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Checking out a Diana RWS 34P: Part 6

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

Diana 34P
The Diana RWS 34P is a classic breakbarrel spring-piston air rifle.

This report covers:

  • Drooper
  • Sight in
  • The groups
  • One last time
  • Different pellets
  • RWS Superdomes
  • BKL adjustable scope mount
  • Summary

Today I scope Geo791’s Diana RWS 34P and shoot it for accuracy at 25 yards. We already know this rifle is accurate from the test with open sights. Today we discover how much it droops and whether enough correction is possible. Let’s start with the scope mount.


I suspected this rifle was a drooper just because it’s a Diana 34. Most breakbarrels droop and all of the Diana 34s I have seen have had severe barrel droop. With some breakbarrels you can put shims under the rear of the scope to elevate it a little, but with this model shims usually don’t work — the droop is too great. If you used enough shims to raise it as high as it needs to go, you would damage the scope tube. So, I start out with a scope mount that’s made for a drooper. In this case I used the BKL 1-piece adjustable scope mount with 1-inch rings, because George has a scope with a one-inch tube. If this works I plan to send his rifle back to him with this mount installed, so all he has to do is mount his scope in the rings and sight in.

Sight in

Once the mount was installed I mounted an obsolete Centerpoint 3-9X40 AO scope that was reasonably close to George’s Hawke 3-9X50 AO. His objective bell is larger, so I will leave extra room for it above the spring tube. When the scope is mounted in a drooped position (tilting down in front), the clearance of the objective bell over the spring tube decreases.

On my first several shots I discovered that George’s 34 is an extreme drooper — similar to my own rifle that drops 21 inches in 20 yards. That answers reader GunFun1’s question about the amount of droop. Like I predicted, droop was probably the cause of those wild shots George was getting. But allow me to show you what I mean, and you will see why shims alone will not work on this rifle.

BKL adjustable mount shows adjustment
BKL’s adjustable drooper mount saved the day. Look how high the rear ring (right) had to be raised to get the scope on the target! I will say more about this mount in a bit.

This sight-in took a long time because I was trying to zero the scope so the groups would show against a bull. I shot just the JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy pellets that did so well in Part 3. Why experiment when you already know the answer? Or, so I thought! As it turned out there was a surprise coming, but let’s continue for now.

I shot over 30 pellets zeroing the scope and also refining the hold. I finally ended up with what I believe is the best hold for this rifle. The rifle lies on the palm of my off hand, which is my left hand. The heel of that hand just touches the front of the triggerguard and my left index finger is in the rear of the very long cocking slot. I can feel when the hold is right this way, so it’s easy to hold the rifle the same every time, and that is the key to shooting a recoiling spring-piston air rifle. This is the technique that has to be learned for most recoling spring-piston air rifles, and especially for the Diana 34.

The groups

I had shot so many shots at the sight-in target that I had to put up a freash target to shoot the groups. The first group measured 0.993-inches and is vertical. It’s well-centered but it seemed as if varying pressure against my shoulder was stringing the shots vertically.

Diana 34P JSB group 1
Ten shots at 25 yards went into this vertical 0.993-inch group.

I tried to get the pressure against my shoulder consistent for the next group of JSB Exact Jumbo Heavys. This time 10 went into 1.096-inches. This one is also vertical , but only because of a single shot. I wish I could remember which one it was or how I was holding the rifle, because the other 9 shots are in 0.717-inches! Was I onto something?

Diana 34P JSB group 2
Ten shots at 25 yards went into this vertical 1.096-inch group, but 9 are in 0.717-inches.

Okay, what was I doing right and what was I doing wrong? If the pressure into the shoulder was the secret I would try to perfect it. I still held the rifle on the flat of my hand, touching the triggerguard in back and with my index finger in the cocking slot.

The next 10 shots gave me a very vertical 1.083-inch group. Aww, shucks!

Diana 34P JSB group 3
Ten shots at 25 yards went into this vertical 1.083-inch group. I’m trying too hard!

George, I hope you have noticed that all my groups are about the same size with no spurious fliers — fliers that land inches away. Your rifle is accurate, but I still wasn’t doing something right. After this test was finished I re-read the last test with open sights, where I see the same sort of groups. But I hadn’t done that at this point.

One last time

Okay, this wasn’t working out. I was shooting good groups; they were just not great. I shot better with open sights than I’m shooting with a scope. The problem was, I was trying too hard. When it’s this hard to shoot well you are either doing something wrong or else something other than you isn’t right.

I shot one final group pf JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy pellets. Remember — I was shooting this pellet at the suggestion of a reader. They aren’t the pellet I would have selected, but in the open sight test they seemed to work.

Last group. Okay, this one was working. Less pressure into the shoulder and the same off hand placement. The first 8 shots grouped very well, then shot 9 dropped low and blew the group open. Ten pellets are in 1.366-inches, with 9 of them in 0.856. That’s frustrating!

Diana 34P JSB group 4
Ten shots at 25 yards went into 1.366-inches, with 9 in 0.856-inches. I’m going to try a different pellet.

Different pellets

I tried Air Arms Diabolo Field pellets simply because I had a tin on the shooting table. But after 5 shots and two different holds I knew these were not the pellet. They were hitting the target several inches apart.

RWS Superdomes

The last pellet I tried was the RWS Superdome. This is the pellet I would have selected to test a Diana 34 on my own. And, they turned out to be the right ones!

I continued to hold my off hand where it was, but this time no special shoulder pressure was needed. I also didn’t waste any time settling in to shoot each pellet. These 10 were shots 76 through 85 in today’s test and I was tired from all the concentration. But this time the pellets acted like they were guided by a laser. Ten went into a group that measures 0.70-inches between centers. Not only that, this group is round. This is the pellet George’s Diana likes and I wouldn’t try any other!

I did not adjust the scope for this pellet, so it hit the target about 2+ inches above the aim point, and in excellent alignment, left and right. I can always drop the scope’s reticle!

Diana 34P RWS Superdome group
Ten RWS Superdomes at 25 yards went into 0.70-inches, in a very round group.This is the pellet for this rifle!

In retrospect, even through this is a .22 that I don’t have a lot of experience with, I should have tried Superdomes before now. I knew they worked well in most Diana rifles. But at least I did try them and we now know this is the pellet for George’s rifle.

