Author Topic: RWS Diana 34P (Panther) Plus a Comparison to the Standard M34  (Read 19334 times)

Offline cnsjones

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RWS Diana 34P (Panther) Plus a Comparison to the Standard M34
« on: October 19, 2009, 07:05:06 AM »
RWS Diana 34P Panther Review - Plus Comparison

Pictures will be provided.

Part 1

This is my first review here, and I know there have been tons elsewhere about the Model 34, but I note that in our GTA Reviews there are none of the RWS 34P that describe the rifle, just the one by Robert Perez (SE_FL_Airgunner) that is a more of a chrony/pellet review using the M34 Panther platform.  There are NONE here for the ever-popular M34 Standard either, which surprises me! I see a few posts today (Oct 19, 2009) expressing interest in these fine guns, so I will attempt to be more descriptive of the gun itself, and add come comments on the differences between the two since I already own a Diana Model 34 Standard. I like BOTH guns! I may add one in .22. I have to admit that I like them both better than I did my Whisper, which I sold about a month ago.

This is a brand new 34 Panther .177.  I opened the factory sealed box, so anything that gets reported is what I find and describe as it was shipped from the factory. The gun came to me double boxed, but the factory package was also a double package; an outer “RWS “sleeve” box with the inner box having Styrofoam retainers for protection. I have seen better, but the rifle was in a long plastic sleeve to keep out dust and contamination, and there was no damage noted upon inspection. I placed the new rifle next to my new Beeman R7 for comparison, and the bluing was similar. I am no expert, but the metal parts of the 34 seemed to be similar or equal to that of the R7 in quality of appearance. Certainly the quality was good at least to my eyes. The bluing on the Panther seemed a bit darker than the M34 Standard, but it is an older model. Other comparisons to the M34 Standard will be described below.

My reasons for owning two M34’s: I plan on shooting the heck out of both of them then selecting one of them to chop and install a custom muzzle brake on. I may or may not change out the stock on the panther.  I will add an adjustable butt plate to one of them.

Since I also own a M34 Standard, I laid them together for comparison. I noticed first that the composite stock fore-end extended past the hinge point  (another 4 5/8 inches), and this gives the gun a longer sleeker look. Not that the gun needs to look longer. The “spec” sheets on various listings say the 34P is 46.0 inches overall length, and I measured 45 7/8, close enough. The extra forearm effectively “hides” the barrel hinge mechanism that is totally “open” in the standard M34.  The length of the guns gives meaning to the old term “Long Gun.” My B26-2 with barrel brake is barely 44 inches, and the “little” Beeman R7 is only 37 inches overall! The stock itself is black composite and appears well made and solid. I did not get the hollow sound and feel from the rear stock that was so apparent in my Whisper stock. There are slightly raised  â€œparting lines” down the center of the stock, top and bottom, and the edges of the cocking slot are sharp and rather rough.  I will smooth these off later. The gun has a hard rubber butt plate; the standard M34 does not have a butt plate, just grooves cut into the wood stock.

The Panther has the adjustable rear notch with green side fiber optic “lights,” and the front sight is a bright red fiber optic on a raised ramp. This front sight platform is probably NOT removable; but, there is a setscrew in the top of the ramp.  I have not found the purpose, but it may be to raise or lower the front sight. There is a difference in the rear sights: The Panther windage knob is smaller in diameter.

The Panther has a recess (about 5 mm.) between the end of the rifling and the end of the gun, which is actually the end of the composite front sight mount/ramp. See photo. I see no bevel where the rifling stops. The 34 Std. also does not have a beveled crown, just the normal “rounded” barrel end that does offer some protection.

I broke open the barrel without full cocking, and did a pull through with a drop of Goo-Gone on a patch, and there was no evidence of metal shavings or contamination---pulled three dry patches through and they were clean.

Outside for the first test shots. No scope was mounted for this first session.  I ran the rear sight all the way down, set up a cardboard box at 23 yards. First cocking:  Man, did it seem stiff! Effort seemed much harder than my standard 34, which has around seven hundred or so shots through it now. And the squawk! There was a loud squeaking noise apparently from the piston seal. My first thought was “Wow, they did not lubricate this gun at all!”  But I went ahead and fired the first shot. Trigger first stage was very light and definite, and the second stage felt like about three pounds of pull  -- a bit of what I would call creep before the let off. Hit the box about 3 inches low and six inches left of the aim point. Noted that the rear sight was not centered for windage, corrected that. Gave it ten clicks up and tried another. Still squawked on cocking. There was no evidence of dieseling. POI much closer, so worked on zeroing the sights with another dozen pellets.  I was using RWS Match pellets.

