Diana 340 N-TEC Classic air rifle: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana N-TEC 340 Classic
Diana 340 N-TEC 340 air rifle

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

This report covers:

  • Scoping a drooper
  • Firing cycle is smooth and quick
  • Trigger takes some learning
  • Artillery hold
  • First group
  • Second group
  • Third group
  • I was pleased!
  • Artillery hold abandoned — the fourth group
  • The bottom line

Boy, has this test turned out to be an eye opener! I had hoped that the Diana 340 N-TEC Classic would not disappoint, and believe me — it didn’t!

Scoping a drooper

Today, I’ll test the rifle scoped at 25 yards. I mounted an AirForce 4-16x scope in UTG Quick Lock Max Strength high Weaver rings; but this is a Diana air rifle, and that means the scope base on the rifle is proprietary. Knowing Diana’s reputation for drooper barrels, I also mounted a prototype UTG drooper scope base on the rifle. They aren’t supposed to fit, but this one did, perhaps because it’s a prototype and not the same as the bases they sell.

Even with the drooper base, the rifle still shot too low at 25 yards. The drooper base I chose has a shallow droop angle, so I think the 340 N-TEC either needs a drooper base with a steeper angle or an adjustable scope mount to compensate. At least, the rifle I’m testing needs that.

Firing cycle is smooth and quick

I’d forgotten how smooth and quick the firing cycle of the 340 N-TEC is. When the gun fires, it seems like the pellet is already at the target 75 feet away. The rifle is dead calm, like something that comes from a top tuner’s shop. And there’s no aggressive slap in the face from the cheekpiece like you get from most rifles with powerful gas springs. The shot is just solid, fast and pleasant — the way we expect spring rifles to be, although very few ever are.

Trigger takes some learning

The trigger, on the other hand, requires getting used to. It’s vague and light. The rifle fires before you’re ready. The best solution is not to touch the trigger until you’re ready to let the shot go.

Artillery hold

I used an artillery hold, with my off hand slid forward to the point that the rear of the cocking slot was touching my palm. This is a good hold for stability.

First group

After sighting-in the first group I fired was with JSB Exact Heavy 10.34-grain domes. I saw that they did well in the 10-meter test, and I felt they were a good pellet to begin with. Boy — was that an understatement! The first 10 pellets went into 0.492 inches at 25 yards! That may be the best group I’ve ever shot from a powerful gas-spring rifle at 25 yards. I can’t remember a better one.

Diana N-TEC 340 Classic JSB group 1
The Diana 340 N-TEC Classic put 10 JSB 10.34-grain domes in 0.492 inches at 25 yards on the first target.

I have to tell you that I was impressed by the way this rifle shot. It seemed to need very little in the way of special holding technique, and, where most gas-spring rifles would have scattered their shots into a one-inch pattern at 25 yards, this rifle seemed to want to stack one pellet on top of another. I got the feeling that this is a natural shooter — that rare airgun that just wants to put all the pellets into the same place. More testing would tell the story.

Second group

Next, I tried some H&N Baracuda with the 4.52mm heads. I have no good reason for choosing this pellet except I wanted to see how something different would do. Ten pellets went into 0.641 inches at 25 yards. That’s not as good as the JSBs, but it’s still not too shabby.

Diana N-TEC 340 Classic Baracuda group
Ten H&N Baracudas Match pellets with 4.52mm heads went into this 0.641-inch group at 25 yards.

Like the first group, I was getting the sensation that this rifle wanted to put every pellet where it was aimed. Although the pellets landed in a larger group, none of them surprised me by flying erratically, the way pellets from powerful gas-spring rifles often do. I was starting to realize that the 340 N-TEC is a very stable air rifle.

I thought I would shoot just one more group of JSB pellets. This time there would be no excuses. I would hold each shot perfectly.

Third group

And that’s exactly what I did. The second group was also small, at 0.544 inches between centers. That’s slightly bigger than the first group, although the difference is so small that it could just be a measurement error. I’d obviously reached my limit with this rifle and pellet.

Diana N-TEC 340 Classic JSB group 3
Ten JSB Exact Heavy pellets made this 0.544-inch group at 25 yards the second time around.

I was pleased!

This is the first time in all my years of testing airguns that I’ve shot a powerful gas-spring rifle that is also neutral to hold. I knew the lower-powered gas-spring guns were pretty forgiving, but not the magnums — which the 340 N-TEC certainly is.

