BSA Challenger Lightning XL .25 SFS/Welsh Willy tuned ~ BSA Mercury .22 ~ Air Arms Prosport .177 Welsh Willy tuned ~ SMK 208TH .177 Welsh Willy tuned ~ Beretta A303 & Lanbar O/U 12G shotty's
The XS208 and Synsg are copies of the Diana 34. I have the TH208 (which has the same action as the XS208 just different stock), and find it very sweet to shoot. I also have a HW95k Luxus and although the trigger is not quite as light as the HW trigger, it is still crisp and predictable.
If you pick up the xs20, or Diana copy at a fair price, and know you will have to spend a bit on them they are accurate rifles, albeit a bit more pellet fussy. Really HW Diana AA are going to have to make sure that at the prices the stuff goes out at, that a tune is an improvement rather than necessity, like it is as the moment. In fairness the AA stuff shoots ok 'out of thebox', but they only make lumping great under levers.
There was a time when everyone slated Japanses cars, remember early Datsun's ??
This was my thread, to give an honest take on the current state of play, as there are people in both camps who simply don't give an even handed review of stuff. The xs20 is not as good as the 95, but it's pretty well made and accurate, and didn't come with a factory flaw in the main tube either .....................
I have both XS20 and TH208, both have tune kits that have given them delrin guides, tophat and a TitanXS springs properly cut to size. I have used Maccari piston seals in both. The XS20 needed the Weihrauch trigger blade replacement to get a proper 2 stage trigger and feel, but £13 is peanuts for a trigger upgrade.
Both were bought new and at the right time to get a rock bottom price.
I've had the XS20 for 6 years, the basic gun cost £80. It cocks smooth as glass and shoots the same way and will produce a raggy hole at 30yds on superdomes
The TH208 is the copy of the RWS/Diana model 34 action but in an ambi thumbhole stock and cost £123, now being 3 years old. Very nearly a smooth as the XS20 and will produce equal accuracy with either AA Field or Crosman Ultra Mag. Both guns have barrel weights as standard, nothing clever here, just keeping the muzzle under control.
Both are .22 and the power is set by me so as to be legal with their respective most efficient pellets.
The fit and finish on both are more than acceptable irrespective of price, good but not great.
Spending £50 or so on a set of bespoke internals and a couple of hours of your time on a springer seems to be par for the course no matter what you bought or what you paid for it.
Both are going strong and neither has any "manufacturing issues" nor developed any fault.
Good guns, good price, as accurate as some and as good as most. At these prices, cleverer than they have any right to be.
Give them some halfway decent optics (both have Nikko Stirling Gold Crown Airking 4x12x42 AO) and they're a very competitive combination. They are not the quality of the guns they're modelled on but not that far removed and already performing just as well.
Nicely put, a very honest perspective from my own experience. I'm letting a' new shooter' have the xs20 for what it's cost me, and know it will be a sound rifle for him, and will help him to embrace the sport.
When asked about rifles in future for newcomers I will include the Chinese guns, the difficulty comes in explaining that when you buy an airgun you have to spend money to get it working right, it's just farcical really, can you imagine buying anything else, having to take it to bits and or send it off to a specialist for it to work 'properly' ......................that's all springers though, AA get some credit for factory stuff, largely based on the designs they largely stole from Venom after welching on a deal all those years ago -