George, your rifle isn’t just accurate, it’s one of the most accurate Diana 34s I have ever tested. I have tested so many Diana 34s over the years that I can’t keep them all straight, but I know good when I see it. Your rifle is very good! Now you know what you have to do to shoot those pests.

Also, the Vortek tune is breaking in. I could feel the shot cycle smoothing out as the test progressed. It now feels dead calm.

BKL adjustable scope mount

A word about the BKL adjustable scope mount I used in this report. It’s FANTASTIC! It elevates the rear of the scope with great precision, plus the design is bulletproof. Once all the screws are tightened down this mount isn’t going anywhere! I’m sending George’s rifle back to him with this mount attached. George, it’s probably adjusted correctly for your scope. Don’t worry about running your scope’s elevation most of the way down to get on target. You only need to worry about it when it’s run all the way up!


Well, that’s it for this one. I have tested and evaluated George’s rifle and we now know that it’s accurate. The problem was caused by a combination of the wrong pellets, the scope’s elevation set too high and George’s shooting. I would blame the pellets and scope first.

This test has also wrung out a number of other products. We know that the Air Venturi Rail Lock mainspring compressor works like a champ on Diana breakbarrels, the Vortek Pro Guide 2 kit also does a wonderful job. And the BKL 1-piece adjustable scope mount with 1-inch rings is great for spring guns that have a large droop.

I am so pleased that things worked out this way, because for many years I have been recommending the Diana 34P as a reasonably priced pellet rifle for pest elimination and hunting. I recommended the .22 caliber, even though my own 34P is a .177. That’s simply because .22 is a better caliber when you intend to hunt.

I plan to use this series to refer new airgunners to when they ask about air rifle models. Yes, all powerful breakbarrels require special shooting techniques, but that’s universal. Most new shooters aren’t going to try a PCP as their first rifle. If you are going to shoot a springer, the Diana 34P is the best one I can recommend for the price.

author avatar
B.B. Pelletier
Tom Gaylord is known as The Godfather of Airguns™ and has been an airgunner for over a half-century, but it was the Beeman company in the 1970s that awoke a serious interest in airguns. Until then, all he knew were the inexpensive American airguns. Through the pages of the Beeman catalog, he learned about adult airguns for the first time. In 1994, Tom started The Airgun Letter with his wife, Edith. This monthly newsletter was designed to bring serious reports about airguns to the American public. The newsletter and Airgun Revue, a sister magazine about collectible airguns, was published from 1994 until 2002, when Tom started Airgun Illustrated -- the first American newsstand magazine about airguns. Tom worked for three years as technical director at AirForce Airguns, the makers of the Talon, Condor, and Escape precharged air rifles. Today, he writes about airguns and firearms for various publications and websites. He also makes videos, and you'll find short clips embedded in some of his artices on Pyramyd AIR's website. Tom is a consultant to Pyramyd AIR and writes under the name of B.B. Pelletier.

100 thoughts on “Checking out a Diana RWS 34P: Part 6”

  1. “The problem was caused by a combination of the wrong pellets, the scope’s elevation set too high and George’s shooting. I would blame the pellets and scope first.”

    AFAIK George’s accuracy didn’t improve after the scope was adjusted 3.75″ down, so I blame a combination of George’s hold (he certainly didn’t use the hold B.B. decided upon and his gun is very sensitive), George’s shooting and the pellets he used.

    IMHO the Diana 34 cannot receive the blog “bang for those amount of bucks” prize until, “Checking out a Diana RWS 34P: Part 6” which has to be written by George, shows us that he can achieve sparrow killing accuracy.

    • Sean
      I am certainly going to work on using the artillery hold as demonstrated by B.B. in this review. Now that I know the barrel is good and the Superdome pellet is best, I can focus on perfecting the hold. I will definitely post my results here in the blog…good or bad. It is what it is as they say.

      • Geo791.
        Greetings from Colombia. As I stated before, in the last BB’s post about the militia breackbarrel, I need to shoot a lot my hatsan 95 to start to be accurate. In fact, until I understood the Natural Point of Aim concept, and how to applies it in the the shooting range, I can’t obtain decent groups at 20 meters. I don’t know if this will be your case, is just my own experience, but I suffer some frustration when I was not accurate with my rifle. Don’t give up!!

  2. B.B.

    ” Don’t worry about running your scope’s elevation most of the way down to get on target. You only need to worry about it when it’s run all the way up!”

    Why is that? I though anything way off of center would create spring float?
    Up or Down would not matter. Or are you saying that just 4-5 inches at 20 yards, Appr. 25 MOA turret value is not way off center? Could you adjust the mount and leave the scope centered to get in the black?


    • Yogi,

      Good morning! I think, and anyone feel free to correct me, that the scope drift arises from backing off the elevation adjustment too far. That would be in the UP adjustment direction on the turret. That unscrewing of the adjustment relaxes the tension on the spring that is responsible for maintaining the up/down position of the erector tube inside the scope. In that state, the heavy 2-way recoil of a springer (or even regular recoil of a large bore firearm) shakes the guts of the scope enough that they can shift around after each shot, causing the point of aim to shift. The erector is just not being squeezed hard enough to hold in place. Now in the gun BB is testing, he has it shooting high. Screwing down on the elevation adjustment will shift the aim point down and, at the same time, tighten up the tension on the up/down spring. In this case, more really is better, and now the erector is being held more firmly and is less likely to shift. I think,ideally, that one should strive to set up a scope such that it requires a lot of down adjustment just to get lots of spring tension on the erector tube. ( Screwing in, which is usually clockwise, on the left/right adjustment gets the same result.) If you are going to be using the scoped gun at shorter distances you have to leave yourself SOME Down adjustment, so don’t bottom out the up/down screw, but if you use mil dots or Kentucky elevation lots of spring tension will hold your scope on target through recoil. Again, let me say, this is just my understanding of how it works.

      • Thanks,
        I think I’ve got it.
        Sounds like the Erector springs should push up from the bottom on spring drooping guns? Not down from the top.

        Well explained Halfstep.