And that’s when I got a crazy idea. What if this rifle is so neutral that it’ll even shoot when rested directly on a sandbag? As in, no artillery hold?  Is such a thing possible? Until this test, I would not have thought so. But this 340 N-TEC acts like it wants to shoot, so I gave it a try.

Artillery hold abandoned — the fourth group

Lo and behold, I put 11 shots — not 10, but 11 — into 0.732 inches at 25 yards, with the rifle rested directly on the sandbag. I miscounted the shots, which is where the extra shot came from. This is the powerful spring rifle many of you said you wanted — one that’s neutral to hold. Well, here it is! And it’s powerful, relatively easy to cock (for a powerful gas-spring rifle, that is) and it has a light trigger.

Diana N-TEC 340 Classic JSB group 3
Eleven JSB Exact Heavy pellets made this 0.732-inch group at 25 yards the second time around. I miscounted the shots.

My complaints are few. First, the trigger is too vague. It certainly doesn’t perform like a Diana T06 trigger. But look at the groups I was able to shoot. Obviously, you can do good work with this trigger.

Second, I don’t like the excessive barrel droop. You have to plan on that going in. Otherwise, the 340 N-TEC is a world-beater.

The bottom line

I’m so glad I selected the least expensive 340 N-TEC to test for you. This is an affordable gas-spring hunting rifle that’s within reach of a lot of airgunners. If you haven’t made the switch to pneumatic rifles yet because you’re holding out hope that a good springer will come along — here it is. I don’t know that every 340 N-TEC will be as good as the one I tested, but I’m guessing this one is representative. Good on ya, Diana!

76 thoughts on “Diana 340 N-TEC Classic air rifle: Part 4


  1. Those are some nice groups! Especially that last one being rested on the bag, very respectable!
    I tried to go back and look at part 2 and received a request to sign in for guest access, What’s up with that?


    • Reb,

      I went back and looked at all 3 previous parts, (before) reading your comment, and just clicked on the 1,2,3 links at the very top. It opened up another window, but it worked.

      “Smart” phone again?



      • Hi Edith,I gave up trying,Every time I try I get the same message
        “Sign in when I do it asks for my id info when I put it in it in I’m
        told there is no record of me.Then I try to change info and I’m
        told the email already exists and won’t let me change or accept
        my old id.That’s is the glitch.


        • Michael,

          Your user name on your post is listed as Michael Machael. However, when I looked up your email address (which I can see on the admin side), you have a different user name. That’s why it doesn’t recognize you. If you like, I can send the user name to your email address.

          Edith



          • Reb,

            Your problem may be different than Michael’s, as I stated to him that the user info he’s using on the blog comments doesn’t match the user info he provided when he initially signed up for his user account.

            Edith



  2. For all the fine engineering and manufacturing quality that goes into Diana rifles, I don’t understand why they can’t design out the droop. If it isn’t an intentional design feature, then it’s as if the powerplant design group and the barrel design group are designing to different reference points, and never talk to each other. Does the lock-up mechanism ‘wear in’ over time and reduce the droop? A $450 rifle should not need extraordinary measures to properly scope.


    • DryCreek Rob
      When I worked at Harley in their test facility here in Alabama right next to the super speedway. I had the same thoughts and frustrations as we would get new prototype bikes in to test and it was obvious that the different design engineering departments did not have a clue as to what the other was designing. Take for instance chassis engineers were designing a chassis for a given platform of bike and the suspension engineers had no clue as to what actual changes or updates the chassis department had done so we would get prototype shocks or front forks in to install and test and when trying to install them on the designated bikes they did not fit or fit very poorly or incorrectly.

      That is just one example of some of the issues we had to deal with and I can assure you it is not limited to vehicle manufactures alone as it is prevalent in any production environment. Another problem is you have engineers being promoted or leaving to take other jobs at different companies and when that happens there is a void in the communication flow that can take weeks to months to correct and bring all the different engineering department back on the same page.

      I saw it first hand being a research and development mechanic on the front line for Harley in testing and development of the new model bikes and P&A accessories for those new model year bikes as we were testing 2 and 3 years ahead of what was being released and sold to the public at any given time.

      I got the job there in 1998 to help in the testing of the fuel injected Vrod bike that was not released for sale until 2001.

