Diana 240 Classic:Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana 240 Classic
Diana 240 Classic.

This report covers:

  • Classic airgun alert!
  • Diana model 27
  • Where has the 240 been?
  • A youth airgun
  • Finish
  • Sights
  • Trigger
  • Shooting impression
  • HW30 substitute?

Classic airgun alert!

What a timely test! I received the Diana 240 Classic when the Diana Mauser K98 rifle arrived, many weeks ago. Naturally I was drawn to the larger, more military-looking airgun first. But as it turns out, the Diana 240 Classic is also a classic that I think many of you are going to enjoy. I say that because I believe I am going to enjoy testing it for you.

Diana model 27

If you have read this blog very long, you know that I cannot help from referring to the Diana model 27 rifle as often as I can. That’s because of all the airguns I have ever shot, it is the one I like the best. To me it embodies the essence of the reason I am an airgunner. It’s lightweight, easy to cock, quiet, accurate and has an adjustable trigger that can be set very fine.

Where has the 240 been?

Like most Americans, I remained ignorant of the Diana model 24 that turned into the 240. It wasn’t imported by large U.S. dealers for many years and, despite our European readers touting its virtues and advising me to try one, I never did. Well, that has changed. Pyramyd Air now brings in the Diana 240 Classic and for $200 you can buy a lot of airgun.

A youth airgun

On the surface, the Diana 240 Classic is a breakbarrel rifle that’s made for older youth. I say on the surface, because, like most other guns made for this market (Daisy 853 etc.), it also appeals to experienced airgunners who just want to shoot and aren’t concerned with velocity. The Diana 27 was also such a gun.

The 240 Classic is small but not petite. It’s 40 inches long, with a pull of 13.5 inches. That puts it into the comfortable range for many adults. The rifle weighs 5 lbs. according to the specs. The one I am testing for you, serial number 20074860, weighs 6 lbs. 2 oz.

Finish

The stock is a classic beechwood stock with no embellishments. It looks very similar to a model 27 stock, except this one has a black plastic buttplate, where the 27 butt is plain wood with a rubber button to prevent slippage when the rifle is leaned in the corner.

All the metal parts are deeply blackened and polished smooth. They have a luster but not a deep polish. There are some plastic parts like the trigger, triggerguard and the front sight assembly. But the rifle is made mostly the same as they made them in the 1970s.

Sights

The rifle comes with open sights. The rear has a fiberoptic tube (a green dot on either side of the rear notch) and is adjustable both ways. The front sight is a hooded fiberoptic tube atop a plastic ramp. My eyes are almost at the point where I can see the sights well enough to shoot. Hopefully they will be where they need to be in another week or so.

There are also two parallel dovetail grooves cut into the top of the spring tube, 11 millimeters apart. Unlike the more expensive Diana spring rifles, there is no scope base mounted — just those grooves. I don’t think Diana anticipates people mounting a scope on this one. There is also no hole for a vertical scope stop pin, so if you plan to scope the 240 Classic, I would think about using a BKL clamp-on mount of some sort. The recoil is so light that there should be no problem with scope movement.

Trigger

Diana lumped several rifles into the one owner’s manual and the written instructions for the adjustable trigger in the manual don’t apply to the 240 Classic. The two-stage trigger has one screw in front of the blade that adjusts the length of the first stage travel and that’s it.

Diana 240 Classis trigger
The trigger has one adjustment screw that controls the first stage travel length.

I will test the trigger more thoroughly for you in part 2, but for now know that it is reasonably light with some creep in stage two. It is not equivalent to the model 27 trigger.

Shooting impression

I had to shoot it, even though today is not a test of any kind. It cocks easy (specs. say 20 lbs. and that sounds about right) but the ball bearing detent is stiff and requires a muzzle slap to break the barrel open. The stroke is short because the rifle doesn’t develop a lot of power. Specs. say 580 f.p.s. in .177, which is the only caliber it comes in.

The rifle shoots smooth with a very light recoil. I was ready with my Tune in a Tube grease, but it looks like it won’t be necessary. I must say the new owners of the Diana brand seem to be doing a fine job of maintaining the quality of their rifles.

