Testing a Diana model 23 breakbarrel rifle: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3



Diana 23
Not as pretty as I would like. This Diana 23 has led a hard life. I’ll refinish it.

Today, we’ll return to an oldie we haven’t looked at in close to 2 months — the Diana 23. You may remember this is a rifle I bought for very little from an online auction — and when it arrived, I found it was better than expected. The finish is gone, but I plan to refinish it. And Larry Hannusch generously donated a brand-new old-stock Diana 23 barrel for the project, so I’m farther along than might be expected.

Last time, we tested the rifle at 10 meters and found that it showed decent accuracy for such a low-powered air rifle. Today, I’m pushing that out to 25 yards with 2 of the best pellets from the last test, plus a new one I’ve thrown into the mix. The goal is to see if this little vintage springer is accurate enough for general plinking duty out to 75 feet.

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Testing a Diana model 23 breakbarrel rifle: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

Diana 23
This Diana 23 has led a hard life.

Today, we’ll see how accurate the Diana model 23 is. This report was supposed to be published just before the Roanoke airgun show, but so many things popped up at the last minute and got in front of it that I held off on this one til now.

Before we begin, let me give you a little update on the rifle. At Roanoke, Larry Hannush, the owner of all those beautiful ball reservoir airguns, came over to my table and handed me a brand new barrel for the model 23. He had read that I was going to refinish it with Blue Wonder and he thought a new barrel would shorten my time on the project. In fact the barrel of the gun was the only part where rust had done some more serious work. The old barrel would have either had pits in it, or I would have had to draw-file them out. This new barrel solved a problem for me, so thanks, Larry!

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Testing a Diana model 23 breakbarrel rifle: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

 

Diana 23
Not as pretty as I would like. This Diana 23 has led a hard life.

Today, I’ll test the Diana model 23 for power. I don’t know what to expect from this airgun, other than not to expect too much. Certainly, the velocity will be low with a powerplant as small as this one.

Cocking effort
I said last time that the 23 looks like a perfect 3/4 replica of a model 27. Well, that extends to the cocking effort, too. Believe it or not, this rifle cocks with just 10 lbs. of effort, making it the easiest-cocking breakbarrel air rifle I’ve ever tested. I don’t know if the mainspring is in good condition, nor do I know what the piston seal looks like; so, it may be premature to say this rifle is representative of all Diana 23s.

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Testing a Diana model 23 breakbarrel rifle: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier

I’m going to the Roanoke airgun show this week. I’ll be on the road starting Wednesday morning, and I’m asking you veteran readers to help the new readers with their questions, as I’ll have less time on the road to devote to the blog. My wife, Edith, will more closely monitor the blog comments and jump in whenever she can.

I’ve also selected a special gun to report this week — the Diana model 23. I did all the photography and testing before leaving, so I’ll be able to write the report while I’m on the road.

The model 23 is the largest youth rifle Diana made after the war, but that’s still very small. When you see one in person, it isn’t very impressive; but when you examine it in detail the way I have, you begin to appreciate all that Diana put into this gun. The size may not be there, but the quality certainly is.

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