Diana 34 Easy Modular System (EMS) Synthetic: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana 34 EMS
Diana 34 EMS with synthetic stock.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

This report covers:

  • Scope
  • The test
  • Pellets
  • Sight-in
  • JSB Exact Heavy domes
  • Crosman Premier Heavy
  • Trigger
  • Heavy pellets
  • H&N Baracuda with 4.50mm head
  • Evaluation so far
  • Summary

Okay. Today is the test many have been waiting for — the Diana 34 EMS at 25 yards. How accurate is it?

Scope

I scoped the rifle with an older  UTG AccuShot 4-16X50AO scope, mounted in BKL 2-piece double-strap one-inch rings. Since the scope was already shimmed in the rings I figured they would adjust to the point of aim relatively easily.

The test

I shot from 25 yards with the artillery hold and my off hand rested on a sandbag. I will note that with the thumbhole stock I’m testing a true artillery hold isn’t possible, but I held the rifle as loosely as possible. My off hand was at the rear of the cocking slot.

I shot 10-shot groups today. I have to say the EMS is easy to cock and you don’t have to slap the muzzle to break it open. This is a very well-behaved air rifle.

Pellets

I selected JSB Exact Heavy domes from the test at 10 meters. In that test we learned that the 34 EMS likes heavier pellets that are also larger. So I also selected two heavier pellets that I hadn’t tried before. When you see the results I think you’ll agree I picked two good ones.

Sight-in

I shot a single JSB Heavy pellet at 12 feet and confirmed that the scope was close enough on for me to back up to 25 yards. Once there it took me three more shots to get on target. Of course I didn’t want to hit the center of the bull and destroy my aim point, so all groups will be at the edge of the black.

JSB Exact Heavy domes

First up was the sight-in pellet. The first shot landed in the top of the bull and I thought it was perfect, but the next several landed high and outside. When all 10 had been shot I had a somewhat vertical group that measures 0.675-inches between centers. It’s a little larger than I would like from this rifle, but there were no shots that were called pulls.

Diana EMS JSB Heavy
The Diana 34 EMS put 10 JSB Exact Heavy pellets into 0.675-inches at 25 yards.

Crosman Premier heavy

The second pellet I tried was the 10.5-grain Crosman Premier heavy. These pellets are sometimes the best of all, and today was one of those days. The 34 EMS put 10 of them into a tight 0.619-inches at 25 yards. 

Diana EMS Premier heavy
Crosman Premier heavys wanted to stay together when shot from the Diana 34 EMS. Ten went into 0.619-inches at 25 yards.

Trigger

You may recall that the 34 EMS has a different trigger that is not crisp like the Diana T05 or T06. This trigger has a second stage through which the trigger blade moves considerably. It’s light enough, but not crisp. I have said that it feels like a single-stage trigger, once you get to stage two. I got used to it in Part 3 and today I was able to do good work with it. I still can’t tell when the rifle is about to fire, but pulling the trigger has no adverse effect on the stability of the crosshairs.

Heavy pellets

I think there is something to this thing about heavy pellets and the EMS. It seems to like them a lot. If you get one of these, try it with heavy pellets first.

H&N Baracuda with 4.50mm head

The third pellet I tested was the H&N Baracuda with a 4.50mm head. I just knew this one was going to shoot well and it did. Ten of them went into 0.634-inches at 10 meters.

Dioana EMS Baracuda
The Diana 34 EMS put 10 H&N Baracudas with 4.50mm heads into a 0.634-inch group at 25 yards.

Evaluation so far

I really like the Diana 34 EMS. It is different than the Diana 34 of the past that we knew, but it is a worthy air rifle in it’s own right. Yes, Diana shouldn’t have touted the barrel shimming and caliber swaps before they worked out the details, but that marketing blunder has no bearing on the rifle’s excellence.

I don’t often select spring rifles to shoot at 50 yards, but I’m choosing this one. With luck I’m thinking we could see ten pellets in less than one inch.

Summary

If you have been waiting to see whether the Diana 34 EMS was a worthy air rifle, I think that point has been proved. I would recommend getting the wooden stock just so you can shoot with the full artillery hold, but if money is an object this synthetic thumbhole stock can also shoot. Today demonstrates that.

I just hope Diana makes the gas pistons, barrel shims and different caliber barrels available soon. I would sure like to try them out!

79 thoughts on “Diana 34 Easy Modular System (EMS) Synthetic: Part 4


  1. B.B.,

    I believe the trigger change between the old and the new Diana 34 is because they had to make it possible to shift from a metal spring to a gas spring. Normally you can’t simply change one for another as a power plant but since they prioritized the gas spring they had to shift where the sear is located in relation to the piston. That’s why the trigger is not the usual TO6 anymore. I just hope when they offer to change the gas spring they would also give a variety of pressures if desired, not just one setting.