        • Yogi,

          Firstly, there is only ONE spring for each adjusting turret. One UNDER the erector for elevation and one on the LEFT side for windage. On the side opposite the spring, in each case, is a screw( the adjuster in each of the two turrets) that pushes the erector tube against the spring, compressing it. The erector tube’s position is fixed at the front and the springs are located at the rear of the tube,( I think I have that right and I hope someone corrects me if I’m wrong), and unscrewing the elevation screw( counter-clockwise lets the spring push the rear end of the erector UP) moves the cross hairs Down. Now you must tilt the gun UP to get the cross hairs on the target. That makes the barrel point UP more and closer to the target. If the barrel points down too much (droops) because of the construction of the gun, then you must unscrew the elevation adjustment a lot and that leaves the erector free to flop around during recoil. The “drooper ” mounts that BB refers to make the whole scope( the outside tube that you can see) point down in the direction that the barrel in naturally pointing,due to it’s construction. That way you only have to use a little UP adjustment so there is plenty of spring tension on the erector and it is unlikely to shift around. If the “drooper” mount causes the barrel to point a little bit too high, as it did for BB, it’s no big deal because Down adjustments just make the spring tighter and everything more secure against recoil shift.

          I wish you were here because I could draw a picture that would probably explain this better than I am here. 🙂

          • Hey Half,

            You did a pretty good job drawing a picture with words. Because I am mean I will tell you that some scopes only use one spring that is mounted at 45 degrees opposite of both knobs and pushes the erector tube up and over.

    • Yogi,

      This particular mount is only adjustable for vertical, however there are some mounts that have vertical and horizontal adjustment that will allow you do such.

  3. BB,

    I’ve had pretty good luck with Superdomes in several guns I own. One is the Mark I pistol. I don’t recall exactly what the 20 yard groups were, but I know they prompted me to order 5 tins that day! I think I recall you using Superdomes in some of your tests of other guns,but reluctantly so, as I recall, after being prompted by some of the readers here. I don’t recall which guns or even if they were recent reports( I read 5 or 10 old reports each day, with comments ,so it gets blurred), but I recall that the results weren’t stellar in those cases.(I remember because I was rooting for them. What can I say? I like ’em.) So, I’m curious. Why would they have been your choice here?

    I’ve noticed that the .177 has a very thin skirt and the .22 Looks as if it has been really beefed up in the skirt. Except for the flatish dome they are hardly even the same pellet design, so do you have better luck with the .22 or is there another reason?

    Since the goal of this report has been to differentiate between gun problems and gunner problems as regards accuracy, I have one more question to ask. If I haven’t gotten good accuracy from a Diana 45, 52 and FWB 124, shooting many different pellets, is it safe to assume that I need to work on my technique, since these guns have decent pedigrees, or are they just not guns that you would recommend to a novice.

    • Halfstep,

      Why would I have started with Superdomes? Because they are RWS pellets, and, in my experience, Diana airguns do well with RWS pellets. You are right about the differences between the .177 and .22 pellets. I don’t know why but they both seem to work– at least in Dianas. And in some other guns, not so much.

      Yes, if you have shot THOSE airguns and haven’t done well, it’s probably you and not the guns. Other makes are more doubtful, but those are pretty good and consistent.

      As far as novices go, it’s really a personal thing. Some people listen and get it right away. Others find it hard to abandon their bad habits and old beliefs.


  4. BB,

    On that BKL mount, it appears that the scope position is being adjusted by that large headed screw located near the rear mount by pushing up on the scope body. Is this indeed the case? Also, does the front mount have any vertical adjustment available or does it just pivot on the screw?

    • RR,

      Yes. That isn’t just a screw. It’s a padded adjuster that puts very little pressure on the scope tube. The secret are the rings. They both rotate on an axis so they can tilt forward and as the photo shows, the rear ring also raises.

      Once the position is achieved, the screws at the base of each ring are tightened and the scope is locked into position. At that point all the adjuster does is keep the scope from pushing the rear ring down in recoil. It’s an elegant solution.


        • RidgeRunner,
          I have had the 2 piece double strap BKL rings move on my Gamo Swamm! I have had problems with other mounts from them moving on other sprinters too. Though I must admit that I think it may be the shoddy mounts that they produced some years ago before they re structured. I recall ordering 2 one piece mounts from them when they re opened and received 2 more a few days later! It appears that they shipped me some shoddy ones, realized that that was the case and corrected by shipping me another pair of their quality ones. I visually inspected and compared them but could not detect any differences, so I used them all. So happens that I have lost track of which is which now. Some months ago though I stripped the threads while changing a scope so I think I have identified one of the bad ones. But the double strap 2 piece one that shifted in my Gamo is definitely one of their latest and best. Nothing beats the vertical stop pin that some none BKL mounts use.

          • Ton,
            If I may, I’ll share some of my experiences with a Gamo – a Bone Collector 1300 with IGT spring power plant (like yours). It was actually my first purchase of a new air rifle when I decided to re-enter the hobby. I had serious problems from the beginning, all relating to scope mount drifting. It seemed like no matter what I tried, nothing could withstand that gas spring recoil. I tried both single and double mounts, making sure all had a scope stop pin. Nothing worked and I had a couple of sheared off scope stop pins and an elongated pin hole to show for it. I finally decided I was going to throw everything I had at it. I no longer have the box so I’m not sure what kind of one piece mount I got but it had the required scope stop pin and FIVE base screws to hold it on. I had some Loctite Hi-Tack gasket dressing so I made sure the cylinder surface was clean as well as the bottom of the mount and smeared on a light layer. I was very careful with the base screws, also. I tightened down the screws very little at a time and skipped around all the screws so the gripping plate went on just as evenly as I could possibly manage. I had previously locktited all the stock screws so I then put the rifle in the rack for a couple of days to cure. I haven’t had a problem since.
            Good luck with your scope mounts – I’m starting to really appreciate this brand, and almost bought a Swarm myself.
            Larry in Algona

  5. Good morning B.B.
    Today is my 47th wedding anniversary and I was very happy to see the blog on my RWS 34P today. I do have a few questions though.

    You spent a lot of time sighting the rifle in with the new mount and scope. You only shot two pellets types for accuracy this time. In part 3 you shot several different pellets with the JSB 18.13gr giving the best group at .76″ and the Superdome 14.5gr giving the worst group at 1.458″. You said “I tried RWS Superdomes next. Ten of them made an open group that measures 1.458-inches between centers. Nothing in this group excites me, so I will move on.” At this point you were thinking the Superdomes were not the right pellet for my rifle.

