for cover as the next shot I think would have found its home.

                    It would be very good that the parts would interchange between the two although I don’t think AA would appreciate that fact. The trigger on the B40 is not a Rekord by any means but it is adjusted just how I like mine with a short first stage and about a 3/4 pound second let off. It is as light as the Mrods is but without the long first stage and a more definite second stage stop

                    We will see tomorrow how it groups and I just hope it is as good as the ones BB reviewed as the seller said it was an early version.


    • Reb here is a nice little scope that’s easy to use. Its only 49 bucks and its a fixed 4 magnification scope. But don’t let the cost and magnification fool you. Its crystal clear and I swear its a 9 magnification scope when I look through it. Big and crisp sharp picture.


      • Gunfun
        Just got done chronying the B40 and it is night and day difference in the fps numbers, it is still burning off some of the silicone oil I lubed it with as the ES is not as close as with the vortek seal and o-ring but I think that will get closer as it is shot more and the seal beds in to the chamber better and the oil is burned away.
        Here are the average numbers it is shooting now.
        CP 10.5s = 779.2
        JSB 10.34s = 807.4
        JSB 8.44s = 870.9
        CPL 7.9s = 925.7

        So as you see quitter a big difference by over 100 fps each so it is now time to mount the scope and get it sighted in for the FT match on Feb 7th.

        I am going to start with the heavy pellets first and hope they group well as I don’t really want to use the light one and I may try some Beeman Kodiaks or some H&Ns in the 10.xx ranges if the CPs or JSB are not accurate in it. I am a Happy camper now with my poor mans TX.


        • Buldawg
          I figured that seal was going to do better. I tried different ones when I did that tune on my TX and the factory seal worked the best with the Vortek kit. I think the factory seal is a softer compound then the Vortek seal. I believe that also helps absorb some of the forward recoil.

          Does the recoil seem better now that you got to shoot it more today.

          • Gunfun
            Yea the recoil is better with the heavy pellets than it is with the light ones and it is definitely rearward but is still better than it was with the Vortek seal and oring in it. I agree with you that the factory seal is much more compliant that the Vortek seal is and its nice to now that the seal for most all crosman spring and nitro guns from 2010 up are the exact same as the B40 and TX seals are as they are all 25mm seals and the crosman seal in the B40 is working quite well as you could see by the huge increase in the fps.

            Now it time to plug some new number into the chairgun and find my sight in range for the best overall range of distances. With the fps down in the 650 range for the heavy pellets I was going to have to hold over almost 4 mil dots at 55 yards and that was just not going to happen. so with them in the high 700s to low 800s it will be back to 2 mil dots or less at 55 yards which is what it should be.


          • Gunfun
            I am answering down here as there was no reply below your post about the trigger. the trigger in the B40 is held in exactly the same as the TX and looks to be identical as an assembly. I do not know if there is any difference inside with the actual parts as the two schematics that I have look to be the same and if you compare the PA schematic with the B40 you can see that they appear to be the same. See the two schematics for a better understanding



            It looks as though all parts are interchangeable between the two although I would believe the TX parts are made from better metals and possibly finished better as well. The bad part is there are only very limited parts available for either one here stateside in the US. The TX of course would be under warranty still and I am sure that PA can get the trigger assy, but they do not sell it to the public through the website as it shows it in the schematic and when you click on it it shows up as NOT AVAILABLE.

            I believe that Mike Melick might have some parts for the B40 still available or possibly could get them from Xisico, but I am not sure about that and I have sent Xisico USA a couple emails with no replies back so who knows what is or is not still out there for a B40.


            • Buldawg
              So if somebody wanted their gun shooting be it the high dollar one or the cheaper one they could possibly interchange parts.

              That way you would have the option to make either or gun work till the other original part became available.

              I would like to see the trigger assembly of a TX setting next to the B40 trigger assembly. That way you could actually see the quality differences of the two.

              And its nice to shoot a gun verses not being able to if its broke.

              • Gunfun
                I agree and as I said all the parts look like they will interchange between the two but as you say without them sitting side by side there is no way to see the difference in quality or metallurgy.

                But it would be nice to know that you could keep one or the other shooting with parts from the other one.

                I need to call Mike and see if part are still available for the B40 at all so I can keep mine shooting.


                • Buldawg
                  And that would be good to know.

