RWS Diana 350 Magnum Feuerkraft Compact Pro Review
It was in Belgium at SHAPE that I got my first pellet gun. I recall my Dad taking me to the Rod and Gun Club to look at air guns. Don’t recall if it was my birthday or some other special occasion, or he was channeling his own interests through me. I remember the salesman taking us outside and aiming a brand-new and loaded Diana 24 at a stop sign, pulling the trigger and hearing the incredibly satisfying sound of a .177 caliber lead pellet smacking that metal sign. I was certainly sold, and I think my Dad got a thrill also.
Dad paid for the air gun, and a couple of tins of pellets, and immediately signed me up for a firearms safety course, and weekly shooting lessons at an indoor 10 or 20 yard range (the memory fades here.). The Diana had open sites, but even to this day I was impressed with the heft, and workmanship and of course precision of this air rifle. That Diana is still in a closet at my Mom’s home, where I hope so soon retrieve it and attempt to restore it. I suspect much rust, and a dried out leather piston cup. Seems to me that somewhere along the line the rear site got broken, so I’ll be looking for parts.
Fast forward a gazillion years, and I got the itch to shoot an air gun again. Not sure what the catalyst was, but I started visiting various airgun forums such as GateWaytoAirGuns, an appropriate name if I’ve ever heard one, suggesting that your first air gun is a Gateway to an addictive substance… errrr air gun.
So, still contemplating that old Diana I looked at these guns, still available after all these years. Affordability was at the top of my list, but the Dianas, now labeled RWS Diana, were a bit pricey compared to the Chinese knockoffs I soon came across. But I like better quality stuff in my life, since they tend to last longer, and keep their value better than cheaper things. I looked at RWS Diana 34’s and RWS Diana 350 Magnums. And quickly decided that I wanted a .22 caliber rifle if only for the pure power compared to the old .177. Messed around for months looking at sales, and mostly just spun my wheels. One day I saw that the importer for Diana had some refurbished air rifles. I emailed and asked if there was a chance that they had a 350 magnum available as a refurb, and low and behold they had a grand total of ONE RWS Diana 350 Magnum Feuerkraft Compact Pro. The price was way better than I could buy new, and since this rifle came with a scope, I could further reduce the cost of owning a new springer.
I said, sold, gave my credit card info, and then waited. Finally a few days later a box showed up and I excitedly opened the box, being careful to keep the box intact, and to not slice my new fun with my sharp knife.
It was beautiful. I could hardly believe my eyes at how elegant the 350 Magnum Feuerkraft was. I carefully looked the springer over for defects and found one small dent in the wood. It looked as though this were the only defect and appeared to have not been used at all. No marks where a scope may have been mounted, and everything was squeaky clean. Cool!
One immediate thing I noticed that this RWS 350 Magnum steel has a beautiful semi-flat finish rather than the traditional deep bluing you tend to see on high quality guns. I immediately fell in love with this finish. Is this called parkerized? Have to research that…. Anyway, I love the subdued finish and how non reflective it is, and how it tends to not show finger prints as obvious as a blued finish would.
The second thing I noticed was that this Diana is very substantial in size and weight. It positively dwarfs my old Diana 24. It’s 44.625″ long and weighs 8.5 pounds without the scope. It feels substantial and reasonably well balanced.
RWS Diana 350 Magnum Feuerkraft Compact Pro Specs
|MODEL||Overall Length||Barrel Length||Weight||Velocity||Caliber||Cocking Effort|
|RWS Model 350 Pro Compact||44.625″||15.75″||8.5 Lbs||1100 FPS||.177||42 Lbs|
|RWS Model 350 Pro Compact||44.625″||15.75″||8.5 Lbs||900 FPS||.22||42 Lbs|
Cocking effort is a pretty hefty 42 pounds which is a few pounds heavier than the RWS 350 Magnum standard air gun. That standard version of the 350 magnum either in wood or plastic stock is longer at 48 inches and has a longer barrel at 19.5″ giving the shooter more leverage to cock the gun. The effort to cock the standard magnum is 33 pounds versus the 42 pounds of the Compact Pro. I’m no weakling, but this is a substantial difference. I have contemplated more than once of buying the longer barrel if only to make cocking less of a chore.