    Siraniko


  2. B.B.,

    Caption under first photograph doesn’t correlate with the text of: “Sight-in” Which talks about one pellet at 12′ and backing to 25 yards.
    “The Diana 34 EMS put 10 JSB Exact Heavy pellets into 0.675-inches at 10 meters.”

    Nice shooting at 25; I have a slightly better ability to appreciate the skill required to do this with a break-barrel.

    shootski



      • B.B.,

        That is what I thought too!
        You still need to get rid of the “10 meters” in the caption, LOL!

        I do have a question about spring-pistons and gas-spring diagnostics. You and others have said that if the pellet choice is to heavy it can cause the gun to vibrate/buzz. Since a gas-spring typically doesn’t have much to buzz (no coil spring d spring guide) how can you best determine your pellet choice is too heavy other than using chronograph data?

        shootski



          • B.B.,

            Thank you for the knowledge base information.
            It will help with both of the SSG ASP20 as I work them outward beyond 50 meters. With what I have seen so far they both will do for .177 Pesting and the .22 small game hunting well beyond 70 meters…time will tell.
            I find it most interesting that these two ASP20 have brought a different and renewed challenge to my shooting/hunting; just as going from firearms to the PCPs did.

            shootski


  3. Other than her trigger, EMS seems to be a great air rifle. Diana has to make the trigger crisp like T06.

    Also no parts of the nonfiberoptic sights should be plastic. The fiberoptic ones could be made of paper; I don’t care, but the iron sights have to be ‘iron’ sights…

    I’d buy an EMS. Thank you Diana for bringing nonfiberoptic sights as option. The most important, she’s accurate.

    She’s good looking.


  4. B B,
    You’re test results are encouraging. The 34 EMS needs to be a huge success as it looks very much like the last hurrah for Dianawerk. Looking at their product catalogue reveals a sizeable reduction year on year. The 280 and the N-Tecs are the latest casualties.
    The UK market has been a backwater for Diana for years if not decades now despite the introduction of the 12fpe focused models and various carbines being tailored to our tastes. We have had frequent changes of importer and the guns were very overpriced for a lot of years If it wasn’t for US buyers I think Diana would have disappeared many years ago. Lets hope the EMS gives the whole operation a huge shot in the arm.

    Regards,
    Drew



      • Yogi,
        Yep, too few new Diana’s being bought over here and too few Diana enthusiasts generally for them to bother. I think if they received a pile of U.S. orders from one or two of the big dealers, they would reconsider.
        I do have a Model 52 in a CS Walnut Thumbhole stock that was a special edition model from the then UK importer. This dates from the late 80’s when that model was reasonably popular here.

        Regards,
        Drew


    • Drew,

      Fascinating. I often wish we could get a better idea of the economics of airgun making (and also firearms!), but that’s mostly private company data. From over here (Canada – ie small potatoes), the Weihrauch springers have been almost all out of stock for a long time – even the more expensive models.

      There are plenty of PCPs available though. Now – is that because the retailers misjudged the quantities they ordered and demand shifted or is it an availability issue with Weihrauch?

      I could see that with the pandemic squeezing factory capacity, they might focus on higher-margin products, but also, if parts make up more of the cost of a PCP vs. a springer, then they might be more efficient to make if labour availability/workshop space is the limiting factor.

      As for Diana, I think the first thing they need to do is settle on a strategy – and that’s a confluence of engineering (what they can do), marketing (what people want), and finance (what they can afford and what actually sells and brings in money).

      If Diana intends on competing at the more premium end of the PCP market, they need more of their own SKUs and further develop their own design (I think they had the P1000 but it looks like it’s been discontinued now).

      If they plan to stay in the mid-range traditional springer/gas piston powered space, then they need to consider how they can make production more efficient / easier to switch between different configurations based on changing sales data (ie thumbhole vs. traditional stocks, synthetic vs. wood, detuned vs. magnum power ranges, hunting (fibre optic) vs. target (micrometer metal) sights.

      One thing that I find disconcerting is not that Diana is manufacturing their new PCP/CO2 guns in China, but that they seem to just be putting their name on existing products from the Chinese manufacturers.

      If the guns are still Diana designs and they are monitoring QC, then they are still Dianas (just like Tesla Model 3s made in China are still Teslas). However, badge engineering is corrosive to their own brand – if they want to do that, they should introduce a new brand imprint for the rebadged products. Otherwise, the name ‘Diana’ will become as meaningless as “Beeman” or “Air Venturi” in terms of identifying unique products.

      Similarly, Diana may want to do something similar for their historical lookalikes like how Umarex uses the Legends branding for their CO2 replicas of historic designs. And if they do, their marketing research needs to step it up on what their markets are looking for. The K98k is neat and all, but the historical associations… I think a lot of markets would be far more receptive to a replica Garand or SMLE than a Mauser.

