RWS 54 Air King: a review



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Offline Atchman2

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RWS 54 Air King: a review
« on: February 05, 2011, 10:51:47 AM »
This gun has been reviewed by far better folks than myself. In fact there are several video reviews of this gun, and Umarex has a great feature on their site about it:

Umarex:
http://www.umarexusa.com/pages/54Report_TH.aspx

The American Airgunner himself; Paul Cappello did one as well
Small | Large


Here is my own short review and some pictures of mine.

I got the gun because SamTN found TWO of these guns at less than half price at the Sportsman's Warehouse in Chattanooga, TN.  I paid $349 for the combo model.  It came with the RWS lockdown mounts and the RWS 4X scope.  To be honest, the mounts I really don't like, but the scope is actually okay for a 4X scope and I moved it over to one of my hunting guns. 


Here she is posing out on the porch, this was when I still had the 4X scope on it. 


Here it is with a Centerpoint scope on it, which is how I'm shooting it now. 

Well the first thing you do when you get a new gun is to clean the barrel.  Even a fine gun like this one has the mystery gunk in the barrel, so I gave it a good cleaning before I shot it.  In fact it was the best one I've ever done since I didn't hear the usual crack of the first pellet shot. :)

The weather was horrible here the first day so I only got to shoot it a few times.  The next few days I gave it a workout with the open sights.  With my old eyes, it took me more shots that I'm used to getting it sighted in, but that is why they make binoculars. :)  The open sights on the gun are the fatter kind like a RWS 48 not the thinner kind like the RWS 350.  At first I didn't like them, but they kinda grew on me.  When the light is bad, I still have a hard time seeing the black front sight.

What attracts folks to this gun is the anti-recoil mechanism.  I've got to say IT WORKS!  Now you pay for it in a gun that is heavier than a TOW missle, but it is by far the easiest spring air gun to shoot accurately I've ever shot.  You don't loose your sight picture and can more easily adjust if you happen to miss. 

To see how it would shoot, I put a tin can out at 70 yards and easily hit it ten times in a row with the open sights.  At 10 yards, I can put every pellet into a ragged hole with the open sights.  In fact you have to really look to see where the next pellet goes through the target! 

I don't have a chrony, but it won't shoot normal weight pellets.  Mine is a .177, so normal pellets make a lot more noise.  They also scatter all over despite the accuracy of the gun.  I shot the H and N 10.6 grain domed pellets at first and they are a superior pellet in this rifle.  Easy to load, clean, and deadly accurate.  Since I ran out of those, I've been shooting Crosman Ultra Magnums.  They are okay, but I like the others better because they load easier. 

After shooting the 4X scope, I felt I'd rather shoot it open sights as I really couldn't do any true long range shooting because I can't see the point of impact with so little power.  Off it came, and I grabbed one of my Centerpoint Scopes, with a one-piece mount.  Well the combo of an older mount, a heavy scope, a new gun, and the recoil mechanism, broke off the stop pin after only a few shots. :(  It was useless to try and make it hold without the right mounts.  A quick trip to Pyramid Air's website and I ordered the anti-droop mounts. 

Those mounts came Wednesday and I put them on.  I had some decent Weaver Rings, but I broke one of the screws, sheering it off, so I had to take the scope BACK off before I even got to shoot it.  I had some less expensive ones in my bits box, so I tried them. That didn't work either as the very last one I tightened had a stripped out hole!  BAD LUCK!  I did shoot it a couple of times to see if it would work, and it wasn't good. :( 

Dick's is just down the street.  I HATE to pay their prices, but they are CLOSE!  Almost $30 later, I had some new premium rings and mounted the Centerpoint scope. WOW!  The combo of the power of the scope, the good mounts, etc, makes it VERY easy to shoot and hit any target.  If everyone had one of these small game would become an endangered species!  It is almost HARD to miss. 

What I really like is actually seeing the pellet impact. Since it doesn't have the recoil issue, you can easily adjust the scope while sightint it in.  In fact I think you can do it with three shots on a known range target. 

I couldn't resist shooting a squirrel with it the next day.  It made the mistake of doing a bird feeder raid after I had just finished a shooting session-talking about not having a chance!   :D

Here are a couple more pictures:

This is the rear stock.  It has a fantastic finish, especially compared to my China guns. 


Here is the scope area.  If you order one of these, just order it without at scope.  A 4X is useless on such a fine target gun.  Also order good rings and the anti-droop mounts-you won't regret it. 


The checkering on the foregrip is incredible. This gun is so easy to hold and shoot. 

Likes and Dislikes:

Likes:
1) This gun lives up to the hype!
2) It is plenty powerful! 
3) Deadly accurate
4) Great trigger

Dis-Like:
1) You really need to spend another $50 just to get the right stuff to make this gun work with your scopes.  Get GOOD rings and the anti-droop mounts from Pyramid Air 
2) I would HATE to pay full price for one of these things!  Man that is an OUCH on the pocketbook!  However, I find myself so drawn to it due to its ease of shooting, that I almost don't want to shoot anything else!  8)


Randy
aka Atchman2


  • Knoxville, TN
From my good friend Pastor Frank "Buzz" Trexler:

"Buzz Trexler There's a place for all of God's creatures -- right next to the potatoes and gravy."

Offline longislandhunter

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Re: RWS 54 Air King: a review
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2011, 12:40:27 PM »
Great review Randy and beautiful rifle.  I have no doubt that beauty is going to provide many fine small game meals for many years to come  :)   Enjoy that beautiful rifle, I know I would  :)

Jeff
  • Long Island, New York
If it was easy it wouldn't be hunting it would be shopping.

Offline oldpink

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Re: RWS 54 Air King: a review
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2011, 07:50:48 PM »
Excellent review, Randy.
Glad you finally have one of the finest airguns in existence, and I predict lots of critters will be taken with it.
Airguns...they're not just for kids anymore.

Offline Atchman2

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Re: RWS 54 Air King: a review
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2011, 09:26:14 PM »
Thanks guys!  I would never have bought it at normal price, but after owning it it was worth the price.
  • Knoxville, TN
From my good friend Pastor Frank "Buzz" Trexler:

"Buzz Trexler There's a place for all of God's creatures -- right next to the potatoes and gravy."

Offline Algansk

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Re: RWS 54 Air King: a review
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2011, 01:11:28 AM »
Randy,
 

I have been eyeing the RWS 54 myself and I appreciate the excellent review. While I am not a 'springer' guy as of yet, I really appreciate the awesome quality and character that RWS has across the board. I really need to move this one up on my gotta have list!

Thanks again,

Alan
RWS 460 in .22cal
Diana 45 Original .177 ca
Benjamin Bluestreak Late 60's .20cal (Refinish Underway)
Crosman Trail NP XL1500- .22cal (GTR III Trigger Mod)
Sam Yang - 909 Light Hunter - 1st Varient - (W/Claque 12" X 1.75" LDC)
BSA Lonestar - .25cal (TKO22 - Cust Half Shroud)
Benjamin Marauder .25 cal
Crosman 106,140,150,180,600 & 622
Crosman 357 & Daisy 880 ~ Kids plinkers

GTA - What's been your success with air gun target practice?