                  I know as time went by when I was still messing with the muscle cars that I started buying cars that I new I could repair easy.

                  My buddy has my old 69 Rambler with a 390 4 speed in it for sale right now for a good price.

                  But if the thing ever breaks I will probably be lucky to find parts for it. But if it was 5.0 Mustang or a small block Chevy I could find something one way or another to fix it.

                  • Gunfun
                    Yea that old Rambler will be hard to find parts for as compared to a ford or chevy that’s for sure and it the same with my old Datsun pickup as the L20 motor still has all the part readily available for it, but try to find any body repair panels or floor pans and you will be out of luck. I know as I have tried and no luck.

                    That’s why I ride old Kawis and Harleys as they are the small block chevys of the bike world. There are all kinds of stock or hot rod parts still available for both.


                    • Buldawg
                      What I’m wondering is if the air gun world is similar.

                      Can air gun parts be swapped to me a old air gun alive. Well or maybe even a broke air gun.

                      I will say this right now that I’m not happy when a air gun goes down.

                      And if a parts available that is a part that can be put in place and work till my original part comes I would be happy.

                      Of course if its a safe replacement. If it’s got to be cut on that means its not a direct replacement.

                      I’m thinking that could be a big concern. Got to keep it safe you know.

  6. Wow!! What a hunk of wood & metal, as someone who doesn’t have much use for the so called black rifles this is a work of art. Generally my friendly FEDEX guy comes at around 2:30 PM so I was kinda scheduling the day around that, it just figures he would show up early this time 🙂

    Just have time to get a few quick shots for you guys, I didn’t realize that the sole would come pre mounted (Thanks PA!!) Anyway here’s link to a small gallery, some shots were taken without flash so they won’t be as sharp as I’d like.


    Kevin in CT

    • Congratulations Kevin – beautiful rifle!!!

      Like the grain pattern – my new gun is due to be delivered in a week – hope the wood is as nice as yours!

      If I was to buy another springer it (and I am very tempted) it would definitely be a TX200.

    • Kevin in CT
      Nice gun. I like the stock. And hmm don’t think I have ever heard of them guns coming with the scope mounted. Did you get that 10 for 10 deal? Maybe that’s why the scope was mounted. I know I got a Stoeger x20s one time and the scope came mounted. Had to remount it because the eye relief was wrong for me though.

      And what is that a website to post pictures on?

      • Hi Gun, I’m not sure why it came mounted, I bought one of the”package” sets and maybe it was included?? I guess I got lucky as the eye relief seems fine for me as is. The pbase website is a place where you pay a nominal fee to post galleries of pix. I used it a lot when I was doing and selling a lot of landscape, wildlife, and bird pix. Here’s a shot from a few years back, I’m the guy on the right. Between the two of us there was about $40000.00 worth of equipment on the tripods 🙂


        • Kevin in CT
          Now that’s some nice photo equipment there.

          And hopefully you can use that site some more to post some air gun related things.

          Like some group’s from your TX.

          • I surely will, I took it to my friend;s last night an we did some banging away (only about 11 yards) in his basement. The scope was very near sighted in so it didn’t take much to get it hitting where it should. The trigger is great and at that distance is was no mean feat to put all the pellets into one hole 🙂

            My club has an outdoor range with berms various ranges so when we get a bit warmer day I’ll bring it up there.

            • Kevin in CT
              Well it looks like your enjoying your TX.

              And make sure you post some pictures of the shooting range you go to. I like seeing how the different ranges are set up.

              Well and have fun with your TX. 🙂

          • Hi Fred, they are Nikon 600mm F4 lenses and if memory serves there were teleconverters attached to them. Vin & I were at a photography class being taught in Greene County NY.

  7. B.B.,

    Do spring piston rifles often require scope adjustments to maintain zero?

    I often make minor scope adjustments to rezero my spring piston rifles. By comparison, my Discovery PCP maintains its zero day-to-day and month-to-month.

    I’ve had several quality scopes on these rifles, and this characteristic seems unrelated to the scopes. I use scope stops on them, and there is no evidence the scope is moving. Barrel droop doesn’t seem to be the problem either. I’ve wondered if spring piston recoil and vibration simply shakes the erector tube and requires these many small corrections. I try hard to consistently hold the rifles the same- I know its important.



