Diana Chaser Pistol Part 6

Diana Chaser Pistol Part 6

Adding optics

By Dennis Adler

There have been some conversations over the rear sight on the Chaser and if it could be replaced with a better rear sight, and it might be possible, but if you are going to upgrade the Chaser .22 (or the .177 model) might as well go for optics and get the most accuracy you can from this exceptional entry-level CO2 powered target pistol. I decided to match it up with a Hawke 1x30mm red/green dot scope with a 9-11mm rail mount. The Hawke has flip up covers over the lenses (pictured closed), which is great on a rifle, but for a pistol they are easy to remove being hinged on hard rubber covers that slip over the barrels of the sight.

Yes, I know this is supposed to be a test of the Chaser .22 with the rifle barrel but there has been a lot of talk about the sights on the Chaser, such as changing the rear sight for one with more adjustments. With the 11mm rail running the entire length of the receiver this opens the door for several possibilities to upgrade the Chaser. One suggestion has been the Air Venturi Williams notch rear sight. It will fit, but whether it will be comparable with the very tall ramped front sight on the Chaser is another question. This is something we will have to delve into at another time, as well as other options for adjustable sights. But today, to put one possible upgrade for the pistol or rifle version to bed, I want to address the very affordable option of adding optics. read more


Diana Chaser Pistol Part 5

Diana Chaser Pistol Part 5

Range testing the .22 caliber model

By Dennis Adler

Depending upon your caliber preferences, .177 or .22, the Diana Chaser rifle/pistol kit is the best buy as it provides the pistol and pistol barrel, shoulder stock, and 17.7 inch rifle barrel in the zippered, form lined case. The Stormrider .22 caliber pellet magazine is an extra cost option, but the case liner is designed to hold two.

Aside from larger caliber, the .22 Chaser is identical to the .177 model in both pistol and rifle/pistol kit versions. For this test I am using the rifle/pistol kit Diana Chaser. When I chronographed the .22 caliber model in Part 3, I only had domed pellets on hand, so for this evaluation of the .22 Chaser I am going to chronograph the pistol and rifle (in two separate tests) using 14.0 gr. RWS Meisterkugeln Professional Line lead wadcutters, H&N Sport 13.73 gr. lead wadcutters, RWS Hobby Sport Line 11.9 gr. wadcutters, and Sig Sauer Crux Ballistic Alloy 10.3 gr. domed pellets for the lightest possible grain weight. The factory rated maximum velocity for the .22 caliber Chaser is 460 fps (established by Diana with a variety of different pellets), so we’ll see if any of these .22 pellets can hit that mark with the pistol barrel. read more


Diana Chaser Pistol Part 4

Diana Chaser Pistol Part 4 Part 3 Part 2 Part 1

Range testing the .177 caliber model

By Dennis Adler

As a pistol the Diana Chaser delivers a lot of bang for the buck. It’s medium-loud with no felt recoil whatsoever. The balance of this airgun in the hand makes it easy to hold on target in either a traditional one-handed target shooting stance or with a two-handed hold and Weaver stance. If you are serious about learning to target shoot with a single shot pistol, using a one-handed target shooting stance, the Chaser is a great airgun to begin with. It has good sights, a surprisingly light, well made trigger, and is easy to load and fire with its bolt action design.

If I was seeing the Diana Chaser rifle kit, or even just the Chaser pistol for the very first time, and had no advance information on its suggested retail price, then saw what features it had, how it came packaged, and how well it appears to be made, I wouldn’t have blinked if I was told the pistol sold for $149.95 and $199.95 for the rifle and pistol kit; in fact I’d have thought it was darn reasonable. Why? Because we are talking about an entry-level airgun market where model ranges are often separated in price by less than $50, and retailers look at the MSRP, wholesale cost per unit, allotted shelf space (in stores like Walmart), and then the discounted price it will actually have to sell for. When you consider all of variables, all of a sudden $50 is a big number. This even applies to internet retailers like Pyramyd Air, because almost every gun is sold below MSRP. The beauty is that no one has to drive to the store, you just pick and click and it’s on the way. read more


Diana Chaser Pistol Part 3

Diana Chaser Pistol Part 3 Part 2 Part 1

An entry level target pistol that impresses

By Dennis Adler

This really is a dynamic duo, the Diana Chaser in 4.5mm (.177 caliber, top) and 5.5mm (.22 caliber), offer multiple ways to shoot target and match grade pellets at a price and with features that are almost unmatched in this category of air pistol.

