Become an AGN forum member to be included in our multi-thousand dollar Monthly Airgun Giveaways! Winning is as easy as picking a number, no strings attached! This is our way of thanking you for being a part of the worlds biggest airgun forum. Yours truly, Michael Wendt - Owner.
Join HERE

RWS Diana 48 .20 cal has got me inspired

  • Views : 510
  • Link

    JohnnyPiston
    Participant
    Member

    Another lucky grail find this year, the rare and discontinued RWS Diana 48 .20 cal (let's just call this D48 .20 #1😉) with T01 trigger unit. The inspiration comes from the possibilities of 

    1. having a magnum, fixed barrel platform

    2. bore, stroke & piston weight designed to make power

    3. sidelever cocking which means finally I can take on the challenge of long range prone springer shooting

    4. shooting JSB 13.73 with its outstanding BC, having enough impact energy to ring 3" and 4" steel gong targets at distances of 65 yards + (I actually made some heavy duty targets purpose built for this rifle! 🤓 more on this later)

    5. hunting, of course. The Roman Goddess Diana (Artemis in Ancient Greece) was not only the Goddess of the moon, but also the Goddess of the hunt, known for her extremely short temper and fits of rage to punish mortals who offended her. Poor Actaeon! So I find it fitting that THIS Diana will serve to not only hunt but punish intruding or unwelcome critters! LOL

    I've had the rifle for a short time and it took a little while to accustom to the sidelever cocking dynamics. Decocking this rifle for the first time was…interesting🤓. Accuracy seemed decent but I knew it was early days and the trigger definitely needed work for precision target shooting. Heavy pull, and stiff break point without a crisp, discernible wall. Lots of sideplay in both the sear pin that secures the bottom sear and the trigger blade.  

    Long story short, the trigger is now sorted and is very responsive, breaks cleanly with a glassy smooth take up & lighter pull. The sideplay tolerances have been addressed with shims and the blade now has as little sideplay as the T06 blade on my RWS 54 Air King. A drastic improvement! 

    Power: this is an 18+ fpe rifle. 845 fps with  11.42 gn H&N FTT's and 775 fps with 13.73 gn JSB's. It arrived to me with a Vortek PG2 kit installed.

    Accuracy wise: early informal plinking at 65 yards had 5 shots under a dime, from seated FT position with H&N FTT's. This was interesting. Later, testing of 5 shot seated groups at 55 yards showed that FTT's could produce quarter sized groups.  Hmm….

    Early plinking with JSB's also showed promise, but with groups larger than the FTT's. Later I tested them at 55 yards: seated 5 shot groups well over an inch, about 1 1/8" – 1 1/2". I also noticed that group patterns were dissimilar, despite my best attempts at holding steady with a solid inner position, good follow through, etc. Of course many things to consider (or put the blame on)…I continued shooting it for a couple more days and noticed the groups were getting increasingly dissimilar in pattern, as well as growing in size…

    Last night I decided to take a look at the Beeman muzzle brake and the set screw was just 2 threads away from coming out. 🤦🏻‍♂️ My bad, this was totally overlooked! In the beginning I imagine it was tighter, but accuracy started to suffer as it loosened. 

    I went ahead and reapplied the brake after a thorough cleaning of the barrel exterior and the brake shim ID. It was still a bit loose and needed an additional .004" steel shim for a tight, interference, "push and twist" on fit. Wood block placed against muzzle and a couple mallet taps for the brake to secure against the barrel shroud, and set screw tightened.

    Experimental Mode: ON

    I want rigidity, so I went a step further and placed a wide, black ranger band (heavy duty rubber band) over the area where muzzle brake & shroud meet. Next, a steel band over the ranger band, cut so that it wraps around and covers the articulating area without overlapping. Next, another ranger band to cover the steel, followed by two diametrically opposing torsioning forces: a couple of zip ties😉. Laugh with me, not at me. It's an experiment after all, not a permanent solution. Nothing to lose, and tighter groups to gain.

    This morning I was able to test using JSB's at 40 yards (maximum distance I could scoot back to without the rising sun milking up my Simmons 44 Mag Scope). I warmed up the gun first with a 5 shot group at 23 yards. Nothing noteworthy, especially since the barrel has just received its first "accuracy prep" treatment (deep clean and light polish). 
     

    Here are the four 5 shot seated groups shot consecutively with minor changes in my positioning. For group #4 I raised my knees up considerably, and the position felt great, was easier to manage the recoil and follow through was a bit more on target.