    So I am surprised and a little confused by your conclusion that the best pellet for my RWS 34P is the Superdome 14.5gr. You only shot one group with it, though it was very good this time. I have been frustrated trying to determine the right pellet because in one session a pellet would group quite well, but then in another session that same pellet would group poorly. Maybe this was due to my hold but that would not be the cause in your case. In your previous session the JSB groups were far better than the Superdomes. These are similar results to what I have been seeing since the beginning. Did you ever try any of the other pellets I sent you? I thought that you were going to try the JSB 15.89gr pellets as well. Sorry, I’m just not convinced the Superdomes are best.

    Regarding the BLK mount. How does this mount differ from the RWS droop mount that came with the rifle?
    Are you still thinking that the RWS mount was not compensating enough for the barrel droop?

    I will be interested in reading the comments of other posters. I think the results are a little inconclusive.
    Maybe there needs to be a part 6? What do you think guys?

    • George,

      This is where 10-shot groups triumph. Ten shots are more than a guess, they are representative! Five-shot groups are a guess. Ten shots tell you about the rifle, the pellet and the shooter. In the first group that was open the shooter was obviously not on his game that day.

      Yes, I didn’t do well when I shot with open sights, so I moved on. But this last group is very telling. If this rifle were mine, I would shoot it with Superdomes exclusively.

      I am going to return your rifle to you now. I could shoot more 10-shot groups, but all that would do is give us more discussion. It’s time for you to shoot the rifle with your own scope.

      You now know that the rifle does not throw fliers. Sometimes shots will land away from a main group, but they are not fliers. What you need to do is concentrate and perfect your technique, because that is what a spring gun requires.

      And, happy anniversary!


      • B.B.
        I cannot thank you enough for all you have done to wring out this RWS 34P for me and the other blog readers as well. You have gone way beyond just reviewing, and have actually made this a much improved rifle by discovering the broken mainspring and installing the Vortek Kit and BKL mount. I also want to thank Tom Gore and BKL for donating the parts to make this possible. This has been a great experience and I have learned a lot. I am now locked into this blog and will continue to faithfully read and contribute to it. Thanks again for all you have done. May God continue to bless you and give you good health to continue your endeavors.


  6. BB,

    I’m a little confused (which is normal). If I’m not mistaken you did shoot Superdomes with open sights in part 3 and got a 1.4 inch group. I’m wondering if barrel seasoning affects the outcomes when you switch from one pellet to the next.

    For what it’s worth both of my .22 cal. 34’s have shot Superdomes best. And I have several other Diana’s that also like Superdomes. Sometimes I see people knock them because they have a relatively low BC but I only care about the results.

    I really enjoyed this series. I too often recommend this rifle to new airgun shooters so it’s nice to see this one perform well.


    • Mark,

      I don’t believe in barrel seasoning — at least not to the extent some do. Maybe it improves a one inch group by a tenth, but that’s as far as I’m willing to go.

      I just must have shot poorly that day with them. But I did get the rifle to group, which lead me to today’s test which was the real one.


      • I once read on an English airgun forum that “a springer is a fickle mistress!” We all have those days. It’s what makes evaluating a springer’s accuracy so challenging. You know this as well as anyone in the world, B.B. so I mention it only for springer newcomers here. I have days when my most accurate hold position (or pellet that shoots the best) changes. What works best for me can vary from day to day with the same springer, though I can shoot consistent results on any given day. Of course it’s not the gun or the pellet that’s changing. Rather, it’s how I’m shooting it! More than once I have learned that I should not give up on a so-so tin of pellets too early. I have also learned that purchasing a bulk order of “THE” pellet often proves to be non-optimal too.

    • Mark
      This is Geo in Wolverine land (UofM) Michigan. Thanks for sharing your experience with the Superdome pellets in your RWS 34s. That’s good to hear. Do you use the same hold as B.B. has described? Nice to hear the experiences with an RWS 34 from one who shoots them. BTW, Kansas has a great basketball program, always very competitive and a joy to watch.

      • Hi Geo,

        Thanks. Yes we’re proud of our basketball team. I had season tickets for years. Now if we could just get our football team going……..

        I do some work in Michigan in the automotive industry. I wish we had your fishing!

        I hold my 34 softly. Don’t really know how to describe it but definitely softer than a PB rifle. I currently have 3 34’s but two are anniversary editions and one is a late 45 which is a 34 with a different stock. So all my stocks are a little different than yours which affects how I hold them.

        Just put a bunch of Superdomes through it and I’ll bet you get the hang of it. Also I use the same scope mount as in this thread. Rock solid.

        Good luck to you,
        Mark N

  7. BB

    Thanks for this fine series. I predict it will be read for years by readers the world over. Just being picky but I suspect that sorting the RWS Superdomes by head diameter would have tightened up the 25 yard groups enough to matter. Or it is possible that these pellets are uniform. I have found that “match pellets” from H&N and Qiang Yuan are uniform but very few others are consistent for head diameter. To be fair the RWS Hobby pellets I recently purchased are all 4.50 or 4.51 mm and they are popular priced pellets!

    I have several droop compensator mounts that have worked well for me. One is UTG’s DN T06. Perhaps the degree of droop being compensated for is a difference maker.

    I agree with Seantheaussie. One more report is needed and Geo has to write it. We really want to know if Geo can now compete with his rodents.

    Thanks again for this exhausting report.


    • Decksniper
      FYI, in one of my previous posts I gave the results of my measurements of head and skirt sizes on a sample of CPHPs, JSBs, and RWS Superdomes. The Superdomes head and skirt sizes were just as uniform as the JSBs and much more uniform than the CPHPs. The heads on the Superdomes measured 5.51mm on a 10 piece sample from the tin with no variation.

      When I get the rifle back I will work very hard to achieve the desired groups and I will for sure post my results in this blog for you and everyone else. Now that I know the rifle is not defective and the best pellet is the Superdome, I will work on using the correct artillery hold as demonstrated by B.B. in this review.

  8. BB,

    You did it again!:

    “I should have tried Superdomes before now. I knew they worked well in most Diana rifles.” and when commenting on a target rifle of the ’90 you remarked that RWS Meiserkugeln”are the best because all these rifles are designed with this pellet in mind.

    Sometimes you have much more knowledge than you seem to realise. We, as readers have to go through all the blogs to sieve this sort of material to get to that type of knowledge. That in itself is illuminating too. If I buy something older than 1990 (say a HW70) I am pretty sure it has been tested by you.

    So, if you say that you are not the right person to write about pellets, you are probably right. But who else can do it and has this amount of theoretical and practical knowledge?