      BD


  3. The massive droop has got me really thinking, I own a Diana 52, a Diana 38 and an HW35….and though the first two require more upwards adjustment…it’s still well within the parameters of the scopes I use. Do scopes from different manufacturers have a different amount of internal adjustment?…..it sort of stands to reason they probably do, but maybe it can be a wider gulf than I thought
    I use Nikko Sterling mountmaster scopes, I’ve got 4 of them and an RWS 3-9×40 and I honestly don’t really have this problem, though checking my Diana’s I can see they are adjusted further up…but not a problem being on target at 30m with plenty of adjustment to go.


    • Part of the problem, I’m fairly sure, is the short range zero used for air guns.

      Scopes are commonly sold with something like 1/4″ per click at 100 yard adjustments. On a firearm, with a short 100yd zero, 12 clicks moves the PoI 3 inches.

      Airgun at 25 yards? 12 clicks only moves the PoI 0.75 inches. Consider that even a low-mounted scope is going to be 1-1.5 inches above the bore, and even a “non-drooping” barrel is going to take half the available elevation range of the scope just to compensate for scope height.

      I doubt any company would design a gun where the bore line is angled upward relative to the top of the frame where the scope mounts, and that the pellet is dropping from the moment it leaves the muzzle, you now need even more scope adjustment to reach that zero.

      This is all with a perfectly aligned frame/bore so the scope axis is parallel with the bore axis.

      NOW add the inherent effect of a break barrel, when the breech seal is going to be pushing the barrel forward away from the compression chamber, and its hence going to be rotating downward…


  4. B.B.

    Nice groups ! The trigger and droop would be bothersome. But,..it,..and you,..can shoot !

    Your hold (progression) confused me a bit. I thought that the steadiness of (rested) holds progressed in this order…..

    3) Tight
    2) Artillery hold
    1) Rifle rested directly on bag, no hand……(being the most steady). The rifle can still move, but would eliminate human contact at the forearm.

    Unless I missed something along the way in my studies ? I switched to 1) recently and my groups did tighten up on repeated basis.

    Thanks, Chris


  5. Great! Finally a gas sproinger that shoots great! This is causing serious confusion with the short list. I would have to go with the Luxus so as to have a walnut stock and not have those glowy thingy sights, but that is just personal preference.

    I certainly do hope this shows the rest of the air rifle manufacturers that it can be done! I hope this air rifle sells well to emphasize that if you do it right, we will pay for it.


  6. Hi folks…

    This doesn’t look half bad…

    Any idea where this one was built? Is it one of the last Rastatt ones? If not, it would show that they can still make accurate guns.

    Is building barrels more of an arcane art or is it engineering that just requires common knowledge and good material?

    I wonder about the trigger, though… Shouldn’t a T06 work with a gas spring if you shape the piston accordingly? I hope it’s not because the T06 is just too expensive to make.

    Stephan



      • B.B.,

        As I understand it, you do not believe this is a T06 trigger(see Part 2). It certainly doesn’t behave as one. However, Diana says it is the T06 trigger. I think some sort of explanation should be provided by Diana. Especially if other owner’s of a N-Tec rifle believe as you do.

        If CptKlotz is right about the T06 being expensive to build that means we are paying for something we are apparently not getting. However, if you think the trigger is equal to the T06 but different then I guess it doesn’t matter. I have to leave that judgment to you as I have not shot one of these rifles.

        G&G


        • I have to clarify that I was speculating. As far as I know, the T06 is fairly sophisticated with many moving parts. It’s also very good in my opinion.

          I could imagine that some bean counters might consider substituting something cheaper because the buyers “won’t notice” and maybe triggers aren’t as “marketable” as other, more exciting components (unless customers are educated).

          But again, I have no actual knowledge about this. I also did notice that, according to the catalog, the N-Tec has a T06… Weird…







                • Just pondering

                  I’m wondering if some of the confusion could be in the definition of “trigger”…

                  Most here are using it to refer to the entire system from the trigger blade through the sear to include the part that hooks onto the piston.

                  But if one only considers the “trigger” to be the blade/sear interface, and NOT the sear/piston interface, it is quite possible to declare that a gun has the same trigger, even though the rest of the action is different.


                  • Wulfraed,

                    To make matters worse, I’ve talked to vendors who think the trigger is only the trigger blade, not a multi-part unit. FWIW, the same thing happens when I talk to them about sling swivel studs and loops. They say the gun comes with sling swivels. In fact, they usually come with studs, swivels and loops.

