Diana model AR8: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

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

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

  • New Diana scope base
  • Droop?
  • The test
  • Baracuda Match 5.53mm heads
  • Firing behavior
  • Better artillery hold
  • JSB Exact Jumbo
  • RWS Superdome
  • Notice all three groups
  • Conclusions

This report has taken a long time to write. I wanted to test the Diana AR8 from 25 yards with open sights, but my sighting eye has degraded to the point that I can’t do that. The AR8 is also very hard to cock and it would be too much trouble to shoot it left-handed, so I scoped it for today’s test. I used a 3-12X40 UTG scope that’s no longer made.

New Diana scope base

As you may remember, Diana changed the installed scope bases on all their spring rifles a few years ago, negating the aftermarket bases that were designed for them in the past by UTG. There are still hundreds of thousands of those vintage rifles that those bases fit, but the new base on all their spring rifles will not allow the old droop-compensating UTG mount base to be installed.
The problem is — Diana’s base on the rifle doesn’t accept a scope ring set very well. I wanted to use a base that accepted Picatinney scope rings, because of the heavy recoil of the AR8, but Diana doesn’t provide a ring like that, nor would it fit their base if they did.

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Air Arms Galahad: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Galahad
Air Arms Galahad PCP in walnut is a striking looking air rifle!

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

This report covers:

  • It’s a wrap
  • Constraining the possibilities
  • Filling the rifle
  • Test 1 — JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy 18.13 grains
  • Test 2 — H&N Baracuda Match pellets 21.14 grains at medium power
  • Test 3 — H&N Baracuda Match pellets 21.14 grains at high power
  • Test 4 — Dae Sung pellets 28.6 grains
  • Test 5 — JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy on power setting 3
  • Conclusion

It’s a wrap

I’ll wrap up the velocity testing of the Air Arms Galahad PCP today. This is when we find out how well it handles longer pellets. That’s always a concern when a rotary magazine is involved.

Heavier pellets are usually longer pellets, and weight is what generates energy in a pneumatic. PCPs are most effective with heavy pellets. To get the most power from this airgun you’ll want to shoot the heaviest pellet you can — as long as it is also accurate.

Tyler Patner from Pyramyd Air also told me that the Galahad does well with JSB pellets. I wanted to try them anyway because I felt they would be very accurate, but Tyler added that the 18.13-grain JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy dome is also very consistent. He said his testing revealed a maximum spread of 15 f.p.s. over 60 shots for this pellet when the rifle was set on power level 3 — if he remembered correctly.

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Umarex Throttle air rifle: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Throttle
Throttle rifle from Umarex brings a lot of value to the table.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Cocking effort
  • RWS Superdomes
  • RWS Hobby
  • H&N Baracuda Match
  • Trigger pull
  • Stock flex
  • Evaluation

Today we look at the velocity of the Umarex Throttle air rifle. As a quick reminder, I am already impressed by this rifle, just from the brief handling I did in Part 1. Today should advance that. Let’s get right to it.

Cocking effort

It would be easy for me to measure the cocking effort, then “guess” in writing that it will be somewhere close to that. I don’t do it that way. When I guess, I haven’t measured it yet. Today is when we both discover what the real cocking effort is. I guessed it would be around 33-36 pounds of effort. When I measured it on my bathroom scale the number was 28 lbs. Less than I expected. I am impressed!

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Sharp Ace Pan Target: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Sharp Ace Pan Target
Sharp Ace Pan Target is a sidelever multi-pump 10 meter target rifle.

Part 1

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • First test
  • Problem
  • Test 2
  • Test 3
  • Test 4 trigger pull
  • Test 5 trigger pull consistency
  • Test 6 power
  • Summary
  • Photo gallery

This is my last chance to wish you a Merry Christmas, but I decided to give you an early gift. Today I will test the Sharp Ace Pan Target velocity, and you can talk about it all weekend!

First test

For the first test I chose RWS Hobby pellets. This is the velocity test and Hobbys are one of the lightest lead pellets around, so they are ideal. Obviously you wouldn’t compete with Hobbys, though their accuracy could surprise us.

In this test I will pump the gun a specified number of strokes and record the velocity. I thought I would start with 3 pumps, but when I saw the velocity produced from just 3, I knew I could start with less. I tried a single pump but the pellet remained in the barrel, so 2 strokes turns out to be the minimum.

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Pump-Assist Benjamin 392: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Pump-Assist Benjamin 392
The Benjamin 392 pump assist is an interesting side street in the hobby.

Part 1

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Pump-assist pump effort
  • Sheridan Blue Streak pump effort
  • How it feels
  • Velocity test 1
  • Velocity test 2
  • Velocity test 3
  • Velocity test 4
  • Velocity test 5
  • Trigger pull
  • Conclusion

Today we look at velocity and some other things that relate to the pump mechanism of the pump-assist Benjamin 392. We will start with the effort to pump the gun.

Pump-assist pump effort

In the past I have used the chart supplied by the pump-assist manufacturer, Bob Moss, to show the pump effort of the pump-assist Benjamin 392. Today I actually tested it, by pumping the gun on my bathroom scale. I know an analog spring bathroom scale is not an accurate test instrument, but it should give us a basis for comparison, because I will also measure my recently rebuilt Sheridan Blue Streak.

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Diana K98 pellet rifle: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana K98
Diana’s K98 Mauser pellet rifle is very realistic.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • RWS Hobby
  • Why is it so easy to cock?
  • H&N Baracuda Match 5.51mm heads
  • JSB Exact RS
  • Trigger pull
  • Loading is fiddly
  • Evaluation so far
  • Evaluation so far

Today is the day I test the velocity of the Diana K98 air rifle for you. A lot has been written about these rifles. Much of it has been good, but there have been a few comments that were not so good. One of them was from one of our readers who got his rifle before I got mine and he reports things like hard cocking and difficult loading because of the placement of the rear sight. He also takes exception to the location of the sling on the left side of the rifle, but that is a Mauser design and had to be put there to match the firearm. I won’t comment on that, except to say that a Mauser sling makes a rifle easier to carry while slung than a Springfield-type sling, but not as convenient for shooting as a hasty sling (look it up).

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Diana model AR8: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

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

Part 1
Part 2

  • Mega-blaster
  • Baracuda Match 5.51mm heads
  • Initial observations
  • Baracuda Match 5.53mm heads
  • JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy
  • Bottom line?

Listen up, kiddies, because I don’t often get a chance to do what I’m about to do today. I have found a world-beater air rifle! It has some stuff I don’t like, but the bottom line is — the Diana AR8 is a winner. Allow me to explain.

First of all, I didn’t mount a scope for today’s accuracy test. The AR-8 comes with nice adjustable sights, so I shot it off a bag at 10 meters with open sights. I rested the rifle on my hand that was resting on a sandbag.

Mega-blaster

As noted in the velocity test, the AR-8 is a mega-blaster, and one with a gas spring at that. Because of that, I had almost no hope for accuracy. The thin thread of hope that I clung to is the fact that the Diana 340 N-TEC was very accurate when I tested it. But that rifle isn’t as powerful as the AR-8. Until today my experience with extremely powerful gas spring breakbarrel air rifles is they are not accurate. Except for the 340 N-TEC I just noted, the rest of them are punishing disappointments. The AR-8 changes that. Let me show you.

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