    • I have noticed this phenomenon as well on more than one rifle, both springers and pcp’s. Every few months, especially with temp/season changes or transportation in a case, it seems that I need to re-zero the rifle with minor adjustments. I clean the barrel with cleaning pellets first or sometimes pull patches through the barrel. I have re-zeroed a rifle before cleaning only to have to undo the scope changes after cleaning. Springers tend to generate more barrel fouling from lubricant blow off.
      If you have used a lot of elevation in your scope, such as two or more full turns, the spring pressure in the erector tube is reduced, making it easier for vibration to change the zero.

    • RB,

      Barrel dropp IS the problem if the elevation adjustment knob is up around the 3/4 mark. When it’s up there, the erector tube spring are so relaxed that the tube does vibrate from shot t9 shot, and that causes scope shift.

      At least you know how to fix it!


        • Other than a special mount, I have added a small rectangular shim cut from a plastic drink bottle, placed inside the bottom of the rear ring, that lifts the scope tube slightly. This allows you to crank the elevation back down some and regain spring compression inside the erector tube. I learned that trick right here on this blog.

          Good Luck

      • B.B., Did you ever get around to trying the Burris Pos-Align rings? The 1″ rings provide a lot of adjustment and, while offering only half as much adjustment range as the 1″ rings, the 30 mm rings can usually get you out of the “erector spring woods” too, so to speak. The Burris rings provide a reliable and simple solution, if you have a Weaver or Picatinny rail (or that clever UTG Dovetail to Picatinny, “DTP” adapter) or compatible gun for the few other bases Burris offers. If the UTG DTP fits the Diana dovetail (the Diana tube might be too round), I think it would be an interesting combination to try.

    • Ed,

      I have them and I WILL test them. Not on a rifle like this one — it droops too much.

      But they take time to install and I have to think about that. Not only do I write 5 blogs each week, I also keep up wotj several social media sites by posting several comments each day and I write for several magazines. The Diana 23 I took apart this week happened only because I caught up on all my deadlines for a day.


      • BB, I think this rifle needs to repaired or replaced. That is way over the top for droop. Diana show not let one like that out of the factory. I really like Diana rifles, I have three of them. But, they really need to address the issue of droop.


      • Oh…okay–I see you have the offset insert rings, B.B. (“Pos-Align”). You may be surprised how much they will save in clicks. Even the 30 mm rings using a 4″ ring spacing and two 0.010″ inserts provide:

        arctan 0.020 / 4 = 17.2 MOA or about one turn of a typical elevation knob! You get 30 MOA, if you can use 3″ ring spacing instead of 4″.

        The 1″ rings provide twice this amount of adjustment, because they provide 0.020″ inserts. If you are in a hurry and just wan’t to correct droop, simply put the thick inserts in the bottom of the back ring and top of the front ring, even with the ring mating surface edges, and put the corresponding thick inserts in the other halves (which you know already). You can forget about the Burris instructions for this quick droop fix, though the instructions are valuable when your goal is optical centering. With a droopy Diana 34, you really can’t go wrong (run out “down POI” scope adjustment) with this quick and simple approach.

  8. Maybe it’s just me, but I find drooping barrels unacceptable. I mean 21″ @ 20 yards! It may be the norm for a lot of break barrels, but it shouldn’t. I mean good grief, when you buy a gun you’d think someone at the factory tested it (Germany of all places at that). Looking at it from a I can hit the target right out of the box, a new Crosman 760 would beat that! I would not buy a German BMW expecting to have to put a transmission kit in it to get out of first gear. Please don’t get me wrong, I know RWS and other are fine airguns, I just think a rifle should not come from the factory with droop. I think it should be taken care of at the factory level and not left to be addressed by the customer. Bradly

    • Bradly,

      Okay, you are missing something here. We are talking about a gun that has been scoped. Diana breakbarrel spring guns have both the front and rear sight on the barrel, so they are never misaligned this much. Only when they are scoped do you run into these problems.

      This has been going on since air rifles were first scoped and it probably will always be with us.


      • This barrel droop problem and spring piston shake are THE reasons that I am only going to buy PCP, multipump or co2 guns in the future. If you want a break barrel, then make it into a bullpup with the scope mounted on the barrel using special rings. Then all that you have to contend with is the amount shake that the spring mechanism affects the innards of the scope and POA of the gun.

