RWS 350 Feuerkraft .22 cal W/ UTG Droop Compensator & 3-9×40 AO, MD, IR Scope
Review Product & Supplies
Provided by: www.pyramydair.com
When you need to have both power and accuracy, then there is one rifle that I recommend over nearly all others, all other spring guns that is. There is no denying that I absolutely love the RWS 350 Magnum. In fact one of my regrets is sending back the .22 caliber RWS 350 Magnum Striker Combo that I tested about a year ago (video on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-IvM7DO08E) So when I had the chance to take another look at the RWS 350, this time the Feuerkraft (literally translated “firepower”), I jumped at the chance.
The RWS 350 Feuerkraft is identical to the Magnum as far as mechanics go, but the stock and sights are very different. The RWS 350 Feuerkraft has a very simple ambidextrous stock that is in no way flashy. You won’t find any checking or raised cheek pieces, but you will find classic styling in a rich hardwood.
The RWS 350 rifle is not meant for youngsters. It is a man’s gun for sure. It is big and relatively heavy at over 10 pounds with my Leapers 3-9×40 scope, rings, and UTG Drop Compensator mount. The specifications say that it cocks with only 33 pounds of force. I’d say that it takes a bit more, mainly because it is very stiff until it breaks in.
The RWS 350 is mostly wood and steel with very minimal use of plastics. The back cap near the automatic safety and the safety itself are plastic. The trigger guard and trigger may be composite but it is hard to really tell without physically scratching the finish. RWS chose to use a time tested and reliable way to secure the barrel to the receiver by incorporating a spring loaded bearing to “lock” the barrel back into place between shots. I’ve come to expect such quality from RWS products and I’m satisfied that this rifle is very well built.
One significant difference with the RWS 350 Feuerkraft over the RWS 350 Magnum is the type of open sights that were chosen for the rifle. If you are going to have open sights on a gun, then having bright, fiber optic sights are the way to go and that is exactly what the RWS 350 Feuerkraft uses. The front sight uses a red acrylic rod while the fully adjustable, micro-click rear sight uses two green acrylic rods for contrast. If you are a classic shooter that prefers open sights, you are going to love this rifle.
Just about every airgun manufacturer has their “flaws” and RWS is no exception. The one complaint about RWS has been their scope rail. The metal they use is not hard enough and the hole for your stop pin is not deep enough, allowing scope slippage and ultimately, damage to the rifle’s receiver. Another complaint about breakbarrel rifles in general is called barrel droop. Barrel droop is when the barrel points down somewhat relative to the receiver. While this is not a big deal when using open sights, the problem comes when you try to mount and adjust a scope. Often the scope will run out of vertical adjustment and the pellet continues to strike too low.
Both of these issues are easily eliminated with the use of the UTG Droop Compensator. This $18 part eliminates both issues by creating a very sturdy, slotted weaver mount that cannot shift whatsoever. Also, the mount is angled slightly to adjust for barrel droop, thus allowing for plenty of vertical scope adjustment. By converting to a slotted weaver style mount, the rings lock into place and prevent any scope shift. This is really the ideal scope mounting platform. Not all breakbarrel rifles suffer from barrel droop. For those instances, UTG has created a mount that does not have any angle but still provides a rock solid mount and converts the 11mm rail to the sturdier slotted weaver style. (According to PyramydAir.com, barrel droop is not a significant issue for the RWS 350 rifles.)
While the looks of the RWS 350 Feuerkraft may be “plain Jane,” don’t let looks deceive you. This rifle is all business when it comes to performance and knockdown power. Most .22 breakbarrel rifles hover in the 600 FPS to 700 FPS range with standard lead pellets. It is unusual to see 800 FPS with lead pellets, despite what the advertising says on the box. In our tests, the RWS 350 Feuerkraft shot the 11.9 GRN RWS Hobby Pellets at 887 FPS, which translates into 20.81 FTLBS. Our most accurate pellet, the 14.3 GRN Crosman Hollow Point Premiers, shot an average of 836 FPS, generating 22.23 FTLBS. At these velocities, the RWS 350 Feuerkraft is useful out to 85 and maybe even 100 yards if the conditions are right.
Shooting the RWS 350 Feuerkraft will take some getting used to. It is a long, heavy rifle that takes a fair amount of technique to shoot well. Also, it takes a lot of force to cock the gun so it may not be great for plinking in the back yard. Consider the RWS 34P for such tasks. One aspect that you won’t find hard to use is the trigger. The RWS 350 Feuerkraft uses the T-05 trigger. This is a pretty nice 2 stage adjustable trigger that is a joy to shoot compared to the standard triggers from Gamo and Crosman. Both bench shooters and field shooters should really enjoy the T-05.
Accuracy was really something with the RWS 350 Feuerkraft. The most accurate pellet at 20 yards was the Crosman Premier Hollow Point. Here are two groups. The first is only .413” center to center and the second is even better at .268” center to center.
As I stated earlier in this article, I had no intention of letting another RWS 350 go back to PyramydAir so I bought this one to add to my collection. Without exception the RWS 350 Feuerkraft and the RWS 350 Magnum are my top recommendations for a .22 caliber magnum breakbarrel springer. The RWS 350 Feuerkraft is only $339.95. Given the German reputation with airgun craftsmanship and precision it will remain my top recommendation until something proves to be more worthy. If you are looking for PCP class velocity and accuracy out of a breakbarrel, then the RWS 350 Feuerkraft is a serious contender.