After that I set up a single bull target, and at 23 yards on a bag rest, I got a ¾ inch group of five shots, no scope. I was impressed with the Panther, because with my Whisper (sold now) it took me over 50 shots before I was able to do that with a scope.  The Whisper seemed much more hold sensitive, and with the Whisper, at first there was an occasional “flyer” about every 10 or 12 shots regardless of pellets. No flyers were noted with the Panther, at least not with these pellets.

This session was about 30 shots, and the rifle did quiet down slightly (squeaking got a little bit less). Cocking effort was still pretty heavy in comparison to my standard M34, which is nearly broken in.

The next session was with a Bushnell Banner scope mounted with Beeman medium rings. I attempted to “center” the adjustment with the scope turrets by counting the total turns from one extreme to the other then set the adjustment about half way in between. First shot was about one inch low and one inch left, with the RWS Match pellets. This was well within the adjustment capabilities of the scope, so I guess I lucked out and have a gun with NO DROOP to speak of! Not sure if this is a given with the Panther vs. the standard M34 or not. My standard M34 DOES have significant droop.

 I shot about forty shots pretty rapidly as it was getting dark, but managed a couple nickel sized groups of five. No “flyers” at all and I was becoming more impressed; my other air guns did not “behave” this well after several times the number of shots through this gun so far. And after the first thirty shots of this session, the piston “squeak” while still there was slightly “quieter.”  The trigger felt a little better also, but I think I will attempt to adjust the second stage for a slightly lighter pull. OOOPS! The second stage is NOT adjustable!!!
The "Adjustable Trigger" with the TO-5 is for the first stage ONLY!  Bummer.

This TO-5 trigger on the Panther is a  bit stiffer than the old gun. This may smooth out with use. I did not really like the (approximate) three-pound pull, but since the adjustment is only for the first stage, I guess I will have to live with it unless I get a trigger tune by an expert.  There is a definite light first stage, then (in mine) there is a definite "creep spot" in the trigger before the let-off.The M34 Std. (SN 01128821) has the T0-1 trigger with two adjustment screws, and has a much crisper feel, at least at this point. Both trigger blades are high strength plastic, which is a continuing source of comments about "WHY??"  I admit that I wonder also. Guess the manufacturer is reluctant to change that which has been out so long? I personally think that they should go to a metal trigger with any new model improvement.

The next part of this review will be two sessions of accuracy testing from the bench.

Fuller
OlTimer: Life Member NRA
FWB 65//FWB 300S//M.M. B26-2 .22
Diana RWS 34 .177//Diana RWS 34P .177
Beeman R7 DG//
Anschutz Bull Barrel .22 cal. Prone Rifle

‘‘The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able may have a gun.’’
  ~ Patrick Henry
 

Offline onemountain

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RE: RWS Diana 34P (Panther) Plus a Comparison to the Standard M34
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2009, 09:47:11 AM »


Great review, Fuller. Awhile back I was considering getting a '34, and was surprised at how little there was on the GTA comparing the Panther and the classic. I also noticed the lack of, well, anything really commenting on the 34 classic. Seem's you're out to correct the GTA's Diana 34 deficiencies



I would've appreciated something like this back then, so I know someone will appreciate your work now or in the future..



I'm looking forward to part 2

Yea, though I walk through the garden in the shadows of pests,
I will fear no squirrel: For thou art with me;
thy scope and thy trigger, they comfort me.

()()                          
(O.o)      
o( ()()  ~In memory of Alu~

????? ?aß?!

Offline chortdraw

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Re: RWS Diana 34P (Panther) Plus a Comparison to the Standard M34
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2009, 01:52:15 PM »
Good review Fuller. So you sold your Whisper? I had the same problems with mine and took it apart and found a large gouge out of the seal. After my first tune job ,which turned out ok, I could hold a good group with no fliers. I will look forward to your next test. The OFC is still working and learning...grin!!