      Thanks,
      Nathan


  5. Hi folks,

    I wonder what’s actually up with the trigger on this thing. The DIANA web page seems to list it as an “NTEC T06”. Didn’t the previous N-TEC rifles have a “regular” T06?

    Does a trigger have to do anything fundamentally different with a gas piston? I would figure it needs to grab the piston and let go when you want the shot to break.

    I have been using the Diana 31 Panther T06 for some years now and one of the best things about it is the trigger. If the newer N-TEC rifles have an inferior trigger, I would probably pass…

    In other news, the LP 5 seems to be back… sort of. There is now a “p-five”, but considering the price, it’s probably part of the “Action” series rather than the “Performance” series: https://www.german-sport-guns.com/shop/de/Diana-p-five_10500200

    It probably won’t hold a candle to my old LP 5 G which I *really* like, but then, mine was more expensive used than this one is new.
    If the p-five shoots well, it might be a good beginner pistol for the price.

    Kind regards,
    Stephan





        • Agreed. The T06 is great, but the 300S trigger is in a different league.

          I have replaced the springs and seals and sanded and oiled the stock on my 1972 300S. But I haven’t even touched the trigger unit. It just felt perfect the way I got it.


  6. B.B.

    Thank you doing a report on the innovative EMS.
    My only 2 suggestions would be to do a report on why a side-latch triggers feels different than a center-latch triggers.
    Also, while 50 yard tests are nice, I would suggest a new category; “Maximum Plinking Distance”.
    To me this would represent the distance that you can hit 3 out of 5 shoots on one of RR feral soda cans. Just food for thought……

    -Y


    • Yogi,

      I like your thinking about the Maximum Plinking Distance, but with those b’ugly stocks and that terrible trigger it would never be allowed to live at RRHFWA very long. It would be finding a new home pretty quick.

      I think BB’s testing at 50 yards is for those who might give this some serious thought as a hunter.

      Just for general knowledge, none of my plinkers have scopes. In fact, none of them will accept scopes.


    • Yogi,

      Not a bad idea. At what point can you still hold a 1″ group?,… for example. People do compete out to 55 yards though,.. if not mistaken? In that case, a 50 yard test is a good test.

      Chris


      • Chris,

        I’m with you on the “1 inch target” rating approach.

        IMHO, any group larger than 1″ is more a pattern than a group. How far the rifle (and the shooter) can consistently put 10 shots in a 1″ circle is (my) definition of the maximum effective range – presuming the power is adequate for the job.

        Hank


        • Vana2,

          “…presuming the power is adequate for the job.”
          So Hank, how much energy on target is required for Plinking? Do R.R.’s ferral cans need to be holed, double holed, dented, knocked into the next county, or do you just wat to hear the PLINK…maybe just a plink?
          Personally I want to turn his feral cans inside out and knock them into West Virginia, LOL!

          shootski


          • Shootski,

            Agreed, very little power is required for plinking and punching paper – basically if the pellet can get to the target you should be OK eh?

            The power requirements change the moment you consider pesting or hunting where you definitely need power adequate to do the job. Hence the comment.

            At 800 fps in .22 and the accuracy BB has shown, I would say that the Diana 34 EMS is (as well as an excellent plinker) a pesting and hunting rifle for game up to the size of squirrels and rabbits and out to 20 – 25 yards. I would not recommend it for groundhogs or larger pests at any range. Just my opinion.

            I was just qualifying that “maximum effective range” has a accuracy requirement (for me that is 10 shots in one inch) and a power requirement (which depends on what I am shooting at) – both have to be within the parameters before I would consider taking a shot.

            Done rambling 🙂
            Hank


    • Yogi,

      Is it possible to plink with a Big Bore? Most of the time (3/5) it sounds more like a CLANG and a THUD when it is one of those 2 out of 5 shots!

      shootski


  7. BB,

    I have quite a few single stage triggers here at RidgeRunner’s Home For Wayward Airguns and none of them are vague. Maybe because these ladies have been around for a while, they are broken in nice. When I apply pressure to these triggers, it is a nice, clean snap. I guess I am going to have to slow down and pay real close attention to these triggers and see if they slide along much.

    Just so you know, I am aware of what a long, creepy single stage trigger is like. Uuuuuuugh.

    Now as for this EMS, it is in need of an EMS technician. There is absolutely no reason to have a different trigger when you install a gas sproing. I had installed a GRT3 trigger on my Gamo CFX and PA installed a gas sproing in it without changing the trigger assembly at all. That theory is out the window.

    As much experience as Diana had in making nice sproingers, you would think they would make their new flag ship model nicer looking. I have not looked at the price tag, but I will bet you this version of the 34 is more expensive than the last real 34 was. You would think it would at least look better.