Length of the standard 350 Magnum is 3.75″ longer than the Feuerkraft Compact Pro, which certainly translates to the Feuerkraft requiring an additional 9 pounds of cocking effort. This additional effort can be difficult for smaller and less strong individuals. For these folks a sharp tap of the palm of your hand on end of the barrel can make it easier by getting the barrel to the half open stage where you can load your pellet, then cock. I like the place the butt of the rifle on the inside of my hip, and hold the barrel at the extreme end, or at the heavy solid muzzle brake, to get as much leverage as possible.
After having this rifle for over a year, I’ve contemplated the specifications of the Standard RWS 350 Magnum. And wondered if maybe I’d be happier with the longer barrel of the Standard 350 Magnum. Mike Melick of Flying Dragon Air Rifles has Chinese made barrels in .177, .22, and in .25 that are a simple bolt on full length barrel. I am strongly leaning in this direction, and will most likely order up a .22 or perhaps a .25 barrel.
Standard 350 Magnum vs Compact Pro
|MODEL||Overall Length||Barrel Length||Weight||Velocity||Caliber||Cocking Effort|
|RWS Model 350||48″||19.5″||8.5 Lbs||1250 FPS||.177||33 Lbs|
|RWS Model 350||48″||19.5″||8.5 Lbs||1000 FPS||.22||33 Lbs|
Because this rifle is a springer, and a magnum it can be pretty harsh in its recoil. Launching a .22 caliber pellet at upwards of 980 feet per second, it recoils in two directions, forwards, and backwards. This behavior requires several things. The first is that you make sure all screws and fasteners are properly tightened and in some cases get a drop of LocTite to keep those screws from backing out. Scope mounts seem to need the LocTite, as does the Muzzle Brake at the end of the barrel. The Muzzle Brake on this rifle is just a big heavy piece of metal and has no effect on reducing sound levels. It loosens up though, and when that happens accuracy can greatly suffer.
Being a springer, the Diana – RWS 350 Magnum Feuerkraft Compact Pro can be a bit of a challenge to hand hold properly, or even to put on a bench and be able to accurately hit the bullseye in a consistent manner. The Artillery Hold is most often recommended for springers, especially magnums.
The Artillery Hold is holding your rifle so lightly that the air gun is able to move forward and backward as the spring and piston releases to send the pellet on the way and then recoils as the spring rebounds. Most folks using this hold open their hand that forearm of the stock rests rather than closing their hand and gripping. The rifle is also lightly held against the shoulder to help in this light technique.
More to come. We’ll be talking more about the Artillery Hold, and perhaps demonstrating in a video. Also will bring out the crony to measure feet per second velocity, as well as average FPE for pellets I most often use in this rifle. Will also see how accurate this rifle can be, and show an example homemade bench rest that allows the rifle to float, and be able to move back and forth.
3 thoughts on “RWS Diana 350 Magnum Feuerkraft Compact Pro Review”
Thanks for the comment. I haven’t tried Meisterkuglen’s, must give them a go! True about the Crosmans, thguoh they work so well for my QB it’s hard to chose between them and the AA Fields. Definitely the 2 best pellets in this particular gun.
i am Dr. ali here from islamabad pakistan. i have been using 350 classic fueurkrat since last one year. it is very accurate and beautiful gun. the only problem / negative point of this gun is it’s heavy weight and it’s recoil. mine has got its rear site break due to heavy recoil and now i fixed discovery scopy on it to copy up but it gets very much haveing with bullseye mount and scope.. Open sites are very precise and accurate but unfortunately can’t bear the recoil and break after about 1000 shots.. it’s the manufacturing fault needs to be addressed.. without open site one has to fix scope on gun which make it too much heavy to deal conveniently…
I finally sold my RWS Diana 350 Magnum Feuerkraft Compact Pro because I tired of shooting it after a dozen shots due to weight, energy required to cock it, and due to the recoil. It was beautiful, very accurate, but just a chore to shoot. I’d have been better off getting a Diana 34 instead. A magnum springer is enticing, but holy heck you have to be strong, and resilient to shoot one. I’d rather shoot my PCP’s these days. That includes a first generation Marauder .25, a Sumatra Carbine .25 or my new to me FX Streamline .25. Way more pleasant to shoot.