 Rem.Vantage/chopped and tuned by me.
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 2-Daisy Red Rider\'s
 Whisper 177 home tuned- given to my son
 

Offline tjk

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Re: RWS Diana 34P (Panther) Plus a Comparison to the Standard M34
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2009, 10:43:36 PM »


Thanks for the comparisons Fuller. I have the standard 'woody' 34 in .22 and I love that rifle. CDT did the work on mine,..and the difference is like night and day! I've shot mine so many times,..that the maccarri spring finally wore out and had to replace it with the factory spring I had on hand. A bit stouter spring as well. One thing that I didn't care to much for was the lack of a rubber butt pad on the stock,...but after a zillion shots,...I found it's really not necessary for great accuracy. But for protection a thin pad would have been nice. I also wondered why the trigger wasn't metal myself,.but over time, the finish on the plastic blade will wear away some, giving it a more desireable 'textured feel' to it!!! Again, thanks for the review comparison!! Happy Shooting, tjk



397 Benji-98\' model    
Marksman  0035, My Fav!,CDT T\'d
Crosman Sierra-Pro,.177
Benji 392 08\'
CDT TT\'d RWS 34 .22,CP 4-16X40 AO
MM T\'d Marksman 0035
Crosman G1 Extreme
Daisy PowerLine 1000
TF-97 .22
B-28A MM T\'d
B-28 OEM Tuned by me
Beeman .22 RX-2 w/Theoben GR
Beeman .177 R1 Santa Rosa

Offline LanceJ

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Re: RWS Diana 34P (Panther) Plus a Comparison to the Standard M34
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2009, 03:38:13 PM »
Off topic, but the fourth nut muncher from the right must have been a trooper. He looks like swiss cheese!
 :D

Offline Gene_SC

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Re: RWS Diana 34P (Panther) Plus a Comparison to the Standard M34
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2009, 05:48:13 PM »
Great objective review Fuller. Glad you pointed out the facts and features of the two. I have a couple different variants of the RWS 34 series air guns and am very pleased with them. My modified standard 1987 RWS 34 converted to a Diana RWS 34 Meisterschutze Pro Compact was a great project that gave me a shooting air rifle. Then I bought a new Diana RWS 34 Pro Compact from David Kirby which I felt was a tad stronger and a bit more accurate. Both with great cocking and shooting cycles.

Thanks again for sharing your opinions with all of us.
THE ONES I SLEEP WITH: BSA Lightning XL, AA TX-200, AA ProSport, BSA Ultra, HW-97K, Crosman NPSS .177, FX Cyclone, HW-30 Nicle Plated, AA-S200, Crosman Marauder, CZ-634, R-9 DG, Webley/Scott UK Tomahawk, Benji Kantana, Benji Marauder, Benji Discovery.....
....

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Offline HNT5

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Great Review
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2009, 11:50:17 PM »
Spot on too! I really like my .22 Panther. I like the stock shape on the Panther better than the wood version. Yes the front sight assembly is removeable. I think the M34 (wood or Panther) is a great value.
Looking forward to Part 2
Regards
Nathan

Offline scott_RWS48

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Re: RWS Diana 34P (Panther) Plus a Comparison to the Standard M34
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2009, 04:25:18 PM »
Did the 34 ever quit squeaking when cocking?

Offline tjk

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Re: RWS Diana 34P (Panther) Plus a Comparison to the Standard M34
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2009, 10:50:14 PM »
No Lance, he was at the bottum of the bag I carry when hunting. All were head and vitals shots,....lots of blood!!!! LOL's tjk
397 Benji-98\' model    
Marksman  0035, My Fav!,CDT T\'d
Crosman Sierra-Pro,.177
Benji 392 08\'
CDT TT\'d RWS 34 .22,CP 4-16X40 AO
MM T\'d Marksman 0035
Crosman G1 Extreme
Daisy PowerLine 1000
TF-97 .22
B-28A MM T\'d
B-28 OEM Tuned by me
Beeman .22 RX-2 w/Theoben GR
Beeman .177 R1 Santa Rosa

Offline cnsjones

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Re: RWS Diana 34P (Panther) Plus a Comparison to the Standard M34
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2009, 12:50:05 AM »
Sorry have not been here or a while guys!  Just finished cataract surgery and hd some other problems.  Hopefully will get back to shooting soon.  Last I shot the 34P the squak was still there but not nearly as bad as when brand new.
Fuller
OlTimer: Life Member NRA
FWB 65//FWB 300S//M.M. B26-2 .22
Diana RWS 34 .177//Diana RWS 34P .177
Beeman R7 DG//
Anschutz Bull Barrel .22 cal. Prone Rifle

‘‘The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able may have a gun.’’
  ~ Patrick Henry