The RWS LP8 – A Classic in the Making

Monday, June 8, 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


  1. Jack says:

    I just got the RWS LP8 and am loving it. I already want to put a scope on it. I see that you have a scope on yours. Is it the Walther scope? If so do you recommend it or do you recommend another? It also looks like it has a special bracket to make it marry up with the dovetail on the pistol. In my online search for airpistol scopes I have only turned up two scopes made for air pistols the Walther and one made by BSA. Maybe I am not looking in the right places.


    1. Jock Elliott says:


      Yes, that is a Walther red dot with a Leapers airgun-to-weaver adapter. I also use the Bushnell red dot that has four reticles. It will require an adapter or 30mm airgun rings to fit it to the LP8. The folks at Airguns of Arizona can make sure you have the right stuff.

  2. Chris says:

    I recently (August, 2011) bought a Diana 5G from Cabela’s. It was in the bargain cave, so I assume that it was marked down so as to clear their stock of discontinued items.

    To tell you the truth, I am not sure why they saw fit to replace the 5G. Besides the LP8’s safety placement and a built-in scope rail, I am not sure what the big differences are. The 5G is a monster out of the box, very powerful, and very consistent. I chronographed several pellet varieties, shooting strings of 10, and here is the data I came up with:

    (NOTE: I used the airgun velocity calculators on AoA’s website for the foot pound calculations.)

    Cabela’s Ultra Mag (10.56 Grain) = 417, 410, 394, 408, 402, 416, 414, 418, 411, 421 (avg fps = 411.1)
    @ 411 fps = 4.11 foot pounds of delivered energy

    Gamo Rocket (9.6 Grain) = 451, 450, 451, 457, 453, 454, 440, 434, 472, 445 (avg fps = 450.7)
    @ 450 fps = 4.32 foot pounds of delivered energy

    RWS Meisterkugeln Pro Line (8.2 Grain) = 504, 504, 510, 505, 498, 512, 516, 510, 512, 499 (avg fps = 507)
    @ 507 fps = 4.68 foot pounds of delivered energy

    Gamo Tomahawk (7.8 Grain) = 531, 506, 526, 533, 525, 509, 503, 537, 527, 524 (avg fps = 522.1)
    @ 522 fps = 4.72 foot pounds of delivered energy

    RWS Hypermax (5.2 Grain) = 671, 667, 664, 673, 669, 668, 663, 670, 675, 675 (avg fps = 669.5)
    @ 669 fps = 5.17 foot pounds of delivered energy

    Also, I use the recommended cocking extender (which is for both the 5G and LP8) and it makes cocking the 5G a breeze, compared to without it. Plus, it saves you the hassle of grabbing and possibly damaging the front sight.

    1. Jock Elliott says:


      Thanks for your comments!

  3. Kris in NY says:

    Curse you Jock. Wanted to buy a pistol. Was about to order a Crosman 2300 to my specs but saw an LP8 in the classifieds. Did my research and found your review….so now there is an LP8 sitting on my bench begging for attention. I blame you.

    It is ENORMOUS! I have Colt Troopers with 8″ barrels that are huddling in the safe in fear of this LP8.

    I got the cocking assistant with it and am already shooting groups that have further shamed the Colts. Will see about scoping it later today.

    Gotta say its a nice trigger, very accurate, very consistent, a tad heavy, and just beastly big. Do you remember the Remington XP100s? (Is that what you meant by “Fireball”?). It feels like that but doesn’t make my teeth hurt.


    Kris in NY

    1. Jock Elliott says:


      Thanks for your comments. Yes, I was thinking of the XP100 when I wrote Fireball.

      I put a red dot on mine and love the setup.

  4. Frank says:

    I understand the browning 800 mag is more powerful and less expensive but I opted for the Diana LP8.

    Her shape was just so sleek I couldn’t resist.

    My wife in a in a spell of momentary jealousy over my new love told me that Diana was ugly, I agreed.

    I then added a 11mm to weaver rail and a UAG Tactical 4 reticle red dot.

    No more Diana bashing here.

    1. Jock Elliott says:


      Thanks for your comments. That sound very similar to my LP8.

      1. Frank says:

        Although it helps with my aging eyes, and certainly dresses her up, it was almost a shame to put the red dot on since the stock sights were so well done.

  5. Sue says:

    Hated shooting such a fine pistol with plastic grips, so I dressed her up with a walnut pair. Dropped them in and screwed them tight, they have made all the difference in the world!

    1. Jim Levenson says:


      Just got an LP8 in the last couple days. Where might I ask did you get the walnut grips?



      1. Howard Smoot says:

        Would like to purchase set of the walnut grips for my LP-8, please send me their address, phone number etc.
        Thanks Howard

      2. Jock Elliott says:


        I don’t know who to refer you to. Try doing a search for “LP-8 custom grips.”

  6. Sue says:

    Hi guys. I got the walnut RWS LP8 grips from the Galbraith Brothers.
    Here is a link to their web page:
    The feel and look of the grips from them are terrific!

  7. Robert says:

    I just put on a set of Galbraith Brothers grips as well and they are a MUST HAVE for the LP8. You won’t want to put the gun down with these grips on, they feel that good.

    1. Jock Elliott says:


      Thanks for the tip. How about posting the website address and link to the model of grips that you have?

  8. Tom says:

    Tough choice between this and the browning 800. I found another review on this gun if anyone is also trying to decide between the two.

  9. Dan says:

    I’ve had the LP8 for a week and love the way it shoots, easy to cock, very accurate even with two hand stance . I’ve ordered the Galbraith grips.

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