The Diana model 50 underlever: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana 50
Diana model 50 underlever.

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • History
  • Findlay
  • Fortune smiles!
  • Not the first
  • Taploader — oh oh!
  • Description
  • Evaluation so far

Enough about straight razors and coin collections! Let’s get back to vintage airguns. Today we begin a series that looks at the venerable Diana model 50 underlever air rifle.

History

According to the Blue Book of Airguns, Diana’s model 50 was produced from 1952 until 1965, when the T01 variant took over. That one lasted until 1987, so in all the rifle had nearly a 4-decade run.

The model 50 is an underlever spring-piston air rifle that came in both .177 and .22 calibers. I think the .22 isn’t as common, since the 50 was seen as a target gun and Europeans were already using .177 caliber for that. Maybe .22 was a nod toward marketing Americans, with whom the larger caliber was much more popular at the time.

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How to sharpen a straight razor: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Something new
  • What is “razor-sharp?”
  • Drugstore shave
  • How did “they” do it?
  • Eureka!
  • What stone for sharpening?
  • Honing stone lore
  • The strop
  • What “they” say
  • Upsales
  • The point

Don’t be fooled by the title of this report. I will indeed show you how to sharpen a straight razor, but that’s not what the report series is about. It’s about me getting into something new and fascinating, like airguns, but something I know nothing about, and wondering what I don’t know. It’s about learning something new. It’s also about wondering what is true and what is either misleading or an outright lie, when you are unfamiliar with the subject.

I’m writing this series for all the newer airgunners, some of whom are also new to the shooting sports. There is so much to absorb and comprehend! Where do you start? Many of you started in the wrong place, as did I. You acquired an airgun and immediately began seeing that it didn’t live up to your expectations. It didn’t do the things other people said it should. Was it the gun, or was it you? Or, were you just being steered wrong by people who talk a lot, yet have very little to say?

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Umarex Forge combo: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Forge
Umarex Forge.

This report covers:

  • Mounting the scope
  • Sight in
  • The test
  • Poor scope
  • JSB Exact RS
  • Falcon pellets
  • H&N Hammer pellets
  • Don’t care for the flex
  • Evaluation so far — world class!
  • Next

Today I mount the scope that came with the Umarex Forge and I’ll step back to 25 yards to test the accuracy. Part 3 was a blessing because I found two good pellets and I also learned the best way to hold the rifle That sped up today’s preparation time a lot.

Mounting the scope

Mounting the scope was easy. The rings have two screws per cap, so there is no need to tighten them in any pattern and the base is a Weaver that fits the Forge’s Picatinny rail well. Since I knew the Forge doesn’t recoil too much, I also knew the mounting screws only needed to be snug.

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Umarex Embark breakbarrel spring rifle: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Unarex Embark
Umarex Embark air rifle.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

This report covers:

  • Hard to scope
  • The test
  • Shooting experience
  • Journey pellets
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellets
  • Falcon pellets
  • Evaluation

Today I shoot the Embark air rifle from 25 yardfs. This was supposed to be a test with a scope, but that didn’t happen and I will tell you why.

Hard to scope

For several reasons the Embark is difficult to scope. First, it is a youth-sized rifle, so the pull of the stock is short. You therefore want to mount the scope far enough forward to get good eye relief, but once again, this is a youth rifle. The spring tube is also very short, and if the scope goes too far forward, the breech hits it when you break the barrel to cock the rifle. You need a short scope — a very short scope.

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Sig Sauer Spartan BB pistol: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Sig Spartan BB pistol
Sig Sauer Spartan BB pistol offers a lot of pistol at a budget price.

This report covers:

  • Sig firearms
  • The airgun
  • Manual safety
  • Full blowback
  • Grips
  • Finish
  • Sights
  • Trigger
  • Magazine
  • Light rail
  • Evaluation

Today we begin looking at Sig Sauer’s latest BB pistol, the Spartan. It’s a faithful copy of their Spartan 1911 firearm, which has upgraded features that put it ahead of many production 1911s. And it’s made in Japan.

Sig firearms

I will say this about Sig firearms — when they decide to make something they don’t cut corners. I never had much contact with them in the past, but since they have started making airguns I have been giving their firearms a look, as well. I am a died-in-the-wool conservative when it comes to firearms. Don’t try to sell me on a process like metal injection molding (MIM) unless it performs better than machining in some way other than just the cost to manufacture.

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Hakim airgun trainer at 25 yards

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Hakim air rifle
Hakim air rifle trainer. Anschütz made 2800 of these for the Egyptian army in 1954/55. This one has custom-made wood.

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The test
  • Sight in
  • RWS Superpoints
  • Eley Wasps
  • The experience

Today’s blog arose from the suggestions of several readers. In the end it was Siraniko who pushed me over the line, and, when you see what happened, I think you’ll be glad that he did.

The test

The question is — how well does the Hakim air rifle shoot at extended distances? In the past I have always tested it at 10 meters. Today we will see what it can do at 25 yards. The rifle was rested directly on a sandbag and I used the open sights that came with the gun. My bionic eyes don’t see the rear notch very clearly anymore, and now you will see if that affects my accuracy.

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Collecting airguns: Fakes and counterfeits 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Scarcity Part 1
Condition Part 2
What is collecting? Part 3

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Counterfeiting
  • The racketeer nickel
  • Made to deceive
  • The tale
  • People want them!
  • Fake airguns
  • Refinishing and modifying
  • Personality airguns
  • The Rosetta Stone

Here we go again. Today we will look at the shady side of collecting — the works of intentional deception. In some collecting fields fakes and counterfeits are so common that they have become a whole area of study within the field. Let’s look at the oldest of all — the counterfeiting of money.

Counterfeiting

Long ago it was more possible to counterfeit money because there were fewer ways of determining whether something was fake or real. It wasn’t until old Archimedes came up with a way of knowing how much gold was present in an object (Eureka!) that people had much of a chance of knowing what was real and what wasn’t. They learned to trust the money issued by certain governments (Rome) or kingdoms (Babylon) because those authorities made every effort to police their own money. The death penalty was usually the price for counterfeiting, because the authorities did not want the expense of policing the currency.

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