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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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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Poor man’s Garand — the Hakim

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Hakim
Egyptian Hakim was a “make-do” battle rifle, designed around cheap ammo.

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • History
  • Development
  • Innovation
  • Cartridges thrown forward
  • Hakim action
  • Accuracy
  • However…
  • Why is the Hakim the “poor man’s Garand”?
  • Corrosive ammo
  • The airgun
  • Summary

You have read about Hakims in this blog many times already, but all of them were air rifles. Today is different. Today we look at the firearm that inspired the pellet rifle trainer — the 8mm Egyptian Hakim!

History

At the end of WWII, the Egyptians found themselves in possession of tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions, of rounds of 7.92 X 57mm Mauser ammunition — the 8mm Mauser round. The Germans had stockpiled it in Egypt, thinking they would be there for a long time. When they left, there were storehouses of munitions left behind that the Egyptians inherited.

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Diana’s model 5 air pistol: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana model 5
This Diana model 5 air pistol is marked as a Winchester model 353.

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Iconic air pistol
  • History
  • Winchester
  • Gun Broker
  • The gun
  • Grip
  • Sights
  • Trigger
  • Expected performance

Iconic air pistol

Today we begin looking at one of the most iconic air pistols of all time — Diana’s model 5. In all my years as an airgunner, I have never owned a model 5! I’ve seen them, handled them and shot them, but have never owned one. I have owned 2 Diana model 10 target pistols that are related to the model 5, if not that similar. The model 10 has the Giss anti-recoil mechanism and is the target version of the model 6, while the model 5 is a conventional recoiling air pistol. Models 5 and 6 look a lot alike, except for the round caps on either side of the model 6’s spring tube that house the Giss anchors.

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Crosman 150: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Crosman 150
Crosman’s 150 looks plain and simple, but was a pivotal airgun.

A history of airguns

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • The test
  • Different type of inlet valve
  • Not much sight adjustment
  • RWS Hobby
  • JSB Exact RS
  • Change the aim point
  • Crosman Premier
  • General observations
  • The sights
  • 2016 Texas Airgun Show

Today we’ll look at the accuracy of my Crosman 150 CO2 pistol. Several of you said you have either a 150 or a 157, and this report reminded you if what a nice airgun it is. So you dug them out. I hope to hear some good reports from you.

I don’t think I have ever shot this pistol for accuracy. If I did, I forgot about it. This seemed like a test of a brand new airgun, to me.

The test

Since I knew nothing about the gun I decided to test it at 10 meters off a bag rest. Instead of 10-shot groups I went with just 5 shots, thinking I would test each pellet on both low and high velocity. That assumption faded with the very first pellet I tried.

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Crosman 150: Part 2

Crosman 150: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Crosman 150
Crosman’s 150 looks plain and simple, but was a pivotal airgun.

A history of airguns

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Leave the pipe wrench alone!
  • Different type of inlet valve
  • Velocity test
  • RWS Hobby
  • RWS Superpoint
  • Crosman Premier
  • More on the pistol
  • Test gun

Today we look at the velocity of my Crosman 150 pistol. When I started this test the gun had been holding gas for more than a year. I exhausted the CO2 cartridge that was in it and I need to say a word about that. The 150’s design is such that there is no easy way to exhaust the gas. I just shoot it out. The CO2 chamber is filled with pressurized gas that keeps the o-ring sealing the end cap tightly until the pressure drops. But we are lucky today, because when this gun was new that o-ring was made of a different material that absorbed gas and swelled up. It sometimes had to sit empty for a couple hours before you could get the cap off!

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Hammerli 100 free pistol: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Hammerli 100
Hammerli model 100 free pistol.

A history of airguns

Part 1
Part 2

  • Start with the best
  • CCI long rifle
  • Would not chamber!
  • Sellier & Bellot
  • Sight adjustment
  • Feel of the gun
  • Targets
  • Watch them shoot
  • Conclusion

Today we will begin looking at the accuracy of the Hammerli 100 Free Pistol. When I was a kid, I thought these guns were capable of incredible accuracy, and they no doubt are, but today I will tell you some real-life stories of how this exotic handgun works. I bet you will be surprised!

Start with the best

Whenever I test an airgun for accuracy I try to start with the pellets I think will be the most accurate. It shortens the time it takes to test the gun and I am right much more often than not. When I do get surprised, I try to make a big deal of it in the test report. because it seems so out of character for the gun I’m testing.

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