Editor’s Pick For $400 – Diana RWS 48 / T06 Trigger

VALUE PICK1There are many, many great air rifles you can buy for $400 or less; however, in our view, none can compare to the total package that is the Diana RWS 48 with the T06 Trigger. And while it may not always be available for $400 or less, when you can get it for this price, we say GO FOR IT!

But why all the fuss over this spring-piston side lever you ask? Please let us explain why we’ve given this rifle the top spot in a very competitive price class.

Why We Love the Diana RWS 48

First-Class Build Quality / Fit & Finish

There’s nothing particularly flashy about the RWS 48, but it simply oozes quality throughout. This rifle comes with a gorgeous beechwood (a hardwood) stock with metal that is blued to perfection. Everything is tight and just feels solid on this model. And at roughly 42 inches in total length and 8.5 pounds in weight, this is one extremely well-balanced weapon that is not light, but is easy to hold and reminds you that you are firing a serious piece of air rifle craftsmanship. Think the BMW of air rifles!

Competition-Grade Accuracy

The unparalleled match-grade accuracy of the RWS 48 is well established and beyond reproach, which is precisely why this rifle is used by the U.S. field target club! As such, you will not have to worry about wild fliers here! The RWS 48 can go toe to toe with the most expensive pellet rifles and is capable of maintaining dime/nickle-sized groups at distances that most other elite rifles simply cannot match. In addition, the super high-quality rifling on this barrel also produces absurdly consistent velocities. In short, this rifle delivers consistent, tack-driving accuracy that is limited only by the skill and technique of the user – in fact, we know of no other rifle that brings this level of shooting precision and reliability out of the box for less than $500!

The New & Improved T06 Trigger

The RWS 48 was an instant classic back when it was fitted with the T05 trigger. However, the superiority of the new T06 trigger puts this rifle on an even loftier position. The T06 is in our view the perfect trigger: light, crisp and extremely predictable. Together with the 48’s precisely machined barrel and overall superb balance, you simply cannot ask for a more optimized pellet rifle out of the box. But the T06 not only feels better and more efficiently harnesses the accuracy of this rifle, it is also more durable and just better made than the T05. Consequently, be careful not to purchase any older versions of the RWS 48 as they are likely to come with the T05!

Outstanding Front/Rear Adjustable Open Sights

For those (including myself) that appreciate the rapid target acquisition and simplicity of open-sight shooting, you will love the RWS 48. Both the front and rear sights are adjustable and allow extremely precise positioning thanks to a rail-type mount in the front and a ball bearing elevation adjustment in the rear. Indeed, with quality sights like these, you could postpone buying a quality air rifle scope for some time – or indefinitely!

Outstanding Small Game Hunting Power

While many rifles built for accuracy sometimes lag in terms of long-range knock-down power, the Diana RWS 48 is a sharp-shooting hammer! The .177 caliber sizzles in its own right, but if you are anticipating doing any hunting, we say go for the .22, which packs up to 25 foot-pounds of energy (“FPE”) at the muzzle by our calculations – significantly more than the minimum 12 FPE we recommend for hunting rifles. It is this combination of great power and legendary (50  yard+) accuracy that has also earned the RWS 48 (in the .22) our pick as one of the very best hunting air rifles!

A Smooth-Cocking Sidelever

Just about everyone who uses the RWS 48 will confirm that it cocks remarkably smoothly, despite the nearly 40 pounds of effort technically involved. We suspect this is in large part due to the overall quality of the spring/cocking mechanism and the fact that this is a sidelever – which is arguably the easiest cocking configuration you can get in a springer. Regardless, most users will find the RWS 48 quite easy to cock, particularly considering this rifle’s impressive muzzle energy.

Another nice advantage of the sidelever, as compared to a breakbarrel, is the elimination of possible barrel/scope misalignment that can occur with breakbarrels – i.e, the slight change in barrel position over time due to constant breaking of the barrel during cocking. With a fixed barrel sidelever, you never need to worry that the cocking the rifle may over time affect accuracy.

Smooth-Firing & Relatively Quiet for Springer

Among all of the powerplants, spring-piston rifles are typically the loudest and suffer from the most recoil due to the coiling/uncoiling of the heavy spring mass that drives them. However, the RWS 48 shoots so smoothly and quietly (for a springer) that you may think you are using a gas-ram! The recoil is also very minimal, which contributes to this rifle’s pellet-stacking accuracy.

Anything Not to Like?

It is extremely hard to nitpick a rifle of this quality at this price, but in a perfect world it would be nice if it came with a swiveled sling, and perhaps some detail (like checkering) on the pistol grip and fore. An option for upgraded stock or addition of a raised cheek piece would also be nice. As you can see, this is all just minor/cosmetic stuff; the RWS has no real weak spots we can see!

Price and Value

At the moment, the RWS 48 is available for around $400 shipped. Yes, this is pricey for a springer, and we wouldn’t blame anyone for opting for something more budget-friendly. Nevertheless, this is the kind of air rifle that can do everything; do it better than most (even compared to more expensive models), and should last a lifetime. It’s also supported by a lifetime limited warranty. Consequently, when you consider the superior performance, craftsmanship and durability of this weapon – and then project this over decades of use and enjoyment – it is worth every penny in our book.

Concluding Thoughts on the RWS 48

No matter how big, small or expensive your air rifle collection, we are confident that the Diana RWS 48 is likely to be the first rifle you grab when power and competition-grade accuracy is needed. Its hard-hitting nature and extreme accuracy in our estimation makes it one of the very best hunting air rifles you can buy, regardless of price class, but the RWS 48 is also ideal for everything from plinking/spinning to competitive field target shooting.

And while one can always complain about its hefty price, in reality, this rifle delivers elite-level performance that is typically found in rifles that cost several hundred dollars more. As such, we’d easily recommend the RWS 48 to anyone searching for an accurate and reliable air rifle – even if price were no object!

>>Buy the RWS 48 T06 Trigger in .177 Caliber!<<

>>Buy the RWS 48 T06 Trigger in .22 Caliber!<<

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