                    Much is lost in the language when you have suppliers who are unfamiliar with gun-related terms and don’t know much about shooting. For each vendor I communicate with, I have to remember which ones are gun-savvy and know the basics and which ones are just collecting a paycheck and reading from a sheet someone else supplied…and they can’t tell if the info is wrong or right.

                    Edith



                • G&G,

                  I see the problem. I was using the info I got at the 2015 SHOT Show for the specs for each gun. Unfortunately, that info is wrong or incomplete. I just went to their website and found that many of the guns have T06 triggers…modified or otherwise. Here’s the page with all their guns. I’ve just edited all the 340 N-TEC descriptions on Pyramyd Air’s website if the original trigger description didn’t jive with what I found on Diana’s website.

                  This is what happens when I write up new products. Vendors provide incorrect info because the product isn’t in the production phase, so they’re guessing at the specs. It’s not unusual for 50% of the info I was given to be wrong.

                  Even worse, designs change as time passes and no one tells retailers that there’s a change. The world of airguns still lives in the 1950s, where every item is sold in a retail store, so why should the suppliers care if there’s a change? After all, the correct info is printed on the box.

                  In line with the mood of today’s blog topic, I have many complaints about suppliers who have not entered the 21st century. In fact, my email and phone requests for correct info or updated info results in zero response from most suppliers. I can count on one hand the suppliers who are responsive.

                  Rant over!

                  Edith




  7. B.B.,

    There was a lot of advice from readers in part 3 of this series about the trigger adjustment. Someone even linked a video. Did you attempt to adjust the trigger again on this Diana 340 N-TEC after part 3?

    kevin



  8. I borrowed a beat up Crossman TR 77 with a 4x Centerpoint scope from the owner of the gun range of that I shot at and was able to shoot inch and a half groups at 50 yards when I figured out where the gun was shooting. I was never able to do that with my Benjamin Nitro Piston with a lighter trigger. Although the Benjamin had a much smoother,shorter, firing cycle than the spring powered tr77, the gas piston seemed to have a tightly focused jolt that seemed to throw off the shot more. That’s why I ordered the xs46u with a spring instead of a gas piston.




  9. B.B., after reading this review, I think you should revisit the Trail NP2. Mine really likes the JSB Exact Jumbo Heavies, 18.13 grain. With 14 – 16 grain pellets (CPHP or JSB) it is no where near as consistent or accurate as with the heavier ones. I think you will be pleasantly surprised. As always a great write-up on the Diana.
    Ken


  10. I think what is needed are fully adjustable scope rings. Something like the old B Square rings. They could then be used on any air rifle. There would be no need for a drooper base for each type of rifle. Now, if you are going to use the rifle with the open sights or perhaps with a aperture sight with a lot of adjustment………no problem!

    Mike


  11. So, the gun shoots as well with and without the artillery hold. How strange. Nice shooting.

    Wulfraed, okay, I am convinced of the virtues of the bolt-hold open feature and will try to incorporate it into operating my Saiga.

    Tyler and Ridgerunner, thanks for the info on the S200. Yes, you almost always get what you pay for. It’s a question of whether it is worth it which is probably a personal question.

    Does anyone like laminated stocks? I understand that they are built with a kind of self-reinforcement that makes them stiffer and therefore more accurate. But those colors!? They are psychedelic.

    Matt61


    • While a hold open feature is a plus, I would leave the Saiga as is unless you think you might really have to use it in a fight someday.

      My Walther LGM 2 Match Rifle has a laminated stock, it is very well done!

      Mike


    • Matt61,

      I like the laminated stocks. I do not have one, but would not discount them as an option if one was given. The colors are nice. Yes, they HAVE to be less susceptible to any warp age, and stronger as well.

      The end grain on the S510 does not even look real. I mean it almost has too consistent of a pattern to be wood. Almost like carbon fiber. BUT, the side grain is unmistakably wood.

      Chris


    • Matt 61,

      As a rule I am not crazy about them. However, my TM1000 has a black and gray laminated benchrest stock and it looks very nice. It’s the lamination itself that gives the wood such strength. Laminated wood beams can be made to span very long distances up to roughly 100′ though most are a bit shorter and a few are longer.