    • ASugust,

      I think Larry Hannusch could do a pretty good job. Larry reads this blog, but I don’t know how regularly. And he is probably the most noted airgun writer alive.

      Here are some posts I wrote about pellets in the past:






      • BB,

        Thanks, that was some interesting reading. You should bring out an autobiography of all the projects you have been into in the airgun world. It would be an interesing read.



      • B.B.

        On your 2007 link, you told reader fflincher that his Benjamin H C pellets were collectible. That hit a note so I pulled out my box of old pellets that I had left over from ’77 to about ’81. Sure enough I had two tins of these Benjamin H C pellets. One was almost used up and like you said, oxidized. However, I looked in the other tin that was full and the pellets did not show signs of oxidation. These tins also had little red stickers on them printed “Sized and Lubricated”. Maybe the lube used help slow down the oxidation of the one tin.

        I also found some other interesting pellets in the box – these were all purchased during that same time period when my “go to” rifle was my FWB 127 with Williams peep sight I used mostly for rabbits, so most of what’s in the box is .22 cal.

        My oldest pellets I purchased from Air Rifle Headquarters before I had to order everything from the Beeman catalog. As I recall, one of the most accurate pellets for my 127 was the orange tinned Bimoco Neue Spitz weighing 12.8 gr. These are VERY soft lead so of course, oxidation was extensive. These were great for rabbit since they’re so easy to kill but if you were trying to get rid of crows or hunt squirrel, then the even more accurate and better penetrating Silver Jets in .177 or .22 were the choice of most hunters, IMO. These seemed to be very popular when they were made in Japan. I have a few .177 Silver Jet and .22 Jet, and .22 “Diabolo” type that preceded Beeman but also a couple of boxes of Beeman’s Silver Jets that came from San Rafael, CA. There’s also a couple of tins of H&Ns marked from WEST Germany.

        Did you ever acquire any information about those double-banded, pointed hunting pellets and how they evolved into the Silver Arrow made in Germay that we have available today?

        I suppose some of what I have is collectible, too, but I’m not really a collector – these are basically just “left-overs”. Any suggestions on what I should do besides don’t shoot them? Actually, if some of these are NOT collectible I would love to see what kind of accuracy I can obtain with some of my better shooting rifles.

        BTW, this was a great blog! Thanks!

        Larry in Algona

        • LarryMo,

          Those pellets are collectible and practically of no value. The Benjamins are great to put inside vintage Benjamin airgun boxes, but beyond that I have never seen any of them sell for more than what modern pellets bring.

          Maybe I’m not the right guy to ask.


  9. B.B., great job as usual; I enjoyed reading this set of tests.

    Geo791, I look forward to seeing how this rifle groups for you once you mount your scope.

    P.S. As an engineer, I wish you had sent your scope to B.B. and that the rifle had been tested with that scope in the new mount; that way, the next test would have only one variable, the shooter, instead of two, the shooter and the scope. =)

    • Dave
      Well now that we know the barrel is not defective and the best pellet is the Superdome 14.5gr, I can work on the artillery hold as demonstrated by B.B. in this review. I believe we can eliminate the scope as the source of my poor groups. I think we have narrowed the variable down to the shooter being the main source of the poor groups. When I get the rifle back I will work hard on perfecting the correct hold and I will post my results here in the blog for everyone…the good, the bad, and the ugly.

      • That would be most informative; I’m sure B.B. would love to have you do a guest post on your results; that would be informative for all of us; thank you! =)

  10. B.B.
    Can you give my any tips as to mounting my scope and aligning the reticle to the rifle? I viewed your video on scope mounting but I do not quite understand the procedure for aligning the reticle. I have also read some suggestions on adjusting the objective lens and the ocular lens to eliminate parallax. Don’t quite understand what the ocular adjustment has to do with parallax either. Appreciate any suggestions you might have for me.

    • Geo791,

      I sure can! Just mount the scope and adjust the reticle until mthe pellet hits your aim point. Twenty yards is the best distance for a 34P. You will be on from 20 to 26 yards (or so) and a pellet’s diameter away from 18 to about 31 yards.

      Forget things like centering the reticle. Now that you have the mount adjusted, they are meaningless.

      When you adjust any scope the first thing is to adjust the eyepiece until the reticle appears sharp. Do this by looking at a white wall or a blue sky. You need a neutral background to focus the reticle. Adjust the eyepiece by looking into the scope for no longer than three seconds, because your brain will adjust your eye if you look for longer.

      Once the reticle is focused the Adjustable Objective will focus the target as close to the number indicated on the adjustment as is possible to get.


      • B.B.
        Thank you. I understand that you have the mount adjusted to align with the barrel so I do not have to worry about centering my scope’s reticle. My question is regarding the vertical and horizontal alignment of the reticle to the rifle. How do you suggest doing that?

        Okay, I understand the procedure to focus the eyepiece. Your process is like what I have read about and it’s just a matter of adjusting the eyepiece until the reticles are sharp. Got it.

        Oh, and I asked previously about the RWS mount that I was using. Do you think that mount was not adjusting enough for the droop and that the erector tube was in fact floating? I know that with the
        BKL mount you have eliminated that possible issue totally in any case.

        • Geo791,

          You are over-thinking this. What you do is shoot your rifle at a target and adjust the scope until you hit it. If you think your scope will be way off target, use a target with a large piece of paper and put the aim point in the center.

          I can’t comment about your scope mount, except I don’t think it was adjusted correctly. This one is.

          The things you were telling me about the sporadic groups sounds a lot like a floating erector tube from being adjusted too high or too far to the right. And, there is usually only one spring in a scope that’s mounted on a 45 degree angle to the tube. It presses up and right.


            • Geo791,

              It is impossible to level a scope with a rifle, because nothing on a rifle is level. I can’t seem to get people to understand this. You mount the scope so the reticle looks level to you. I like to see the vertical reticle bisecting the spring tube, but you have to be able to envision that.

              There is no such thing as level on a gun. What there is is a consistent hold. That’s what you are after. That is why I asked Leapers to build their Bubble Leveler scope — so people can always shoot their rifles in the same orientation.

              Maybe it’s time for me to write another report on this.


            • Geo
              I knew where you was going.

              How do you want the gun to fit your shoulder when your out there trying to make that shot happen real fast on those sparrows.

              Do you want to spend time trying to get the scope level or do you want it to fall in place easily.

