Author Topic: RWS94: She's pretty, nice to hold, and a cheap date. What's not to love?  (Read 9732 times)

Offline vinceb

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1943
    • http://
In my effort to sample every (cheap) breakbarrel on the market, I found that buying the refurbished rifles from Umarex is an easy way to try several models on the cheap. Unfortunately, sometimes one gets what one pays for.

Or less.

The Cometa-built RWS94 has generally gotten good reviews, so when I found out that Umarex had ONE left in .22 I told 'em "SEND IT"! Well, they sent it alright - and proved that even Umarex's gunsmiths make an occassional boo-boo. The stock was severly beat up, the barrel and compression tube had rust and pitting on them - and, worst of all - the barrel was BENT. Despite these flaws, the rifle itself seriously impressed me with its smooth firing cycle, decent power, and nice trigger. I returned the rifle, with instructions to replace it with another '94.

The only other ones they had were in .177, so that's what showed up at my door several days later. One side note about how Umarex fixes their mistakes - They got the returned gun on a Friday and had its replacement out the following Monday. The replacement rifle was a marked improvement over the previous one. There were few cosmetic flaws this time around, the most blatant being the "R" stamped into the stock above the forearm screws! Best of all, though, the barrel was straight.

So now that I have a decent example in my hands, I can give the rifle an honest evaluation. In general, the RWS 94 is very close in size and weight to the Gamo 440, being almost 3 ounces heavier and about 1 1/2" longer. Pull length is virtually identical, again with the 94 being a smidgen longer. Generally speaking, the woodwork and metalwork is generally comparable to the Gamo, with the stock having a shinier finish and more a pronounced grain. The only checkering is on the grip, and it is rather nicely done. While the gun balances well enough, one is aware of the extra weight over, say, the Quest or even the Shadow. It's not a major bother, and to my hands it doesn't have the ponderous feel of the Model 34.

One thing that I always try to spot are design similarities between different rifles, and as soon as I saw the front sight I thought "AH-HA! Norico!". The front sight looked identical to the one on the Beeman S1 I had, complete with replaceable insert. So, I figured Cometa (who makes the 94) must have some sort of tie with Norica. When I popped open the breach, I also noted that this gun has a staked ball-bearing detent like the ones found on the old S1 and GS1000 series Beemans, but when I measured the breach block dimensions it became apparent that they were not identical. And on closer inspection, the front sight was not the same either - the '94 has a small machine screw and embedded nut that clamps the front sight onto the muzzle, but the Beeman (Norica) sight was one-piece plastic with a fake screw head molded into it. The clincher was the trigger - completely different from the two Norica mechanisms I'm familiar with.

So I'm concluding that this gun ain't no Norica clone. Which is fine with me, since I'm so-so on the Norica's in general. The construction of the rest of the gun is relatively typical... it has a single cocking link (not an articulated link like the Gamo) and a standard pivot bolt arrangement. Oddly enough, though, this gun uses a nice feature often found on the lowliest Chinese breakbarrels - a locking screw for the pivot bolt. This consists of a small screw that sits close to the pivot bolt head so that it overlaps it. There are reccess cutouts in the pivot bolt that the head can fit in to - when the lock screw is in place it prevents the pivot bolt head from rotating. There are 10 cutouts in the head so the bolt can only be tightened in 36-degree increments... coarser than, say, the locknut arrangement on a B26, but an acceptable compromise.

Cocking the gun is a bit stiffer than a Gamo, but like its fellow countryman it has a long cocking pull to maximize mechanical advantage. So why is it stiffer? Why, more power, of course! This gun is pretty consistent in tossing CPL's at over 970fps, which is over 16 ft-lbs of energy. Pretty good for a .177, and in the same ballpark as the IZH MP513 or the Powerline... both of which make you work a lot harder for the power. Cocking the rifle also sets the automatic safety, which is located at the end of the compression tube and reasonably convenient for your thumb. And although I dislike automatic safeties, most seem to have something in common - they allow the gun to be de-cocked, as does the one on the 94. Unlike the B20/B26, however, this safety can be reset without cocking the gun.

The firing cycle on this example isn't quite as pleasant as the one I returned... there is a touch of buzziness about it, but it's fairly mild. Certainly better than any stock Gamo I've tried, but oddly enough worse than some Quest variants I've shot. And better than the RWS34 that I had.

