Ultimate Springer – RWS 54 Air King

I must admit, if I could afford a new springer right now, it would be the Diana RWS 54 Air King. RWS is unquestionably one of the most lauded air rifle makers of all time, and the RWS 54 is one of their nicest models available in my opinion. No, they are definitely not cheap, but this is far from your average springer – and is one air rifle that will pay you back handsomely in the form of a lifetime of ultra-high performance, beauty and reliability. But rather than merely telling you about how wonderful it is, let’s take a closer look at exactly what makes the Air King truly rein over lesser spring rifles.

The Power of a PCP Hunting Rifle

When an air rifle costs over $500, it is usually held up to particular scrutiny. And the RWS 54 is often compared with other elite springers, particularly the Air Arms TX200 MKIII. Both of these air rifles are truly outstanding, and offer extreme precision and superior craftsmanship. However, what the RWS 54 air rifle has the Air Arms does not is PCP-like power.

The Air Arms is certainly nothing to laugh at, with about 18 FPE at the muzzle. But the RWS 54 Air King is in a different league altogether, boasting about 26 FPE in the .22, based on a reported velocity of 900 FPS and assuming a 14.3 grain standard lead pellet is used. Thus, while the MKIII may begin to struggle to maintain groupings beyond 60 yards, the RWS 54 can still take down game with striking accuracy  – out to 100 yards with a good scope. In fact, we’ve heard of reports of one user dispatching starlings at 100 yards with ease using the RWS 54. That type of range is only possible with the RWS’ exceptional muzzle energy.

Recoil-less Action

The biggest drawback of huge power in a spring rifle is normally recoil, and lots of it. However RWS’ recoil-less system uses a floating sled mechanism that absorbs the recoil otherwise transmitted to the shooter. Moreover, because the pellet is actually discharged before it can receive any recoil, it helps maintain astonishing accuracy. Of course, this system is not designed to minimize recoil received by the scope, so you will definitely want a once-piece mount for this monster.

T06 Trigger in the .22

If you’ve done any digging about the RWS 54 you will see many talk about a “plastic” or “heavy” trigger. Indeed, this has been the big drawback of the RWS 54 historically.  That has all since changed with RWS’ new T06 two-stage adjustable trigger. This is a steel trigger that is not heavy at all. In fact, this happens to be one of the best triggers currently available on the market today in our view.

Long-Range Accuracy You Read About

Frankly, we’re a bit tired of telling everyone how accurate RWS rifles are, but we’ll do it again: the RWS 54 is exceptionally accurate – no, this is a freakin laser beam! The recoil-less action, smooth yet crisp T06 trigger, and precise barrel rifling and quality has created one of the most accurate air rifles of all time. In addition, with 26 FPE in the .22, you can be sure that this rifle can remain accurate far, far downrange where other rifles (including most other elite springers) simply cannot go. Thus, if you pride yourself in taking small game at distances, this rifle is made for you.

Oh: we strongly encourage you to do yourself a favor and buy a high-quality adjustable air rifle scope rather than purchasing a combo with an inferior scope. Putting a cheap scope on something of this quality should be criminal!

Side-Lever Cocking

If you are going to spend this kind of money on springer, a side or underlever action is best, since you don’t have any fears of barrel misalignment (and its impact on accuracy) developing over time due to the constant breaking of the barrel. As you might guess from the massive power this rifle generates though, cocking effort is significant – 39 pounds’ worth of effort to be exact.

First-Class Fit and Finish

As you expect from RWS, the 54 Air King comes with a gorgeous beechwood stock and first-class bluing that will not disappoint you. This rifle also just feels extremely well put together, and reminds us of a very high-priced rimfire in terms of overall feel and heft.

Anything Not to Like?

Beyond the expected moaning at this rifle’s $600+ price tag, the biggest complaint about the RWS 54 has historically been the plastic, heavy trigger – which is now a moot issue thanks to the new all-steel and sultry-smooth T06 trigger  (in the .22). Aside from that, some have called the Air King a bit too heavy, which is something we don’t agree with. At about 10 pounds unscoped, this is definitely on the heavier side, but that’s because of the better steel and more robust build of the RWS 54. I for one appreciate a slightly heavier rifle.

User Feedback

The the RWS 54 Air King is easily one of the most praised elite spring rifles out there, and has a devout 5-star following among veteran airgunners. One user has even devoted an entire website to an earlier version of this model.

Suggested Uses

For my money, the RWS 54 is probably the most accurate and powerful springer you can get, and therefore is my dream spring air rifle for hunting small game. Of course, this presumes you are getting this rifle in the .22 caliber, which is the only way to really take advantage of its fantastic muzzle energy in my opinion. This is also a perfect model for target shooting, plinking, spinning or simply showing off when shooting among friends. There is really nothing you can’t do with this outstanding piece of German engineering.

Diana RWS 54 Air King – Concluding Thoughts

In the field of elite spring air rifles there are lots of opinions about which is best. However, most seasoned air gunners would likely agree that the RWS 54 Air King is among the top 2 or 3 choices in the $600 range. In our view, the biggest rival of this model is the Air Arms TX200 MKIII, which is a fantastic air rifle that you can’t go wrong with. But does it match up to the Air King? For us, the RWS 54 brings similar accuracy and build quality compared to the MKIII, but it really blows the Air Arms away in terms of power. It is this far greater power of the RWS 54 King that makes it so much better for making deadly accurate longer shots, well over 60 yards. The Air Arms just can’t hang with the King that far down range. Just make sure you get a quality air rifle scope worthy of such an amazing air rifle.

In addition, the big gripe levied against the RWS 54 in the past – the infamous “plastic” trigger – has been wiped away (at least in the .22) with the introduction of the T06 trigger, which is one of the best triggers currently available. Indeed, if there were any doubts before, we think it’s pretty clear now that the RWS 54 truly is King, making it the ultimate springer in our book.

>>Buy the Diana RWS 54 Air King Now!<<


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  1. fazel says:

    Ok this is good airgun

  2. Robert says:

    RWS model 54 and model 34 do they have different type of stock that we can replace it with ???

  3. Dr. Ralph says:

    I’ve got a Diana 350 Magnum in .22 with a Vortek PG2 kit in it and it is THE ultimate springer. Plus those side cocking levers are ugly. Don’t hunt with an ugly gun…

  4. Manuel says:

    I own 2 spring air rifle: Diana RWS350 Magnum and the Air Arms TX200Mkiii.

    First I bought the RWS, it has a lot of power, probably the most powerfull spring air rifle in the market. Later, when I think to buy a most accuracy and expensive spring air rifle I think in 2 options: the Air King 54 and the TX200. I choose the TX because it has better details and finish than the Air King and because I already had the power for long shot hunting in my RWS350.

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