        I have just spent $ 2500 for 2 air tanks, a shoebox F8 compressor and Porter Cable pancake primary compressor. I know, that is a lot of money, but it is a long term investment. I’ll keep my Hill pump, just in case all else fails.

        I have already purchased 2 ea 2240 pistols for conversion to longer barrels, hipak, steel receivers with scopes and wire stocks.

        • B-Dtx
          You will like your Shoebox. And yep still got my Hill pump. And sold my 2240 hi-pac conversions. But they were cool guns.

          I think your about to have some fun. 🙂

      • B.B. I am sorry. I wasn’t thinking about that. In fact I wasn’t thinking. I was picturing the barrel breaking right after the rear sight. I should have know better. I own a break barrel and have shot some of my friends, but not a RWS 34. I was wrong, I stand corrected. Good to know stuff like I was talking about isn’t going out the door! At least not on a reg. basis. Bradly

    • Reb
      Let me know if that works out what we talked about on the phone.

      That scope was on a 1377 with a disco barrel and breech and a 1399 stock. So I think I had about 2 turns of up adjustment in the scope. I didn’t center the adjustment before I sent it to you.

      So I wouldn’t shim the scope. You should be safe to put at least 2 turns of down adjustment in the scope. Maybe even more without worry.

      Let me know after you shoot it.

  9. Hello BB. I hope you’re having a wonderful day. It’s the 15th… Wasn’t there a rifle you tested a month ago that would outperform many in its class, that you were going to share with us today. Something new? A mystery rifle?

  10. Just wondering BB,, if you are testing premium pellets against bargain pellets,, and want an accurate test of their capabilities,, why use an air rifle that is hold sensitive? Why not use your tx200,, or better yet,, almost any PCP?

    • Edlee,

      I said in Part 1 of the pellet comparison test that I was using the Diana instead of the TX200 because the Diana is more like the rifles most shooters will have. This test relates to what they will actually experience when they use premium and bargain pellets. I also invited all readers to try the test in their own rifles.

      Sure I could also test these same pellets in a PCP, which would answer the question as far as PCPs are concerned. Maybe I will later on.


    • Zim, LOL, yes I am. I should have worded that a differently. I pretty much butcher up the English Language all the time. When I go back later and read what I’ve wrote/typed, I think my goodness, I did that? Just like earlier I posted ” I should have know that”. Instead of known. Sometimes you just have to learn to laugh at yourself.

  11. Hi everybody…

    The Diana 34P (known as 31 Panther in Germany) was my first serious airgun (after toying around with airsoft and BB guns which didn’t really satisfy me).

    I found that it works well with these pellets:

    -Umarex Cobra
    -H&N Baracuda
    -JSB Exact

    It’s ok with:

    -RWS Geco

    It’s not so great with:

    H&N Sport

    I’ve modified my rifle a bit (added some weight to the butt of the stock to make it less muzzle-heavy; filled the cavities in the stock next to the system with compressed pellets) which makes the rifle a little quieter, more stable to aim and less hold-sensitive.

    This is a fine air rifle with a great trigger but I don’t like the fibre-optics and the plastic front sight. The metal globe front sight of older Dianas was much more rugged. I already broke one front sight by bumping into something with the rifle. The older metal front sights are much nicer.

    At the moment, this is the rifle I shoot the tightest groups with from a rested position, even better than the old FWB 300 S I have, but the Diana does have a scope on it and the FWB has the stock diopter sights.
    Shooting from an off-hand position, I like the FWB’s thicker stock better, but the group sizes I get are similar even though the Diana recoils and the FWB doesn’t.
    The FWB is a marvel of engineering and extremely well-made. Mine is 40 years old and looks great apart from some minor scratches in the stock, but it was sold at several times the price of the 34P when it was still available…

    Take my observations with a grain of salt though, since I’m not a great shot. My groups at 9m (length of my home “shooting range”) are slightly better than BB’s at 25 yards 🙂

    Kind regards,

  12. Hey BB I have an off-topic question. It has been about 26 degrees where I live and I’ve had some time off work. I kinda have to shoot when the opportunity arises so my question is will shooting a break barrel springer in cold weather damage it? I’d be shooting an XS28 that’s been tuned but my question is for any springer. I’ve read about the nitrogen filled gas springs that apparently aren’t affected by the cold, so does a metal spring lose power or could it break the spring all together. I have found a lot of stories and opinions on the matter so I figured I would just ask you. Thank you. Caleb

