Review: RWS Model 34 .22 Caliber

The RWS Model 34

Outdoor Empire top pick as .22 caliber air rifle

The RWS Model 34 .22 caliber airgun is powerful and effective. If you’re looking for a rifle that can easily take down a small game out to 70 yards, you won’t find a better airgun to do the job.

It’s powerful, well-built, and guaranteed by the manufacturer to last a lifetime. If you’re looking for a premium airgun at a good price, you’re going to love the RWS Model 34.

RWS is known for their high-end German engineering. The Model 34 is their entry-level .22 caliber airgun. You can find other models with more bells and whistles, but you should expect to pay for the privilege.

 

Specifications & Features

● Powerful .22 caliber air rifle
● Beautiful hardwood stock
● Two-stage adjustable trigger with a crisp, clean break
● Fully ambidextrous with an automatic safety
● Fires .22 caliber pellets at 800 FPS
● Adjustable fiber optic rear sight with a fixed front post
● 33 lbs break barrel action
● Gun weighs 7.5 lbs
● 46 inches overall length with a 19-inch rifled barrel
● Backed by a limited lifetime warranty from RWS

 

Accuracy

Since it shoots heavier .22 caliber pellets, you can expect a bit more drop at long range. That’s not to say that the Model 34 isn’t accurate though. RWS includes distance gradients on the rear sight post.

So once you have your rifle zeroed in, you’ll be able to hit your target every time. But it takes a bit more skill to make a long range shot with this rifle than it would if you were firing a lighter, zippier .177.

That said, this airgun is exceptionally well-built. The 19” barrel has nice, sharp rifling that ensures consistent groupings. If you spend any time reading reviews, you’ll see people talking about their 1” clusters at 50 yards and beyond. There’s no doubt that this is a very accurate air rifle.

But it might not be the worst idea to purchase a scope if you’re going to be using the Model 34 out past 50 yards or so. Iron sights just can’t compete with scopes when it comes to distance shooting.

Having a bit of extra magnification is a big help when you’re lining up a kill shot on a squirrel or woodchuck at 70 yards.

 

Power

This .22 caliber air rifle has loads of power. The ammunition alone is three times heavier than lightweight, high-velocity pellets. That means you get a ton of stopping power up close, with the trade-off that the pellet’s ballistics suffer a bit at long range.

Of course, if you’re using this rifle up close that won’t be a problem. But if you’re making longer shots, be aware that power drops off fast after 70 yards. That’s less a function of this particular gun than it is the reality of high-caliber pellets in general.

RWS does all they can to compensate with a nice long barrel that ensures maximum power, and a big spring piston to put more compressed air behind the pellet. So if you take aim at a small game or mid-sized varmints at less than 70 yards, you’re going to drop them in one shot.

If you look at the numbers, you’ll see that the Model 34 is a real powerhouse.

Using RWS Superdome pellets, you can expect to get 21 foot-pounds — or 28.5 joules — of energy at the muzzle. That’s more energy than a smaller-caliber, higher-velocity airgun can produce. And it’s plenty to remain lethal out to 50 yards and beyond.

 

Quality

rws_model_34_hardwood stock

You can’t beat the quality of this airgun.

From the adjustable trigger to the beautiful hardwood stock, every piece has been engineered to look great and operate at a high level. RWS is a German company known for their exceptionally high-quality airguns, and the Model 34 shows what they’re capable of.

You can tell that this is a quality airgun because the manufacturer offers a lifetime warranty. RWS will repair or replace any worn or broken parts for the life of the weapon, and you can look around at some reviews and see for yourself that they mean it.

 

 

Compare Similar Models

This comparison is based on .22 caliber air rifles.

ProductRWS Model 34
RWS Model 34

Beeman R9
Beeman R9

Weihrauch HW50S
Weihrauch HW50S

Velocity800 FPS740 FPS574 FPS
Cocking Effort33 lbs40 lbs24 lbs
Front SightFiber opticNoneGlobe w/ aperture inserts
Rear SightAdjustable for windage & elevationNoneAdjustable for windage & elevation
Weight7.5 lbs7.3 lbs6.8 lbs
Length45 in43 in40.5 in
CostCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price

 

Rating the RWS Model 34 .22 Caliber

The following is based on a 1 to 5 stars rating.

Parts

four star rating

It’s built with hardwood furniture and has an adjustable trigger to name a few. However, the trigger guard screws tend to eventually loosen after firing it for a couple of hundred shots. There is a fix for it though. 4 stars are given for its parts.

 

Power

five star rating

Thanks to its 19-inch barrel combined with the big spring piston, it gives the air rifle more power in every shot even with heavier pellets. 5 stars are given for its power.

 

Ease of Use

five star rating

Since it utilizes a break barrel mechanism, it makes it simple to reload and make the shot. No need for charging tanks or other pricey accessories. 5 stars are given for ease of use.

 

Performance

five star rating

It’s more than you would expect in an air rifle given its affordability. It does exactly what you need for small game hunting and plinking. 5 stars are given for its performance.

 

Summary

Strong Points

The biggest selling point of this airgun, and indeed everything that RWS has to offer, is its quality. The Model 34 is built like a tank — with hardwood furniture, an adjustable trigger, and premium iron sights.

Everything that RWS placed in this rifle is engineered to be as good as it can be.

Power

The RWS 34 comes standard with a 19” barrel. Not only does that long barrel give you more power in every shot, but it also acts as a cocking lever to make it easier to load. Having a 19” barrel also gives the best ballistic performance for the .22 caliber pellet, which can be a tricky load.

The combination of a long barrel and big spring piston give this gun outstanding performance, even with heavier .22 caliber pellets.

Mechanism

A lot of .22 caliber airguns use a precharged pneumatic (PCP) design. That means you have to charge the airgun like a paintball marker before you use it. While we understand that PCP airguns give more muzzle velocity and stopping power, they’re expensive and inconvenient to use.

You will appreciate that the RWS Model 34 makes the most out of its .22 caliber load without needing bulky charging tanks or expensive accessories because of its break barrel mechanism.

 

Points for Improvement

Trigger Guard Screws

Some users have complained about the trigger guard screws vibrating themselves loose after a few hundred shots. If that’s a problem you’re experiencing, a little bit of Loctite or similar adhesive on the threads is recommended.

That will keep your trigger guard nice and tight, and you won’t have to worry about screwing it back in when you’re in the field or at the range.

Accessories

It’s always nice to get a scope included with the purchase of your airgun, but the RWS Model 34 only comes with iron sights. The fact that they have gradients marked for distance and front fiber optic posts for low-light use makes them more than usable.

But if you get an RWS Model 34, you’re going to have to look around for a scope to mount on the 11mm rail.

 

 

 

Final Thoughts

The RWS Model 34 got an overall rating of 4.8 stars. It is the best .22 caliber air rifle for the money. If you shop around, you’ll find other airguns with comparable power and better features that cost a few hundred dollars more. RWS themselves sell a lot of them.

But what you won’t find is the same value. The RWS Model 34 does everything you need it to do for less money than you’d expect.

 

Review: RWS Model 34 .22 Caliber
5 (100%) 1 vote

Aaron Phillips
Aaron Phillips is an avid fisherman and hiker, and enjoys spending time in Michigan’s rugged northern forests. He’s been lucky enough to cast his line in lakes and rivers around the country. Aaron loves to explore the outdoors and write about his experiences, telling stories and offering advice to anyone who will listen and to a lot of people who won’t.

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