The trigger pull, however, is quite a bit different from the usual fare. Although it does have some 2nd stage creep, I do suspect that this can be adjusted out. It does have moderate pull to it, but I think that the balance between weight and travel are just about ideal. This is no hair trigger, it takes a wee bit too much effort in the 2nd stage to pop it off accidentally, but not enough to upset your hold. Reminds me very much of the trigger on my RWS48, so much so that I wondered if Cometa cloned the TO5 trigger. I popped both actions out of their stocks, and no. Cometa uses their own mechanism.

The sights are solid enough, and the rear sight has solid detents and no horizontal looseness (thankfully). I found adequate elevation adjustment for everything from 10 to 60 yards without hitting the limits of travel. As mentioned earlier the front sight does have a replaceable insert, and frankly I found the one it came with to be a little too narrow.. Neither sight has a fiberoptic insert, which is a good thing under some circumstances and not so good under others. This certainly rates as one of the better airgun sights I've seen, but still not quite up to the Mendoza 2003 or even the fiberoptic sights on the B26 (which works better under more diverse lighting conditions.).

It can be said that no gun is better than its accuracy, so how does the accuracy on this thing fare compared to, well, anything else?

Here's were I usually announce my "bad eyes-unsteady hands" caveat to all accuracy comments to follow - so consider it announced! In any event, the gun is obviously not as easy to shoot well as a CFX or a model 48 (but easier than a 34). My initial groups were a bit disappointing, to the tune of 1/2" at 10 yards with open sights with CPL's. Since I was having some trouble with the sights, I decided to slap a scope on it and see what happens.

Well, the CPL's didn't really do much better.... but another pellet that I also tested with the scope did a more respectable job - .3" over five shots. As I've said before, that's (sadly) about the best I can do, and I was glad to see the rifle do that well. And the pellet it liked the best? RWS "Diablo Basic", which used to be known as the Geco, and which can still be had for $3.00 or less per tin of 500.

Talk about your cheap dates...

I doubt that the Geco would prove to be a good 50-yard plinker or hunter... lightweight wadcutters launched at transonic velocites generally don't. Regardless, this demonstrates that the rifle is quite capable of shooting well enough... and I don't have a lot of different pellets to try out at the moment. And I do suspect that the Premiers will perform better once I get more used to the gun - heavier pellets do spend more time in the barrel, giving the shooter more time to mess up the shot! And one thing I can guarrantee is that if I get a chance to screw up a shot, I will certainly do so!

So, in summary, the '94 is another pleasant surprise from RWS (Umarex). In absolute terms it's probably not a better shooter than the typical Gamo breakbarrel (which is pretty darned good). It might even be a little more difficult to shoot well. But the added power, smoother firing cycle, and very nice trigger are appreciated bonuses, and shows that it definitely occupies a niche that's a notch or two higher. The slightly harder cocking, the added heft, and extra length makes is feel a little less svelte than the various Gamo models, but it does not come off as overbearing by any stretch. A very nice rifle indeed, and the SHIPPED price of $120 (for the refurb variant) makes it one of the best breakbarrel deals out there, rivaled (in my opinion) only by the $120 Gamo 440 that is still available - for the moment - at Natchez.

Frankly, I'm glad I bought one of each...

Offline leftcoast1

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2246
    • http://
RE: RWS94: She's pretty, nice to hold, and a cheap date. What's not to love?
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2007, 10:52:48 AM »
Excellent review. I'm glad my checkbook keeps me inline or I'd be buying a lot more. Can't spend what i don't have.
Jason
A couple of Springers nothin to get excited about.

  • Guest
RE: RWS94: She's pretty, nice to hold, and a cheap date. What's not to love?
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2007, 01:15:58 PM »


Vince,



Thanks for the great write up on the 94. Darn shame that the .22 was in such bad shape when it arrived, but the .177 appears to be able to put up respectable numbers also.



Jeff


Offline USNCop

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 598
    • http://
Thanks Vince
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2007, 02:12:49 PM »
For bringing to our attention being able to buy refurbs from Umarex.  I never even thought to ask them.
I'm no expert but according to a chart I have, a Cometa Fenix 400 is a RWS 94  and a Beeman S1
is a Norica Jet.
By looking at a Webley ad I have, my Beeman Bearcub carbine looks identical to the Vulcan Mk3 in the picture.  I'm guessing subtle spec changes were made for Beeman(?)  I can't see the small details in the pic however.
QB57 .177, BAM B26 .177, BAM B26 .22

  • Guest
How is she now?
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2008, 11:28:08 AM »
I read some reports on the spring getting weak after 2000 shots. I am interested in this gun but I want something for the long-haul, 5000 maybe 4000 shots at least.

