Diana model AR8: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana AR-8
Diana AR8 N-TEC air rifle.

Part 1

  • Cocking effort
  • Slanted breech
  • H&N Baracuda Match
  • Air Arms domes
  • RWS Superdomes
  • Baracuda Match retest
  • Trigger pull
  • Recoil and vibration
  • Evaluation so far

Today we learn how powerful the .22-caliber Diana AR8 Professional Success air rifle is. This will also give those who wonder about the rifle a good idea of what it’s like.

Cocking effort

I’ll begin with the cocking effort, because on this rifle it is really hard! I registered 54 lbs. on my bathroom scale. That makes it a two-hand job for me. I can do it with one, but just barely and not for many shots. Because it has a gas spring, the max effort starts almost at the beginning of the stroke.

Slanted breech

A reader was curious whether the AR8 has a slanted breech block like most Diana rifles. The answer is yes, the breech does slant. Let me show you what that does to loading.

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Diana model AR-8: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana AR-8
Diana AR-8 N-TEC air rifle.

  • The rifle
  • Big!
  • Inexpensive?
  • Sights
  • Scope base
  • Trigger
  • Firing behavior
  • Summary

The full title of the rifle we are looking at today is the Diana AR-8 Professional Success. That’s right. Apparently the Germans have hired Koreans to name to their airguns. Remember Shin Sung — Good Luck for Dignified Masterworks?

The rifle

The rifle I’m testing is a .22, but it also comes in .177. The serial number I’m testing is 20067725. The name AR8 is derived from the Blaser R8 Professional bolt action rifle, though that firearm bears little physical resemblance to this air rifle. Perhaps they mean similar in performance within the airgun world.

The AR-8 has a gas piston unit — the Diana N-TEC piston. That is a unitized piston assembly with an internal gas spring. I tested one before in the 340 N-TEC, and I know how nice it can be. Let’s hope the AR-8 tests just as well.

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Mainspring compressor

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

mainspring compressor
Mainspring compressor.

This report covers:

  • Can you make a mainspring compressor?
  • BSA Meteor
  • Description
  • Bridge
  • Headstock
  • Tailstock
  • Legs
  • General

Today I’m going to show you a mainspring compressor that I will use in tomorrow’s blog. I was asked this week by a new reader to show the tools needed to safely disassemble a spring-piston airgun. Here is the request.

Sir,
Great web sight!  As a “newbee” to air rifles, I find it a wealth of info!  Having a hard time trying to start a new post in the blog forum..  Specifically, I’m looking to find out if anyone makes proper tools for the correct disassembly of the Benjamin Trail NP XL 1500.. Looking for a proper end cap removal tool, and a spring compressor.  I was an armorer for years in LE, with an incredible amount of proper tools for “firearms”.  Just want to make sure that maybe there’s a place to purchase proper tools for air rifles out there.

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Bully pulpit and the future of airguns

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Bully pulpit
  • Closed ranks
  • Lead, follow or get out of the way
  • A new dynamic
  • The stalwarts
  • Robert Beeman
  • What I did
  • Edith was the inspiration
  • I pulled the plug
  • The big push!
  • It’s not me

Bully pulpit

According to Wiki, “A bully pulpit is a sufficiently conspicuous position that provides an opportunity to speak out and be listened to.” The phrase was coined by Theodore Roosevelt, who felt the White House was a bully pulpit. In his day, the term bully meant excellent.

Closed ranks

When I started my newsletter — The Airgun Letter — in 1994, it was in response to a lack of literature about airguns. There were only a couple books on the subject at that time, and it seemed as if the serious airgunners wanted to hide their passion. Advanced collectors told me what a shame it is to have a reference like the Blue Book of Airguns, because now everybody can know what they know. In the past, they relied on ignorance to grow their collections at low prices. But when everyone can know that a Winsel CO2 pistol is ultra-rare, they stop selling them for $50, and the price climbs to over $1,000.

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2016 SHOT Show: Day 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Shot Show Media Day
Shot Show Day 1
Shot Show Day 2

This report covers:

  • Not just airguns
  • Galahad
  • RWS USA (Umarex USA)
  • Beautiful breakbarrel
  • Walther Maximathor and Rotek
  • Brodax
  • AirForce Airguns
  • Crosman
  • More to come

Not just airguns

SHOT is a trade show, but that’s not all. It’s also a place where old friends get to meet and chat at least one time each year. Some of these folks only see each other at SHOT. I was walking up an aisle on day three and someone called my name. Now, I have visual agnosia, which means I can’t recognize faces. I even couldn’t recognize my wife unless I knew what clothes she was wearing that day. Sounds funny, but it’s not when you live it.

So this tall gentleman calls my name and steps up to shake my hand like we were old friends. After I saw his nametag (thank the Lord for them!), I knew that we were. It was Wes Richardson — the guy who developed the Walther Dominator field target rifle with me back in the 1990s. He had been seriously ill and it showed, but he was upright and taking nutrition, as they say, so the news was good. Meeting old friends is a big part of attending the SHOT Show.

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2015 Texas airgun show: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Setup
  • Big bore draws a crowd
  • The match
  • Texans galore!
  • What about the show?
  • Vortek and the Diana 34
  • More to come

Setup

The Texas airgun show is a one-day event. Everyone knows they have to get in quick, set up quick and get everything accomplished in one short day. The Parker County Sportsman Club that hosted the event provided dozens of volunteers to run the ranges, park cars, sell tickets, prepare and serve food and drinks, and generally help anyone who needed it. As a result, the event was set up and running smooth when the doors opened to the public at 9 am. But, unlike last year, there was no line at the door. The tickets were sold at a gate outside the compound because we had vendors in two different buildings this year. Even so I was surprised and a little disappointed when I didn’t see the immediate crush of people at 9.

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Interesting gun designs — Benjamin Legacy: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Benjamin Legacy SE
Benjamin Legacy with a gas spring was a short-lived breakbarrel.

This report covers:

  • Getting started
  • The hold
  • First group
  • Second group
  • After that
  • Additional data
  • What’s next?

Let’s look at the accuracy of the .22-caliber Benjamin Legacy gas-spring rifle. If you remember, this was a rifle that came out just before I went into the hospital in 2010. When I got out 3 months later, the gun had already been taken off the market. I never reviewed it for you because it was an airgun you couldn’t buy, but the fact that it only took 16 lbs. of force to cock it fascinated me. I wanted to see what it could do regardless of whether or not you could buy one; because, if this turned out to be a good idea, it’s worth doing again.

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