              I think you know the answer to scope reticle position.

              Shooting sparrows off hand is different from positioning the gun shooting from a bench. Even if you are supporting the gun with your fore hand when standing. The shouldering and reticle make all the difference.

              Think about shouldering a rifle shooting bullets or pellets. Then think about shouldering a shot gun. The rifle needs to be more precise shooting the rifles. Especially when you look through that scope.

              I say do this. Put the gun on the bench rest and get it as level as you can. And then set the scope reticle level. Then pick up the gun and shoulder it free hand unsupported. Tell me what the reticle looks like. Tell me if it’s level.

              Then take and shoulder the gun now get your reticles level shouldering it and tighten up the scope caps. Tell me which one will get on that sparrow targets quicker and more naturally. And as long as you can successively shoulder that gun and repeat the reticle level you will be better at getting those sparrows. And that is what will happen.

              Again bench resting and feild shooting is two different ball games.

              And I don’t even want to get into feild target supports. And I’m talking feild target air gun competition. Or maybe we should. Wonder if they setup their guns by shouldering the gun and getting the reticle level?

            • Geo791,

              Since you have three quality items, rifle, scope and mount, the machining should be relatively precise unless something slipped through the crack. Since you will only be shooting at relatively short distances, try this when you mount your scope.

              Use a feeler gauge to uniformly (and lightly) tighten the scope rings up to the point that you can adjust the scope for proper eye relief. Once that is accomplished, use the shank of a drill bit (a good smooth one) between the bottom of the turret boss and scope base, holding it perpendicular to the base and scope tube and rock the scope side to side until it no longer moves. At this point, your crosshair should be pretty close to centerline of the bore and level. Recheck the ring gap with the feeler gauge then tighten the cap screws incrementally. Once everything is properly tightened, use a soft lead (graphite) pencil and scribe lines on both sides of the scope rings as a future reference for scope creep. Obviously, on springers/gas piston air guns, the scope will shift to the rear if the rings/mount become loose.

              NOTE: With the RWS or BKL one piece “drooper” mount (not the adjustable one) you can use a feeler gauge between the flat bottom of the turret boss and base since the rings and top of the base are machined parallel. With the adjustable BKL mount, there will be some taper between the two so that is why a round rod/drill bit will be required to get the turret boss and scope base parallel, side to side.

              I really liked the design of the BKL 260D7MB, bought one, and had intended to use it on the 460, but unfortunately, there was not sufficient clearance to mount the Hawke HK5133 in it due to the thickness of the turret boss. The Hawke HK3019 will fit it however, so eventually, I will mount it on my Xisico XS46U in .177 which has a gas ram.

              For what it is worth, when I bought my RWS 48 in .177, it also was a package deal and came with the same RWS mount that you have and a Hawke HK3019 4-12×50 AO IR scope with a glass etched reticule. I have used the same mounts on my RWS 48 and RWS 460 magnum in .22 caliber, but both are wearing Hawke HK5133 3-12x44SF scopes with a side focus AO. When I first sighted in the 460, the elevation was dead on at 50 yards, just a little bit to the right.


              • Bugbuster
                Thank you for this detailed information. GF1 has also given me some things to think about regarding the reticle alignment. He said the level would differ depending on if we are benchresting the rifle or shooting offhand. That does make sense too.

                Did you read my post down below regarding my scope and my concern that it is airgun compatible? I believe my scope is exactly the same as your HK3019 except mine is a
                3-9×50 and yours is a 4-12×50, but both are the same model. At the time (2013) I think
                the information on Hawke’s web site stated that this model (HD Sport) was in fact airgun compatible but they don’t show any info on this model now because it is no longer manufactured. I am not sure which model replaced it but now there is a disclaimer stating that some of the scopes are not to be used on spring/nitro-piston airguns exceeding
                12 ft-lbs. My RWS 34 is a 15-16 ft-lb rifle so I am a little concerned. If you get a chance read my post down a ways about this.

                • Geo791,

                  As I am sure, you, being a senior, as I am also, are aware of what is often said about opinions, and i have given you mine, right , wrong or indifferent, what I have told you works fine for me and doesn’t harm anything.

                  I could be the poster child for OCD! If the vertical reticule on ANY scoped rifle, pellet or otherwise looked obviously canted (hold the rifle at arms length and observe IF the verticle crosshair pretty much bisects the centerline of the receiver/compression tube), If not, it would drive me nuts!

                  IF you are shooting the exact same distance constantly, it matters not if the scope is mounted true to the axis of the bore or not. The only problem that will arise is IF, you have to make an elevation adjustment, or are using milldot holdunder/holdover you will shoot right or left of the centerline if the scope is canted.

                  At the time, you and I received our Hawke scopes, there was a limited lifetime warranty
                  in effect, there were NO stipulations as to the FPE of the rifle it was mounted on. My best guess is that they (Hawke) would honor that warranty and repair or replace any damaged/defective scope with another.


                  • Bugbuster
                    I agree with you. It would drive me crazy too if the reticle appeared canted. When I initially installed the scope I leveled the top of the receiver on the rifle with a small line level. Then I mounted the scope and aligned the vertical cross hair with the edge of one of the support posts in my basement which was plumb. I kept checking the receiver to make sure it was still level while adjusting the scope.

                    I read another post that suggested drawing a thick line on white paper horizontally. Place the paper in the target holder at 10 feet or so and level the line with a level. Then benchrest the rifle so the receiver is level and focus on the line and adjust the scope until the horizontal cross hair matches the line.

                    • Geo791,

                      Rats! I noticed that I misspelled reticle in my last post, this site used to have spell check. I miss that. I read and re-read my posts before submitting them and still make mistakes, sometimes I cannot see the forest for the trees.

                      Ideally, that would be the absolute best way to properly mount a scope to anything that shoots any type of projectile. I used a similar process many years ago when I was scoping my Barrett M82. The receiver on them are hexagonal and has a flat at 12 o’clock on which I placed a precision machinist level to level the receiver of the rifle. I then used a plumb bob to align the verticle crosshair of the scope. Relatively easy to do with a forty pound rifle supported by an M60 machinegun bipod.

                      It is much more difficult to do this on any normal sized rifle unless it could be clamped tightly in a solidly mounted vise with padded jaws to avoid any movement of the rifle while fiddling with the mounting of the scope. Just my opinion. Since clamping my RWS 48 in a vise was not an option at the time, I tried the feeler gauge trick between the turret boss and one piece mount and was pretty pleased with the result and have used that method ever since. Not perfect, but pretty darn close.