    A closer look:

    Groups 1-3:

    Group 4 (I shouldn't have written all over the pellet holes, but wanted to document the shots while memory was fresh):

    I knew I swung shot #5 low and to the right, so sent a 6th shot to join the group😉

    5 under a dime at 40 yards (shots 1-4 & 6) we're on the right track. These shots felt like "called shots". I know the rifle is capable of doing better, so onwards & upwards!

    Trigger: among some of the modifications done, here you can make out the shims to reduce sideplay and offer a consistent, quality break.

    My temporary and highly experimental D48 brake/shroud torsioning apparatus🤓🤔:

    And the underside displaying the D.O.T. S. (diametrically opposed torsioning system) 😉:

     

    This is one heck of a springer, and IMO a .20 cal springer grail! It has a very attractively figured beech stock, to boot! Lots more to do, lots more to shoot! I'm truly over the moon to have this D48 .20, how could one not be inspired with a rifle like this?

    Thanks for letting me share,

    JohnnyPiston AKA

    The Spring Gun Whisperer

     

     

     

     

    Link

    JamesD.
    Participant
    Member

    Gorgeous rifle. Thanks for sharing Johnny.

     I may be missing out but I never owned a .20 just because pellets weren't available locally. 
    I'm following & now you made me break out some springers to see if I can match your 40 yard 5 shots under a dime groups. 

    Link

    mh
    Participant
    Member

    You sure do come up with some interesting air rifles. Thanks for posting.

    Mitch

    • This reply was modified 1 month ago by mh.
    Link

    Glem.Chally
    Participant
    Member

    Haha what a beauty, love the stellar implementation of the rare D.O.T.S.

    Link

    biohazardman
    Participant
    Member

    Great shooting and groups with that thing.  Got to love the Diana guns for their power and accuracy for sure.

    Almost fergot to comment on the wonderful D.O.T. S. (diametrically opposed torsioning system) that you managed to get hold of.   I am pretty sure that they are quite rare these days.  Great job you did there. ;^)

    Link

    mh
    Participant
    Member

    Can someone tell me when these were made? I recently picked up a 20 cal 34. Never knew they were made.

    Mitch

    Link

    Hw9720
    Participant
    Member

    I also have a 34 in .20 wearing a 36 stock. Mine is dates 06/98. No marking for trigger. I think these may have been a special run.

    The special run 34's I seen all have the 36 stock on them.I have had a few 34's but this one is the only one I have kept.

     

    Link

    bdzjlz
    Participant
    Member

    Very nice and beautiful rifle plus great report! You 

    Link

    rwsmike
    Participant
    Member

    I love these posts because I really feel rws makes some nice airguns and usually they are not pellet fussy. During this sale at umarex  I picked up a rws 54 and a rws 34 p combo….the 34 was only $150 shipped which really opens doors for a lot  totry airguns .  

    Link

    LDamm
    Participant
    Member

    Great shooting Jon.  Thanks for sharing that new to you rifle and your quest to make it an even better rifle.  Sure do like those .20 cal. rifles.

    Link

    truck-driver
    Participant
    Member

    What little I know about the .20cal Diana's is that they were test runs to see how they would appeal to the shooting market and some were group buys that were special orders.

    Though not .20 cal I have a group buy Diana 52 .25 cal on the way that I bought used and was made around 2013.

    The .20 cal Diana's were made on different platforms and the first was the 430 Stutzen , the 34 and the 54. The 54 was a group purchase build that went sower and the promoter ate the purchase of what rifles weren't sold and they still are available in a custom version platform for a price which I can't afford.

    The 48 was a group buy rifle also and to find one in this condition is incredible and was probably a safe queen.

    Tom Gore owner of Vortek springs was one of the sponsors for group buys such as is AoA has done for members over on the GTA.

    I only own 3 Diana's till the D52 lands on my door step and then it will be 4, all have been tuned by me and are very accurate with the right pellet.

    Should the OP decide to sell the D48 .20 I call first debs to purchase it. Been wanting a ,20 cal springer for a while.

    Link

    JohnnyPiston
    Participant
    Member

    It's my understanding that the Diana Model 48 was a factory offering in .20, as was the Model 34 & 45. All discontinued, obviously.