    I do have to admit that the iron sight OPTION is nice. I do hate glowy thingys. But you know that already.

    I have to admit I am spoiled rotten. I do have a couple of real nice sproingers around here. Just so everyone knows, none of them cost anywhere near what this one likely does. No, they were not new. Well, one of them was.


    • RR

      My understanding is that Diana and Gammo have their gas piston oriented in different directions.
      So there is no stem for the Diana trigger sear to catch.

      I bet if B.B. adjusted his trigger he could get to be almost as nice as a real T06 and better than Perfekt.

      -Y


  8. BB,

    Seeing that the EMS has the power, accuracy and likes heavier pellets it sounds like the rifle really would shine in .22 caliber – especially at 50 yards.

    Any chance you could get one for testing?

    Hank



      • RR,

        Yea,… you would have thought that a simple screw in barrel would have sufficed as the first course of action. Guess not.

        On the trigger/latch rod,… I would have to agree,… unless? they went with a different latch rod,.. which in turn (forced) a trigger modification.

        At least BB is doing pretty well with it.

        Chris


        • Chris,

          When you get used to a trigger, you can use it no matter how bad it is. Believe me, I know.

          What Diana did though is threw away the T06 and applied the name elsewhere. As I have said elsewhere I had a Gamo CFX with a metal sproing and a GRT3 trigger. I had PA install a gas sproing. the trigger assembly did not change. It does not really need to, most especially if you are designing the airgun.


          • RidgeRunner
            I have a HW90 which carries a gas spring. Weirauch had to drop their Rekord trigger and replace it with the Elite trigger because of the gas ram I understand. I have never had the pleasure to use a Record trigger but I also understand that Elite is not as nice as the Rekord


            • Ton,

              That is my understanding also. Because of the way the adjustable gas spring is designed, they could not use the Rekord. The did do a good job, but it is not the Rekord.



  9. B.B.,
    I you still have some of the Baracuda Match pellets with 4.53mm head size, give those a try. I found this pellet and head size to be the best in my RWS 34, tighter groups than the 4.50mm head size.


  10. BB,

    The only thing I can figure is when they were bought out, all the old engineers were shown the door and the new ones started from scratch rather than work with what was already engineered.

    EMS technician = Emergency Mechanical Service technician


  11. B B,
    I’m advised that a batch of EMS’ have landed here in the UK so I have ordered one through my local dealer. Yours and the Hard Air Magazine test heartened me a bit and I’m sure there is still a 34 under all the new gubbins. The intention is not to change it too much although I am interested to see if the barrel can be shortened from the breech end. If so I may fit a moderator. The last thing a 19 and a half inch barrel needs is 7 inches of moderator.

    Regards,
    Drew


  12. Vana2,

    “…presuming the power is adequate for the job.”
    So Hank, how much energy on target is required for Plinking? Do R.R.’s ferral cans need to be holed, double holed, dented, knocked into the next county, or do you just want to hear the PLINK…maybe just a plink?
    Personally I want to turn his feral cans inside out and knock them into West Virginia, LOL!

    shootski






    • Fish,

      I see some still in stock at Canadian retailers in both .177 and .22 – you may want to talk to an importer if you’re aiming to snag them since I don’t think they ship out of country (all of the 34s are over the firearms regulation power threshold).


  13. B.B. and the USA Readership; also interested readers from other Countries,

    Keep your ears peeled tomorrow! Depending on the wording used some of the repeater airguns may have their magazines (clips for some) made illegal (or is that undocumented) and you a Felon by Executive Order. Imports may also be effected depending on the specific wording. For those of you with firearms you will almost with certainty soon be Felons!

    shootski


  14. B.B. and Readership,

    As some of you know I recently came in from the Dark Side.
    In the Dark Side I had to learn by the school of hard knocks. It was before the time of the World Wide Web that I had adopted the World of PCPs. Well currently the living is easy since I’m able to stand on the shoulders of so many of the gas-spring adopters by doing smart searches. I’m just at the beginning in sifting through the inevitable Chaff but the number of marvelously beneficial seeds has been surprising! Early days interviews with Ed Schultz about gas-springs have been most prized for mining great information! You need to use your gas-spring guns every six months or at least cycle them to avoid “welding” the piston to the cylinder walls…that is the gist of Ed Schultz’s message on how to extend the already very long service life of gas-springs.

    Also among the Chaff are bits of information i want to pass on to all of you as I find them while searching for from the mouth of education in this arcane World of Sproingers.
    Hatsan owners this ones for you: https://shop.gastac.com/Hatsan-HT125-Kit-Basic-Gas-Ram You may find ones for your cars too!
    When you see the price, granted 10 is the minimum number to put in your cart, but can you get a single replacement that cheap?

    shootski


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