Rifle Review:

RWS Diana 350 Magnum -22cal

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You should research and understand what you are buying before you go with a Diana/RWS 350.   My 350 was a refurb that I picked up at a good price.   While I’m happy with the 350, I didn’t think about it, or research it before I bought it.   I don’t want this to read like a comparison piece, but to articulate the issues and concerns, it might sound like a comparison.  I have a rack full of German Springers, so here goes.    The 350 appears to be a longer version of the RWS 34, which is okay, but the 350 comes with a longer (slower) “lock time” and more vibration.     The 350’s recoil issues can be addressed with a good tune kit (JM or Vortex).  The next thing you should grasp is that the 350  has a higher velocity, flater trajectory, and therefore extends your range if you use the same typical 14.3 grain pellets.      However, the 350 is not nearly as accurate as non-magnums with the same 14.3 grain pellet.   Sure, the 350 shoots flater and will extend your range, but again not as accurate as the 34.  To make the 350 (in .22) accurate, you need to step up to the heavier pellets.  I use the Kodiak 21.14 grain pellets.    With heavier pellets, my 350 will shoot just as accurate as my 34.  However, the 350 loses velocity when used with the heavier pellets.   Thus, say goodbye to the extended range.  With the heavy pellets, the 350 shoots nearly the same trajectory as the RWS 34.  So I’m right back where I was before.   So what are you really gaining going with a 350?   With the 350, you are sending a much heavier pellet down range, so the Foot-pounds of energy will be much higher.   At the end of the day, if you chose a 350, you will be dealing with a slower lock time which means it takes more skill to shoot a 350 accurately.  You will be dealing with more “twang” vibration, recoil, etc.     The heavy pellets also cost more.   So, in my experience, if you’re target shooting or hunting the usual small game, the 350 would not be my first choice.  Bigger small game might make an argument for the 350, but I don’t see the point.  The 350 is big at 48.+ inches, and finding a case was difficult.  The gun is heavy.   It’s a very well built and nice looking gun.   With all that said, I find myself using one of my non-magnum rifles when I go for walk, or just want to plink.   To be more specific about the 350’s accuracy, the typical CPHP 14.3 grain pellets will give me 3-4″ groups at 50 yards, sometimes better.   Sub-2″ groups at 30 yards (sometimes better), and I can swing soup cans at 65 plus yards.   While that’s fun to do, that level of accuracy is not practical for hunting.    When I switch to the Kodiak 21.14 grain pellets,  the 350 will sometimes give me an inch or less at 50, and clover-leaf groups at 30 yards.    I just don’t have enough aiming points in my scope to plink with the Kodiak’s at longer ranges.   The take away here is that the 350 is a good accurate  “50 yard” rifle if used with heavy pellets.   If you use the lighter-pellets in a 350, your at the same performance level as cheaper Big-Box store guns.   Good luck.

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