    But back to the 48, here's some info from the Blue Book, 11th Ed.:

    truck-driver, I know there have been many custom/special orders organized over the years, but I believe the only factory offered Diana springers in .20 were the Model 45, 34 and 48. At least from what I see in my Blue Book. Thanks for sharing some of the background of these .20 cal Dianas. 

    Link

    JohnnyPiston
    Participant
    Member

    60 & 69 yard prone shooting with the mighty D48 .20, using JSB 13.73 gn pellets

    After a couple shots to verify holdover, I took a couple shots at my 3" and 4" steel gong target gallery at 60 yards. You can't see the targets in the video, but you'll hear the impact😎. Two shots sent in about a minute, video here:

     

     

    I then scooted back to 69 yards (level ground, what a luxury! LOL), and let a couple JSB 13.73 gn pellets fly:

     

     

    The shooting mat definitely helps with comfort, the coat & glove aid with positional stability, but none of this fun would be achievable without the D.O.T.S. 😜🤣. Fun times!

     

    Link

    Fuciliere
    Participant
    Member

    The grain on that stock is jus so nice

    Link

    JohnnyPiston
    Participant
    Member

    Yesterday early evening I was able to get in some practice with the D48 .20 cal. I thought that if I can get 5 in under an inch at 25 yard in this not so comfortable position with a recoilling magnum then that'd be acceptable.

    Surprisingly POI from the prone position is not far off from when the foreend is placed directly on the knee (seated position). 

    The best 5 shot group of the short shooting session is below (target is a traced washer with a 1/2" center hole- so the actual middle ring is slightly under 1/2" diameter). JSB 13.73 gn were used.

    Rewarding, sure. Room for improvement? Absolutely. Gotta stay at it!

    Link

    Cornpone
    Participant
    Member

    Excellent marksmanship.  I wish I had that sort of skill.

    Beautiful rifle as well.  Nice wood.

    I have a .22 that's marked "Made in West Germany" I bought new.  It's been to John in Pa for a tune and shoots well.

    Link

    JohnnyPiston
    Participant
    Member

    RWS Dynamit Nobel steel one-piece adjustable mount with Bushnell Elite 8-32X40 optically centered at 35 yards now mounted atop my Diana 48 factory barreled in .20 cal (this is D48#2, a T05 gun). Front sight ramp and rear sight removed, 3mm grub screws now occupying the rear sight holes for a cleaner look and less mass to vibrate. The action is in my "bionic" 🤓😆 repaired/improved 52 stock and it's been performing great.

    10mph predominant crosswind today (slight angle towards me at times). Beautiful day to  shoot .20 cal 13.73gn JSB's. I sat on the top of the slope and shot down and across it at my target box set at 39 yards.

    2 pellets through one hole, 2 more to the left shot in gusts; still holding a tight waterline and one shot that crept up on a not so consistent hold/follow through. 5 shots well covered with my thumbnail. 

    My D48 .20 rig with white target box downrange. Note the orange wind flag fully stretched to the left:

    A bit of zoom:

    The .20 cal grail spits out the JSBs very nicely and shows the wind who's the boss:

    Alfred Nobel (creator of the Nobel Prizes), your name lives on in my rig🤓. The Swedish chemist, engineer, industrialist and armaments manufacturer founded the German chemical and weapons company DYNAMIT NOBEL in 1865. Here's a closer look at the RWS Dynamit Nobel all steel one-piece mount installed and looking mighty proper on this special springer:

    I recognized the same mount as the one photographed in this classic reference for the RWS 54 Air King:

    http://www.eddiecolwell.tzo.com/rws-54.htm

     

    Still inspired!

    Link

    LDamm
    Participant
    Member

    Very interesting project Jon, Thanks again for sharing.

    Link

    Scp52
    Participant
    Member

    Considered trying the JSB .20 cal 15.89gr Heavies?? The 48 should have plenty of power to shoot them.

    Link

    c_m_shooter
    Participant
    Member

    My 48 prefers the JSB 15's.  I got it used a few weeks ago.  I tried the pellets the previous owner gave me with it; beeman something, H+N FTT's and the JSB 13s also.  I ordered a Vortek kit for it, but haven't installed it.  I put some tar on the spring and have just been shooting it, and it settled down immediately when I found that tin of JSB 15's.  The trajectory perfectly matches the reticle in the Vortex optics 6-18 (just by happy accident), so I will try shooting hunter class with it at the next field target match and see how my results compare to my HW97.

Viewing 20 posts - 1 through 20 (of 27 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.