Archive for June 8th 2009

For the past several weeks, I’ve been shooting a new air pistol that I believe is a classic in the making. The RWS LP8, also known as the Diana LP8, is a break-barrel, spring-piston, single-shot air pistol that will replace the 5G pistol. Available only in .177, the LP8 stretches nearly 18 inches from end to end, weighs 3.2 lbs, and has an integrated top rail for mounting a scope or red dot.

The LP8 is set up a bit like the old powder burning Fireball pistol, which had a fair amount of the receiver rearward of the pistol grip and overhanging the shooter’s hand. The LP8 is designed to be ambidextrous. Both sides of the action are enclosed by a handsome matte finish black metal casting, and the pistol grip is enclosed by molded ambidextrous plastic grips. Further, on either side of the receiver, just above the grips, is a flip-lever safety. Truly, the ergonomics of this pistol will keep both lefties and righties happy.

At the very stern of the LP8 is a metal name plate that says “RWS.” Just above that, on top of the receiver, is a micro-adjustable rear notch sight with a fiber optic green dot on either side of the notch. Moving forward, you’ll find the rail for mounting a scope or red dot. (In the picture, you’ll notice that I used a Leapers 3/8-to-weaver adaptor to mount the red dot on my LP8, but I did that only because the only unused red dot that was available had weaver mounts.) The receiver measures nearly 11 inches from the front edge to the back of the pistol. Moving forward again, you’ll find the barrel and a muzzle weight with the front sight which has a red fiber optic dot.

Moving underneath the receiver, the trigger guard is an integral part of the castings that surround either side of the action. Inside the trigger guard is a metal trigger which has a grooved front surface. Underneath the trigger guard in a small hole for a screw that prevents trigger overtravel and should not be adjusted.

Loading the LP8 is dead easy: grab the muzzle weight from underneath (otherwise the front sight will poke you in the palm) and pull down and back until the barrel latches. This cocks the action and activates the automatic safety. Insert a .177 pellet into the exposed breech and return the barrel to its original position.

Now you’re good to go. Flip off the safety lever, ease the first stage out of the trigger and squeeze just a bit more. According to my Lyman digital trigger gage, out of the box, the first stage takes 2 lb 13 oz, and the shot goes off at 3 lb 11 oz, and I had no difficulties achieving satisfying accuracy with that weight of trigger.

The shot cycle is very smooth, and makes kind of a “doink” sound that is very neighbor friendly. You can hear some vibration, but you don’t feel it in your hands. On my Oehler chronograph, the LP8 was sending 7.9 gr. Crosman Premier Light pellets downrange at 558 fps average. That’s within kissing distance of an untuned Beeman R7 rifle. By contrast, my RWS 5G pistol launches the same pellets at 530 fps average. In an email, the folks at UmarexUSA told me they got the following results: RWS Hypermax 645 fps, RWS Hobby 560 fps, RWS Super H-Point 550 fps, and RWS Super Dome 500 fps.

Fooling around in my side yard, from a sitting position, and using a red dot (which is not the best choice for ultimate accuracy), I put five shots into a group that measured 11/16 inch edge to edge. Three of the shots were in a cloverleaf group where all the holes touched each other.

The bottom line is that I think the LP8 is one heck of an air pistol. It has power, accuracy, and it’s fun to shoot. My prediction is that a lot of airgunners will think the same thing and vote with their wallets.

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

– Jock Elliott