Top Air Rifle Under $300 – Diana RWS 34 w/T06 Trigger

VALUE PICK1Upon getting into the hobby, it’s natural to get sucked into fixating on various specifications when comparing air rifles, especially sexy metrics like velocity and FPE. However, after a while, most air rifle enthusiasts inevitably begin focusing more on overall quality, durability and accuracy, rather than muzzle energy or, even less importantly, how fast a rifle can project gimmicky alloy pellets.

The good news for those seeking a truly high-quality air rifle is that they don’t have to spend an arm or a leg. Case in point: the Diana RWS 34 Breakbarrel Rifle with the T06 Trigger. This high-powered and absurdly-accurate springer is RWS’ best-selling model, and for good reason. Veteran air gunners know that it is built to RWS’ legendary standards, yet can still be had for less than $300. Sound interesting? Let’s take a closer look at the RWS 34 and see why it actually lives up to the hype.

Diana RWS 34 – Key Specifications & Features

Great Power in Both the .177 and .22 Calibers

Even if you are obsessed with power, the Diana RWS 34 will not disappoint. This rifle in the .177 can fire a lead pellet up to 1000 feet per second (“FPS”), and the .22 can attain velocities of up to 800 FPS. Based on our calculations, this makes for an air rifle that generates roughly 18 foot-pounds of energy (“FPE”) in the .177 and over 20 FPE in the .22 caliber. Consequently, both rifles well-exceed the 12 FPE minimum we recommend for more serious air rifle hunting, although the .22 is the clearly superior caliber for hunting furred game or eliminating common pests.

Incredible Laser-Like Accuracy

Power is great but just about any experienced air rifle enthusiast will tell you that accuracy is king. Whether it’s zeroing in on the typically small (often quarter-sized or smaller) kill zones for most small game, or merely beating your friends at a friendly field target competition, achieving consistently tight groups at longer ranges is what all good airgunners strive for. And this happens to be where the RWS 34 really shines.

In addition to coming with one of the best triggers available, the quality of the barrel and sophistication of the rifling is second to none, and can make even a novice shooter look like a star – just with the open sights. In fact, we are confident that this rifle can have you consistently nailing “hail Mary” shots that you may not even have attempted before with lesser rifles. Of course, you should never practice 100 yard shots on live game! Always remember that there is a big difference between confident and reckless shooting.

The Best Trigger in the Business

We can’t say enough about the two-stage adjustable RWS T06 Trigger, as this is really one of the greatest features we’ve seen to date on a sub $300 air rifle. Most air gunners lament their triggers, particularly the awkward second stage for most adjustable mechanisms. This was still true for the T05. The completely redesigned RWS T06, however, is often held as one of the very best, or at least rivaling some of the most famous and expensive (e.g., TX models) spring rifle triggers ever. How much will this improve your shot consistency? Try it out and we are fairly certain you will be hooked!

Outstanding Open Sights

Sooner or later an air rifle of this caliber deserves a high quality scope (which is why we are not a fan of most cheap scope combos in the RWS 34). However, in the meantime, and for those who enjoy the freedom of open-sight shooting (including myself), you are in luck, because these sights are fantastic and easy to use. The RWS 34 features a fiber-optic front sight and a rear sight that allows for quick windage and elevation adjustment.

Quality Stock and Well-Balanced Design

This is a gorgeous air rifle that comes with a very durable and rich hardwood stock and deeply blued metal. The RWS 34 is also expertly balanced for ambidextrous use and has a modest length (45″ overall) and weight (7.5 pounds), all of which makes it unusually easy to hold and fire (use the “artillery hold”) for a springer.

Modest Cocking Effort

Rated to require only 33 pounds’ worth of cocking effort, the RWS 34 is much easier to cock than you’d expect from a rifle that can generate over 20 FPE in the .22 caliber. This is fantastic since it minimizes loading fatigue and allows less-burly users to also enjoy this rifle. Of course, this is still not an “easy” rifle to cock, so we wouldn’t recommend it for very young shooters.

Built to Last – and Last

One of the greatest things about the RWS 34 is the craftsmanship. This air rifle can and should last for decades. Moreover, with RWS’ legendary support and lifetime warranty, you are in good hands as long as you own this rifle. We always take pleasure hearing from the steady stream of old timers who come out to brag about owning their RWS 34 for decades with only minimal maintenance. You just can’t put a price on that type of durability, and fortunately for all of us – RWS hasn’t!

Anything Not to Like?

Unless you are unlucky enough to receive your rifle with some type of shipping damage, there is virtually nothing to complain about here. The RWS 34 is a very no-frills air rifle that doesn’t try to do too much, but provides tons of quality and precision where it counts.