      I do not like the laminated stocks Air Arms is using, at least not in the pictures. I may be surprised if I saw one in person. Their walnut stocks are usually amazing. Especially the one on the S510 Limited Edition. I’m gonna end up breaking down and getting that one. I can’t stop looking at it but I am fighting it right now. I would like to know if the barrels are an upgrade on the standard ones.

      G&G


    • I wouldn’t go out of my way to /add/ a hold-open feature to a gun that doesn’t already have it…

      Unless you expect to annoy a bull moose at 50 yards with your last shot, and need to get a magazine swap in place and chambered before it runs you over!

      My Browning A-Bolt II Varminter has grey/black laminated, with a wide beavertail — given the name, it is expected to be sitting on a padded rest… Weighs a ton (or — as much as my HK-91 if not more).



        • And is the only gun I had to explicitly list on the firearms insurance — since Blue Book put it (with accessories) near $2500… All the others still fall under the “need to list” limit (though I may need to raise my total coverage another $1000 to cover the Marlin 1894)


    • A glock has a last round hold open like an AR15.

      I second leaving the saiga alone, because unlike a glock or AR15, if the magazine holds the bolt open on an AK- the bolt still rides home as soon as you pull the magazine. So when you insert a new mag, you still have to cycle the bolt manually.

      An AR15 holds the bolt open on last round. You can’t squeeze the trigger and know the magazine is empty, so you index your trigger finger on the mag release and press it. At this time the mag falls free and your left hand should already be moving a new loaded magazine into the magazine well. When that mag is seated your left hand can slide up the magazine well and your left thumb pushes the bolt release sending the bolt forward and chambering a round.

      You are now ready to go- without having to take your right hand off the pistol grip, and without having to so much as glance at your rifle. That isn’t going to happen with an AK, unless there is some adapter.

      You eventually “know” your bolt is held open without trying to fire again. Also, in 3 shot burst, your first round will be single and your last a two shot burst.

      A glock is even better- slam the bottom of the loaded magazine up, and the slide jumps forward without you manually releasing it.



  12. B.B.,

    I was not going to ask,…but I have to….Why would you test the Bullseye ZR on a PCP ? I figured you would use the meanest, nastiest, scope breaking springer you could find.

    As a side thought, maybe a dial indicator, but not sure how well that would work.

    Chris


  13. I’ve found on my spring rifles, their preferred hold is right over the balance point in the field target sitting position, set in such a way so it can recoil straight back. Hard to learn, but they really like it.


  14. Will RWS/Diana ever make a sidelever cocking gun with a gas spring? I have a Model 52 in .22 and a 48 in .177 and I would love to see a fixed barrel with a gas spring. Both of my guns are very accurate and powerful(taken a few woodchucks out of my garden) and I can’t help but feel that is due to the fixed barrel(less moving parts= more consistency).


    • KimK,

      Welcome to the blog.

      All I can tell you is that Tom Gore, the owner of Vortek, looked at making a gas spring for the Diana sidelevers back in the 1990s. Of course it is the Diana trigger that presents the problem. It is a center-latch unit and a side-latch trigger is required.

      But I will say this. Vortek makes tuning kits for Diana springers that feel like gas springs. They are free from all vibration. Maybe that is a solution?

      B.B.


  15. Hi another question.Im about to buy a crosman 400 and im curius if the crosman 2260 main tube fit the crosman 400 and also can the crosman 400 be used as HPA and whats the max psi i can pump into it.

    as always thank you for your quick responds and advices.


  16. Hi there BB. I read your blog frequently and have learned a lot about shooting air rifles. I wanted to share my experiencie with the 340 Premium. At first I was disappointed for it tended to lock up pellets in the barrel when shooting (after 10 or so shots, wham! it sounded like a firearm). Since returning it was impossible (I live overseas), I tried everything. It so happened that it was extremely barrel-cleaning sensitive. Afterar cleaning it a lot, it began shooting perfectly. In fact, being an amateur, I can shoot (bench rested) 10/10 shots inside a dime at 20 yards and that is using a Walther reflex sight. However, as in other models, the trigger is indeed too light, even when turning it to maximum pull. I wonder if you could point me as to how can I change the screw as other posters have shown that it corrects the problem.
    Best regards,
    Claudio


  17. Hi BB,

    Although there are many similarity between this gun and the 350 magnum n-tec, I am anxiously waiting for your hands-on review of the 350 n-tec. Got mine last week and totally love it; but nevertheless I really like to have your review and opinion.

    Regards,
    Moe.


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