  13. Better late than ever? Colt Single Acton Army BB gun? U.S. Marshals Museum Gun Unveiled on Wednesday announced it will partner with Umarex USA to offer a limited edition commemorative air-gun of the Colt Single Action Army Revolver, also know as the “gun that won the west.” Limited edition Colt Peacemaker at a limited capacity! The gun will display a U.S. Marshals emblem in the grips with numbered consecutively one to 500! Okay and so on will be sold at gun-show in Las Vegas later this month! First come first served basis to dealers at the Shooting Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show! The pistols wilt be retailed at $199.00 How about them apples?

    • Joe,

      Good question. The metal wasn’t finished as well as it is today. The stock was wood only, and the wood had that melted look that European airguns sometimes have. The powerplant was buzzier. It felt like Diana was sacrificing everything to get velocity. Those old mainsprings used to break at both ends after 1000 shots or so.

      The sights were better on the older guns, but in those days nobody had fiberoptic sights.


  14. Gunfun
    I think Crosman and I hate to say it but Gamo are the most likely candidates for parts interchangeability between models as their spring guns are very similar in design and are all Chinese made from the same factory most likely so the to me are the small block chevy of the air gun world.

    Xisico/Shanghia also makes several guns that are close if not direct copies of other guns such as the TX/B40, crosman 160?Qb 79/79s and Diana 42/48 and TS-45s. granted some are much closer copies such as the TX/B40 than others are but the old crosman 160 CO2 gun that is no made and the QB 78/79 are just about like the TX/B40 in that most of their parts interchange also just look on Archer air guns to see what parts fit both guns

    So there are some out their that can be repaired with cross branded parts and I would say it is mostly linked to Chinese copies or Chinese guns made for other companies to rebrand with their name like Gamo and Crosman.


    • Buldawg
      Post that link if you can about the air gun diagrams. I don’t think you posted it above. That’s got a lot of info that can be Crosman referenced if parts swapping was needed.

      • Suppose to say cross referenced. Not Crosman. And I do have my spell check turned off on my phone.

        Hmm maybe it is a smart phone. Maybe its learning how to turn features off and on. My phones alive!

      • Gunfun
        Not a problem and getting ready to shoot the B40 some more at the white paper with on it like you said but it is very windy with gust up to 25+ mph so I am not expecting to really do good sighting wise just want more rounds thru it so I can recheck to make sure fps has settled in before I start my tuning for zero recoil like your TX.


          • Buldawg
            I knew what you meant. And yep that helps you see the reticle better that way. The white paper with a black X drawn on it. Not a black cross. Definatly better than the colors switched.

            Some people use the black cross on white paper Also to overlay the reticle on the black cross to keep the cant true. But I like using a black X the best. That way I cases the X and all of the scope reticle. And I make sure the reticle is level or in other words no leaning or cant as its called.

            And yep a little windy here today. At least its still suppose to make 55 degrees today. It was 60 yesterday. It feels like summertime after all that single digit weather we been having here. But yep going out to shoot too.

              • Gunfun
                I knew what you meant as well.

                I just got done shooting about 200 more pellets thru the 40 and it was way to windy to even think of sighting it in at 35 yards as the wind was blowing the 10.5 CPs up and sideways as much as three inches at times so it would be impossible to sight accurately but I was mainly just putting pellets down the barrel to get the seal broke in and settled down.


                • Buldawg
                  And was messing around today with different shapes drawn on a white piece of paper with a black marker and I got my best groups with just a black dot about the diameter of a .25 cal. pellet. Basically a .250″ black dot on the white paper.

                  As long as I kept the reticle level I got my best groups aiming at the small dot.

                  So maybe try that the next time along with the black X on the white paper.

                    • What’s up TT.

                      Yea yellow and back is good too.

                      White paper is rel good in low light conditions when its cloudy out. Its almost like the paper us lit up when you look through a scope. Sometimes its to bright when its sunny out.

                      But Yea its amazing how color matching will improve your guns group’s.

                      As they say you got to be able to see what you hit. And you have to be able to see the reticle as well.

  15. Tom, Thanks for doing this blog! Btw, I just finished doing a writeup of my experience with my BSA GRT Supersport SE in .22 caliber on the GTA forum and I have target photos, rifle photos and chrony results.

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