Diana RWS 34 w/T06 Trigger User Reviews & RatingsDiana RWS 34 User Ratings

Consistently heralded as one of the best air rifles of all time, we didn’t expect mediocre reviews of the RWS 34, and we weren’t disappointed.

Currently, this model is holding an average satisfaction rating of 4.5 out of 5.0 stars on Users commend this rifle for crisp power, unbeatable accuracy, a high-quality fit and finish, and tireless durability. They also confirm that this is truly one of the best deals of all time for a sub-$300 air rifle.

Notably, the few negative comments about this rifle were aimed primarily at shipping or other item damage, as opposed to complaints about actual performance.

Diana RWS 34 w/T06 Trigger – Concluding Thoughts

I have no qualms about characterizing the Diana RWS 34 Breakbarrel Rifle with the T06 Trigger as the all-time best air rifle for less than $300. In particular, the RWS 34 in the .22 is a sizzling, “uber”-accurate small game or pest air rifle that you should cherish for a lifetime with only minimal attention. This really is the total package, so to speak. So, if you are looking to buy just one air rifle in this price range that can do just about everything, this would be my first recommendation.

Although you don’t need to wait, the outstanding open sights are so good you can probably postpone buying a high quality air rifle scope for a while. In either case, we are fairly confident that you will be making shots you didn’t think were possible, right out of the box! Also be sure to get a box of high quality air rifle pellets to take full advantage of this rifle’s accuracy.

>>Buy the Diana RWS 34 with T06 Trigger Now!<<

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  1. Jeff McGuire says:

    The RWS 34 is everything the reviews say. I have had mine for a couple of months now and I am very impressed with the quality and accuracy that the rifle exhibits. I have been a rifle shooter all my life and bought mine to have something to practice with around the house.The rifle shows better accuracy than my aging eyes can take full advantage of. I hope to make it tough on the starlings when they return to my yard this fall and winter. I would uge anyone interested in a quality air rifle to take a hard look at this one.

  2. Gregg B says:

    I have a RWS 36 which I have had for over 20 years. The 36 is no longer sold; I think the 34 has replaced it. The RWS 36 I have is unmatched is accuracy same as the 34; I have plugged numerous rabbits, chipmunks, starlings, grackles, english sparrows and squirrels. I have also won many friendly backyard pellet gun competitions with friends until they also purchased a RWS. For the money I have not see an equal. Happy shooting!!!

  3. Rudy Pierce says:

    Great article and a great rifle. My .177 RWS 34 T06 w/ a 4-16 x 50 AO scope is nothing short of amazing and has taken its share of nuisance pests around my wife’s bird feeders. It even took a couple of horse flies and a house fly off my 25 yrd. targets; pictures were posted on another website. Anyway, I am looking to purchase a rifle in .22 and it will most probably be another 34 but I am also researching the RWS 350 to find out if is that much harder to cock, shoot and control over the 34. Any input and advice on the 34 vs 350 will be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks in advance,

  4. Joshua Winslow says:

    I’ve had the honor of owning my RWS 34P now for about 6 months,and this rifle is just amazing me each and everytime I shoot it.I had to learn the proper artillery hold to best shoot a high powered springer,but I was not sorry I did.My 34 will consistently shoot dime size groups at 30 yards when I do my job right,and of course after finding the pellet my rifle likes the most.My 34 likes the AirArms Heavies(10.3gn.),and the RWS SuperDomes the most.I love this rifle,and would highly recommend it to anyone wanting accuracy out of their break barrel airgun.

  5. Paqman says:

    I have had my RWS 34 in .22 caliber about 4 months. I have fired several different pellets through it and have found RWS Super H-Points @ 14.2 grains to be the most accurate with RWS Superdomes coming in a distant second. I love this gun. Everything about it is quality right out of the box. I only have metal sites and am amazed by the 34’s accuracy. From 10 yards with the Super H-Points I was hitting pennies so consistently that I made a game of splitting toothpicks. You will not be disappointed!

  6. Dr. Ralph says:

    This was my very first adult air rifle. I bought one in 1992 for $169 and put a $169 Weaver scope on it and became a backyard legend. I’ve made so many 50, 60 70, even 80 yard shots on blackbirds and crows and squirrels that it’s almost boring when I do it now. I never thought an air rifle could be as good as this one has been, I’ve abused it for over 25 years and sent it back to RWS/Diana twice to be rebuilt for free. I am sure it is still shooting close to the 1,000 fps it was shooting when it rolled off the assembly line. Actually I kind of retired it a year and a half ago. Bought a Diana 350 Magnum in .22 and topped it with a 6-18 X 50 Meopta scope and never looked back. Actually the 350 mag was so terrifying that I had a guy tune it with one of those Vortek PG2 kits just so that I can hit something with it and to keep it from jumping out of my hands when I pull the trigger. It’s the real deal now, but my first love will always be the .177 Diana Model 34.

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