HW30 substitute?

Okay, I will say it. The 240 Classic could be seen as a less expensive substitute for the HW 30. Not the higher-end 30S that has the Rekord trigger; just the standard HW 30. Of course you give up about 100 f.p.s., but you also save over $50. I’m sure that will start an argument, but that’s the way I see it.

At any rate, I get to test this rifle and it looks like it’s going to be fun. At the end we will all know how close it comes to being a modern Diana model 27.

26 thoughts on “Diana 240 Classic:Part 1


  1. This sounds to be a good youth first break barrel. It has the name, it hits a good price point. From the way you speak of it, it reminds me of the 499 bb rifle,… which in my opinion would be the ideal kids first bb rifle. That thing is so stupid accurate it isn’t funny. Looking forward as to how well the 240 does in future reports.

    Good Day all,….. Chris



  2. If the old memory is correct the 240 has the TO5 trigger in it, they are a quality rifle and shoot great. Have had some through the shop and really like them. Was getting them from Canada before PA got into the act…



      • B.B.,

        Two questions regarding the trigger. First, might the creep be reduced by maxing out the length of the first stage? Second, why the two holes in the trigger guard?

        A third question is if the pivot joint has a screw or pin.

        Michael


        • Michael,

          I wondered that myself, and I plan to adjust the first stage as long as it will go in Part 2.

          The two holes in the triggerguard are so one part can be used on all rifles. The mold for that part costs at least $15,000, and the manufacturer wants to make maximum use of that expense. So all spring rifles are designed to use the same guard, regardless of their needs.

          The barrel pivot pin appears to be a slitted bolt with a screw-on nut that is also slotted for the other side. It can be tightened.

          B.B.


          • B.B.,

            As long as the joint can be tightened, I am happy. Those cheap unadjustable pins should be banned from the industry in my view.

            Hey, an unintended benefit of that second trigger guard hole might be that it provides extra ventilation for a trigger finger that gets overheated from shooting the 240 so many times in one sitting! ;^)

            Michael


  3. How odd, over here in the UK the 240 is available in 177 and 22, it has a T06 trigger and, for once, has more muzzle energy than it’s US counterpart at 12fpe in either calibre.
    Quite a nice little hunter in the vein of the pre Spanish BSA Supersport, light, powerful, decently priced but very plain and a touch recoil snappy.
    Over there it’s obviously being marketed to fill a different niche, and to clear the shelves of T05 parts I guess.


  4. As much as everyone raved about how easy to cock & how easily accurate the Walther Terrus is, I am curious to see what compromises were made with the 240 classic to make it $50 cheaper and whether those compromises are worth it.


  5. Since you brought up the point of the hard plastic cap on the buttstock, I would like to expand that subject to all non rubber or some sort of grippy buttstock ends.

    My Diana 34 has the plane wood buttstock end and I find myself holding it tighter to my shoulder to prevent slippage as a result. And as everyone knows that is counterproductive for accuracy with the artillery hold.

    Now I could just use some non-slip tape or hot glue a stripper rubber on there but I would really like to find something a little bit more aesthetically pleasing.

    Has anyone out there sound a good looking add-on to provide a non-slip grip on the buttstock?
    All the ones I have seen for rifles or shotguns would add an inch or so to the length of pull as well as costing too much.


  6. Hi BB, haven’t posted in a long time. I have a Diana 24 that I purchased from a pawn shop a few years ago.It came with a 4X power air rifle rated scope , and it has open sights,with a plain post front sight. It has the T-05 trigger, and with most 7-8gr pellets does around 675-700fps. It was one of my best airgun purchases,and is one of the most accurate and pleasant guns to shoot. I did tune it as it had surface rust all over it when I bought it. This 240 is the same ,except for the front sight.


  7. B.B.,

    Man, I want this rifle to be accurate! I have been drooling over the 240 ever since P.A. got them in quite some time ago. Straight trigger, ball-bearing detent, high and straight-topped buttstock, “adultish” LOP (I’ll add a spacer or two anyway). And stiff or not, I do prefer the over the chisel variety.