                      I just reviewed the warranty for the older Hawke scopes.

                      Limited lifetime warranty against premature failure due to defects in material and/or workmanship. The only exclusions are damage caused by abuse AND excessive wear and tear, whatever that would mean. This warranty is only valid to the original purchaser and proof of purchase is required. I am relatively certain that these scopes were (at the time) rated acceptable for mounting on powerful springers on the Airguns of Arizona site.


      • B.B.
        Is there any possibility of a photo showing your hand positions on the forearm and the pistol grip. One of the commenters stated that if he changed his thumb position on the pistol grip that the POI would change.

        From your description of you forehand placement I picture your hand with your fingers parallel with the stock and one of your fingers just touching the back of the cocking slot. You did not mention your hand placement on the pistol grip. I’m just trying to picture the artillery hold you used so I can try to duplicate it as best I can.

        • George,

          I will think about how to do that, but if you read what I wrote and do what I did you will have it. That’s why I spent the time to describe it so thoroughly. You see, the minute I post a picture you will want to know how much pressure each digit exerts. Instead of that, try to hold your rifle so lightly that it wants to jump out of your hands.

          I “learned ” about the artillery hold by trying to see just how poorly the rifle would shoot if I didn’t hold it firmly, like Dr. Beeman was telling us to do. To my utter surprise, a light hold fixed everything.

          George, keep at it and at some point you will get it. After that you will never hold a spring rifle any other way.


  11. I feel like I can understand shoulder pressure affecting accuracy when shooting a springer, however the affect of off hand positioning has me perplexed. How a few inches difference in position can be so dramatic. Is this a function of harmonics or something else?

    • Coduece

      BB can explain the reason better but I can say for sure that the POI will shift just by placing your off hand at the end of the forearm vs placing it near the trigger guard. It may or may not be accurate both ways but the POI will likely be different on a spring gun. Vibration comes into play I believe.


      • Hey thanks sniper, I guess keeping your support hand close to the trigger guard lets the gun have more say in how it spits out the pellet, as opposed to getting out on the end of the forearm thereby imposing more of the shooters will on the gun. I’m not giving up on my Benjamin Trail NP just yet. But man does it buck.

        • Coduece

          My .22 Benjamin Titan never grouped well until I found 5.54 mm or greater pellets. Try H&N Field Target Trophy (often referred to as FTT by readers). Hope you will be very pleasanty surprised.

          My rifle’s trigger pull got much easier after a couple thousand shots which helps.


          • Yes that second stage is pretty gritty. I’ve always thought that if I could get that benji to shot a one inch group at 25 yds I could call myself an airgun Jedi. Thanks for your help in my quest.

            • Ginfun1

              Like Chris and some others I consider you an expert and look forward to your comments everyday. I do worry that experts tend to lose interest eventually. Please keep on posting because we need your input.


              • Decksniper
                I do appreciate the kind words. But really and I mean really, really I no way consider myself a expert.

                I just seen different things through out time. Some work some don’t. But mostly like you and Chris and Twotalon and others. And of course I could go on with more people. We all try to input what we have gone through.

                Of course there is different opinions of how things can be done. But that’s a good thing.

                I guess it sounds like I’m above myself but in reality I like to learn and be taught. There is so much that can be picked up and thought about on the blog comments it’s unreal.

                And I just don’t think I will ever loose heart in commenting about something we are trying to learn.

                We all need to keep the comments rolling with things to talk about and learn. Not just me.

  12. B.B.
    I just noticed the title of this blog is incorrect. I have bookmarked each of the parts and this is actually part 6. Part 5 was posted on 7/5/17. So up at the top where the parts are noted there is one missing that was actually Part 5.

  13. B.B.,

    An excellent and especially educational report.

    Once again RWS Superdomes do particularly well in a rifle that doesn’t have affection for the other usual suspects, er, pellets.

    But I also think you are correct that when you stopped trying too hard to shoot accurately and consciously (over)think your technique accuracy improved. As you wrote, when you were mildly tired and, presumably, relaxed, you didn’t think; you shot. Your subconscious “muscle memory” took over when your conscious-mind concentration started to drift from slight fatigue.


  14. The Hawke scope I have came bundled with my RWS 34P back in 2013. It has since been discontinued and I could find no information on the Hawke web site for it any longer. The model number is HK3017 and here is a link to a site that lists all the specs for this scope. The Sport HD line was dropped and I am not sure which model replaces it. http://www.opticsplanet.com/hawke-sport-hd-ao-3-9×50-riflescope-ir-illuminated-mil-dot-reticle.html

    The thing that concerns me is that I am not able to find where the HK3017 is airgun rated, though I am sure it was at that time in 2013. I am wondering if Hawke had warranty issues because I am seeing a disclaimer that reads as follows: “Please Note: Not suitable for use on a spring/gas piston airgun exceeding 12 ft pounds.” This is shown in the current model on Pyramid’s web site. This is not the HK3017 though.

    Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

  15. I have a question regarding viewing the comments in the blog. Is there any way to tell if new comments have been posted in replies to earlier comments? I am having to go all the way to the top and then scan down and watch for comments with a time stamp later than when I read them the first time. There must be an easier faster method. I know if anyone has replied to my comment because I receive an email notification.

    • George,

      There is a Comments RSS link near the top right it takes you here /blog//comments/feed/ and contains about 1 to 2 weeks of comments.

      As a new comment is added it will appear at the top, this way you can see any new post and it does not matter if it is to an older blog.

      I usually right click and open in a new tab to read the comment in context, hope that helps.


        • Rambler,

          When you read tomorrows blog and get to the comments click on the date stamp of each comment you read that will move the comments up it also tags the comment as read.

          Then go to the Comments RSS and you will find all of the read comments have a purple hue and the ones unread or from other blogs will still be blue.


      • Mike
        I have been using your suggestion to click on the “Comments RSS” and it works like a charm. It saves me a ton of time scanning for new posts. Really does work well but I am not sure how many posters are aware of this option. Hopefully others can benefit from your suggestion also. It’s especially helpful when looking for more recent posts made to older blogs. Lovin it 🙂

      • Helpful hint thanks Mike. Personally I find it easier/quicker to press control with my left hand (It is in the corner so you can feel for it, rather than looking) as I left click with my mouse hand to open links in a new tab.

