by B.B. Pelletier
Mo bought a used Diana 52 and converted it into a tactical rifle. He took some great pictures that give you a step-by-step reference in case you want to do the same thing. If you’d like to write a guest post for this blog, please email me.
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Take it away, Mo!
Diana 52 – the tactical version
Now, that was nothing but a cosmetically enhanced model 48. Of course, the increased length of pull benefited some. But that just wasn’t enough. The 52 could look different. Really different.
Enter the Diana 52 Tactical.
Before we go into the works, here’s the setup:
- Custom-tuned with V-Mach Venom Kit. You can also use the Air-Venturi Pro-Guide and get similar results.
- Bushnell Legend 5-15×40 scope with mil-dot reticle.
- Uncle Mike’s quick-detachable swivel and studs. Here a similar product.
- Remington leather sling. Here’s a sling with swivel and studs included.
Here’s a shot of the gun before my changes.
Notice the buttpad in the above two pictures.
The barrel that broke my heart with the bluing or lack thereof!
The buttpad clearly needed replacement if it was to complement the new look and do its job. For the time being, I took a shortcut to make it match the rest of the gun.
Before you start…
Before you paint your stock, practice on a cheap stock or another piece of wood identical to the stock you’re going to paint. Observe how the paint settles on the wood. Find out the optimum distance to ensure the thinnest, most consistent coat.
These are the paints I used…which were spray cans. If you have a compressor, use it. I didn’t use the thinner shown to clean the gun. To clean the stock, use surgical spirit (called rubbing alcohol in the U.S). The thinner was used to remove paint from metal parts if needed.
Let’s get down to work!
First, separate the stock from the action.
Remove all parts from the stock–triggerguard, buttpad, slings, studs, rails, bipods, etc.
Make sure all surfaces to be painted are free of dust, dirt, oil and grease. If the stock has any damage, tend to that first.
See if the checkering has thinned out anywhere. Use a toothpick or something similar to try to deepen the checkering. The same method can be used to remove excessive paint from the checkering. DO NOT apply multiple coats here. Multiple coats will thin the checkering. Once you achieve a satisfactory coat, mask it with tape after it’s dried or the tape will peel off the paint.
Caution: Remember to paint in a well-ventilated, dust-free area. Don’t paint near an open flame or where there’s a risk of sparks flying (cigarettes, fireplace, etc.). Wear gloves, eye protection and a mask over your mouth and nose. Make sure everything you need during the job is within easy reach.
Sand the wood, as this will make sure the paint sticks to the surface. If it’s not properly sanded, the paint may peel and chip. Don’t remove too much wood and be especially careful around the checkering.
Paint in one direction to get a consistent finish. Don’t spray sporadically or hold the spray too long onto one particular area. Use a fluid motion. If you miss an area or if it’s too thin, it’ll get covered in the next coat.
I shake the can between coats and clean the nozzle after each coat to prevent droplets from spattering.
Start with a coat of wood primer and the apply the first coat of paint
Here, the first coat has been applied over the primer. The light areas will be covered by the second coat.
After the first coat has dried, I applied the second coat. The stock now appears evenly painted and darker.
I used a toothpick to remove excess paint from the checkering–after it dried. Then, I masked the checkering and added another coat to the rest of the stock.
Depending on the paint and your climate, it may take from a couple of hours to a day for the paint to dry. After each coat, look for deformities, missed areas, etc. Missed areas can be given a short extra blast and deformities can be sanded to perfection.
The final coat has been applied and the stock is now drying.
If you dust or if fibers stick to the paint, do NOT try to remove them immediately. The paint tends to stretch if it’s cleaned before drying. You can rub out these after the paint has dried.
In part 2, I’ll paint the metal parts, reassemble the gun and turn it into a real tactical rifle.