    Like you I love these types of rifles. I have a Diana Model 24 with rifled barrel, a Slavia 618, and an early Bronco, and shooting them is so easy and so much fun that before I know it two hours have gone by, and my pellet tin is visibly depleted. (They love RWS Diabolo Basics and Hobbys.)

    Thanks very much for testing this.

    Michael


  8. Hi BB,
    Another adjective for the Diana 27 would be “grabable”, if that were a word. Handy would be another. It’s one of those grab and go guns. You don’t need a scope or any accessories, just the rifle and pellets, and you will soon be wearing a smile.

    I was wondering how your eyes are doing? I hope the surgery has helped you.

    David Enoch


    • David,

      Yes — grabable! I like it.

      My eye is still healing. Several people who have had the same surgery have told me to be patient, and I guess they are right. Things are much better than they were but I hope they will get even better.

      I guess my eye is about 80 percent right now. It measured 20/40 at the doctor’s the day after surgery, but it seems to be a little better now. But the condition waxes and wanes throughout the day, so it’s difficult to say.

      B.B.


  9. Wow, a substitute for the HW30S certainly got my attention. However, I’ve heard so many good things about the Rekord trigger that I’m not sure I would be willing to give that up. So, the torture goes on.

    I just returned from a seminar on the Russian martial art of Systema, which is an obscure indigenous Russian fighting style forged over centuries against the Mongols, the Teutonic Knights and a wide variety of other enemies. It looks like nothing you have seen in Kung Fu movies. All I will say about it now is that it reminds me of the AK47 and Russian guns in general. That is, it is very simple without a lot of the formalism of other styles. It is quite effective. And it has a streak of original Russian genius. I’m reminded of the after-action reports of German officers fighting on the Eastern Front. One of them said something like: The Russians will do things that seem to make no sense at all, but afterwards you realize it was the best way. I’ve always found them to be a fascinating culture.

    Flying home to California, I saw acres of land underwater from the flooded dam. If that ever reached home, it would be the end of all my painstakingly reloaded ammo.

    Matt61


  10. Diana 24? I asked you about this a few years ago? You were going to research it? Well, just a little history about the Diana 24! Yes! Diana 24! Very nice! I own one! It is one of the top two air rifles in my collection, I know the whole history and it was purchased brand new without a box? They were on the gun rack for sale alongside a Diana 34? Couldn’t hardly tell them apart! My Diana 24 has reached 700 fps and usually around 650 fps average plus or minus? I wanted them both at the time and could not swing it! Thought I wanted a Diana 240 until I got opportunity to shoot one, I like it very much! But! Did not find it to beat my Diana 24 out in anyway!! I may still purchased one not to take anything away from the Diana 240! A Diana 24 will be purchased by me when I may find another that is complete? Like Tom said there aren’t many in the country? Not many anywhere? I’m not new to any of this! Just quiet most of the time! I saw the Diana 25 that Tom had for sale and have not seen Diana 27! But the Diana is a winner in any category! Ten Meter target, hunting etc. Semper Fi!


  11. BB
    Well funny that your reviewing the 240. I have been thinking strongly about getting a HW30s. Well of course going to get the Wildfire first soon as it gets in stock.

    But if this 240 is accurate it will definitely have my attention. Had a HW50s in .177 and liked it. So I got a good feeling about a HW30s being a nice gun. So that’s what I’m basing my choice off of towards the HW30s.

    So very interested in the results of the 240. Oh and just to mention this. The Wildfire when I get it will be used as a open sight gun. As well as the HW30s or 240 if I choose it over the HW30s. I had a few Diana’s including a couple 54 Air Kings. So I could see me opting for the 240. We will see.


  12. This and the 270, I think, are what I couldn’t figure out some time back. I mean I couldn’t figure out why PA didn’t have them. Pleasant power level and cocking effort. Looking forward to seeing how it shoots.

    TO5 trigger should be no impediment to anybody’s shooting! The last similar Diana (schuetzen 24 or something like that) that PA carried had a pretty awful trigger if I remember correctly, which disqualifies anything other than less expensive models.


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