    • Now this is a good question (which I will have to scan down to find the answer to later 🙂

      The blog is great with emails for direct replies to a post that you have made, but I haven’t found a method which makes following conversations worth the massive effort. At least on reddit you can ctrl+f for the appropriate hours or minutes ago since you were last there.

      • Sean
        Try Mike’s suggestion to click on the “Comments RSS” at the top right area of the page. I have been trying it today and it works great and saves a ton of time scanning through posts. I found that by right-clicking and opening a new tab on the “Comments RSS”, you can jump back and forth between the tabs. It really works very well and it’s much easier, especially looking for recent posts in older blogs. Try it and I’m sure you will like it.

        • George I have been working with Mike’s suggested solution. It is almost perfect. It doesn’t work on Chrome for windows. On firefox it just leads to my RSS reader which only gets 2hr batches. I made it the home page in IE but for some reason the old results come up when I start IE so I have to press reload which takes 5s or more.

          It is vastly better than the alternative.

          • Sean
            I don’t use Google Chrome. I have used Firefox for many years and it’s still my browser of choice.
            When I right-click on “Comments RSS” a menu drops down and I select “open Link in a New Tab”. This open a new tab with all the comments listed by date and time, the newest at the top. My page shows about seven days worth of comments. Then I again right-click on a comment and again open the link in a new tab. Now I have 3 tabs open at the top of the browser. I read the comment in the open tab and then click on it’s time and date stamp. By doing that, the comment will show in purple as read. Then I close that tab and go back to the tab with the comments and select another comment and keep following that procedure until I have read all the comments. Easy peasy. Your Firefox should work the same as mine does. Oh, and when you right-click on the “Comments RSS” and open it in a new tab, do not click on “Subscribe” button or anything at the top…just ignore that top part of the page. Let me know how it works following my steps.

            • George I have things working well enough thanks. Firefox won’t let me do anything because anything rss related goes to feedly, Chrome won’t work because it just displays what you get if you look at a page source, but I can work in IE which activates some internal rss reader if you try to bookmark the link.

            • btw George I find it easier/quicker to press ctrl with my left hand (it is in the bottom left corner and can be found by feel) as I left click with my right to open a link in a new tab.

              In firefox I am too lazy to even do that, and have an addon that makes “open in new tab” the default for right click. I click it off when I need to do something else with a right click. I can’t live without my firefox addons and my Logitech mouse where I can close a TAB, go back a page, and go to the next tab from the mouse.

  16. I missed my usual 3:30 AM post due to waking up later than normal,.. plus the post that I did make, got dropped.

    Fine article and thank you once again B.B. for taking on the task.

    Geo, just get you a big ol’ piece of paper like BB said and have a go at it. As for cant, I just use a plumb bob. Hold the rifle and line up the vertical reticule to that. Note: rested position may/will be different than off-hand. Whatever you do, however you do it, (keep it the same). (Know) how it shoots. The only way to do that is to shoot it and keep some records/targets/notes. Shoot it a bunch.

    Finally, there is a lot to be said for BB’s thought on being tired/relaxing. I have found that to be true. I (hate) to shoot like that. I like to be fully alert. There may be some recommendations for relaxing, approved or unapproved,…. (but the point is),.. that you (may not be as relaxed as you think that you are). Mood is critical to me. Not that I am moody,.. but I just need to be in the mood to shoot and not rushed in any manner.

    Good luck Geo,…. but I think that you will do better than you did before.


  17. Geo
    Whatever part is next I think it’s you that needs to do it.

    Heck maybe your u can invent your own new hold.

    But don’t practice shooting the sparrows. Practice shooting paper first. And do it till you know you can get repeat results.

    And remember what works for one person might not work for another. Set your gun up how you want. See what can works and what don’t. And keep notes on targets. And not what the temperature and wind and humidity is like for that day.

    That’s the whole thing about BB’s test today. Look what pellet ended up being good this time. I have to wonder what one would be best next time if he shoots it.

    All in all that don’t matter anymore. It’s your turn now bud. All I can say is put it to it and get where you want to be. Shoot everyday if you can. Shoot as much as you can. See what that gun does. One say does not process anything. Even when I shoot. I have good days and bad ones. There’s a old say that goes something like this. Don’t mess with the man that owns one gun. Why? Cause he knows that gun and what it can do with him shooting it.

  18. BB,
    Can you ask Pyramyd AIR to use some standardization in their info on the description droop compensation? I recently bought a droop compensation rail from them for my Gamo Swamm and I would like to compare the level of compensation to the other rings and bases on their site for future purchases. But can you believe that Almost all the bases on the same page each describe the angle of droop in a different scale!? You have to be a mathematician to determine how much compensation you get from each base/mount!! MOA, mm, inch,10″ at 30 yards, 0.07! Is this designed to confuse?

  19. I would just like to say thank you to Gunfun1, ChrisUSA, Twotalon, and the many others who have continued to make constructive comments through this whole process. I have gleaned a lot of good information from all of you. When I get my RWS 34P back I will work on perfecting my hold and will update and post my results on this blog for all of you. I also plan to follow this blog and hopefully at some point I will be able to help someone else shoot better.

    • Geo
      You don’t have to thank me but also I do thank you.

      And I know that very soon your going to give us some more information to think about. Ain’t it great when the student becomes the teacher. 😉

      Can’t wait to hear how it all goes when you get back with your gun. 🙂

    • Geo,

      No problem. We have all learned a bunch, new and old airgunners alike. Much good discussion has come about and it gave everyone a good refresher and a chance to look back,.. reflect,.. and maybe reconsider things. Lot’s of good people here that are always willing to help and share from their own personal experiences.

  20. B.B.
    Did you see my post earlier about the title of this blog being incorrect? This is actually Part 6 and Part 5 which was posted on 7/5/17 is missing from the list at the top of the blog.

  21. I bought a new 34 Premium in .177 recently. I always choose RWS pellets for testing in Diana’s and i had 8 different types with me that day. For the first time ever I discovered I had a Diana that liked all the pellets I tried. I settled on Superdomes as i felt they were marginally the best but it was a close call.
    The rifle is not hold sensitive in my hands and its accuracy and smoothness out of the box has far exceeded my expectations. I will be fitting a Diopter sight to the 34 so I’ll soon discover how much of a drooper I’ve got.

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