Also, is this or a Tech Force 89, CFX, or any other gun at 900+ fps quiet enough for anyone to recommend using in the city?

Offline Joe D

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 133
    • http://
RE: How is she now?
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2008, 12:45:51 PM »
I have had two 94's for 5 years. One is .22 the other is .177. I cannot find a better AG for the price. The .177 goes 875 fps with CPLs and 775 with CPH. The only pellet I have tried in the .22 is the 14.3 gr CP. That one goes a little over 750 fps.
I have a Crosman Storm, Gamo Big Cat and a Mendoza 600. The 94 is way better than any of them.
I replaced one of the trigger springs with a lighter one. I doubt if the trigger pull is even 1 lb. Short, light first stage then bang.

  • Guest
RE: How is she now?
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2008, 01:52:13 PM »
You are going to be the last person out of a few dozen I listened to talking about how good this gun is. I feel obligated to hurry up and get my own now lol. What kind of maintenance work do you recall doing for it and what kind of tools would you recommend I buy with it for the duty with my own? Does it need a spring compressor? Thanks.

Offline Joe D

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 133
    • http://
RE: How is she now?
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2008, 11:48:53 PM »
All I have done is shoot it. I rechecked my velocity number the other day. I was not using CPLs. When I shot some Gamo hunters it went well over 950. CPLs should be about the same.
If you can find one get it. There is a pretty good disassembly tutorial at the Kermit Air Gun Club site. Just plug RWS 94 into Google and the Kermit site will pop up.
There is a little creep in the second stage that I am going to fix. I changed out the stock trigger spring with a lighter one.

Offline Tex

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 184
    • http://
My 2 cents, Joe
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2008, 10:13:25 AM »
I have owned two RWS 94s and still have one (My son made off with the other one).  I find it to be an outstanding rifle for the money.  I own 3 HW rifles, 5 Diana RWS rifles, and 2 Cometa RWS rifles (94 and 93), as well as several chincoms.  In comparison, while it is not quite the quality of the more expensive HW and Diana rifles the RWS 94  is a good value and good quality, at least mine is. In my experience, you will have to spend around 300 bucks to beat it, with the possible exception of the Diana RWS 34.  I have no experience with the 34, but I understand that it is a nice rifle and could be a better choice in that it too, is a quality made product (German).  That said, I have no regrets with my 94.  It is very accurate and has a nice balance, especially for hunting, and in my opinion, much better than any chincom I have tried.  I'm still getting around 940 fps with mine (7.9 cpls)  after well over 1000 rounds (I lost count a long time ago).  I have not had to do anything to mine.  After around 500 rounds it really smoothed out and it remains one of my favorite rifles. JMHO.

Cheers

Offline swickre

  • GTA Donations
  • ******
  • Posts: 6
    • http://kc7eri-wick.webs.com/
Re: RWS94: She's pretty, nice to hold, and a cheap date. What's not to love?
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2009, 11:35:09 AM »
how can i get arefurb gun from rsw or umarex

Offline RedFeather

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2308
    • http://
Re: RWS94: She's pretty, nice to hold, and a cheap date. What's not to love?
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2009, 12:40:20 AM »
Give them a call.  Ask what they have in stock and see if any are aa+ which is like the old "hand select" when buying surplus guns.  Isn't there a thread on some of their refurbs in the bargains forum here?

Offline ranedouglas

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 318
    • http://www.raneair.webs.com
RE: RWS94: She's pretty, nice to hold, and a cheap date. What's not to love?
« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2009, 05:26:42 PM »
i just bought an "R" stamped rws model 94 from umarex for under $100 shipped.   after a lube job, it's just as good of a gun as my rws model 36.   the 94 is is easier to cock and it has a great trigger.   we were bursting paintballs at will at the distances of 30 and 40 yards.    i highly recommend an rws model 94 if you can still find one.   i don't know how the spainards did it, but the tube is smaller than my diana 36's and the 94 shoots about 950 fps, while the 36 shoots about 900.   i was put together wonderfully.   - paul d self in ft.worth, tx.