The Diana Chaser models offer more options than many airguns, and I have to use airguns rather than air pistols since the Chaser can also be a carbine pistol or a rifle depending upon how you configure it. I like that a lot because it gives the Chaser so many more possibilities than a single purpose entry-level air pistol.

Before I begin chronographing the 4.5mm and 5.5mm models, I want to explore the three basic forms in which the Chaser can be assembled. If you only have the pistol this is a short story. You have a very neat CO2 model that can be used as either a single shot or multi-shot pistol with the optional Stormrider magazines. If you opt for the rifle kit, you have three different ways to assemble your Diana Chaser and each one gets better. read more


Diana Chaser Pistol Part 2

Diana Chaser Pistol Part 2 Part 1

An entry level target pistol that impresses

By Dennis Adler

The foam liner in the cardboard box comes out and fits into the zippered carrying case so you have a range case with the gun. No problem with storage here! For less than $80 you might have expected a blister pack, certainly not this. Diana has made entry level pistols respectable again. Note the space at the top right that will hold a couple of tins of pellets, and two openings for the extra cost Stormrider pellet magazines

There are several features of the new Diana Chaser that really make this a great target pistol regardless of its affordable price point. That it’s a Diana makes a perfect place to start because there’s a certain level of quality that you expect with the name, particularly with a single shot target pistol. As I mentioned in Part 1, the Chaser has a distinctive grip contour that is designed to press the extended base of the grip around the palmswell of the shooter’s hand. The grip also has a pronounced thumb rest shelf. These two features help stabilize the pistol in your hand, especially when shooting one-handed. And the grip contours are ambidextrous. read more


Diana Chaser Pistol Part 1

Diana Chaser Pistol Part 1

An entry level target pistol that impresses

By Dennis Adler

In this page from Diana’s 120th anniversary catalog from 2010, you can see the first Mayer & Grammelspacher air pistol pictured along with a c.1903 air rifle. At the upper right is an early 20th century painting of designer Jakob Mayer.

Every so often it’s nice to forget about authenticity and training with airguns and focus on what air pistols and air rifles were originally meant to be; recreational, fun, entertaining, and yes, even challenging. Target shooting is still one of the world’s favorite sports, and one that anyone can participate in at any level, or no level any further than their own backyard. Among the airgun manufacturers that established recreational airgun shooting in Europe is Dianawerk. This is a very old German company that has been building air pistols and air rifles for 128 years. read more


Revisiting Sig Sauer Part 2

Revisiting Sig Sauer Part 2 Part 1

First Look: The M17

By Dennis Adler

The M17 began as a Sig Sauer P320. The M17 CO2 model follows suit but makes significantly greater gains beginning with a functioning (not molded-in) slide ejection port. It has an M17 coyote-tan PVD type finish on the slide and coyote-tan polymer frame. Overall, it is one giant step forward in CO2 blowback action pellet-firing pistol design from a company that didn’t build air pistols three years ago! (M17 photos courtesy Sig Sauer)

Here is something to ponder. If foreign companies move to America and begin manufacturing here, are they still foreign companies? Is a Chevrolet (I just picked Chevrolet at random) that comes off a Michigan assembly line combining parts made in Canada, the U.S., and Mexico an American car? Is a BMW built in the U.S. a German car? Better yet, is a German or Italian handgun built in the U.S. still a German or Italian handgun? By design, most often yes, but as an imported gun, no, because it’s not. The Sig Sauer P320 variants for the U.S. Army, (the M17 and M18), are built in New Hampshire by Sig Sauer. It is a German design built in the U.S. for the U.S. military. There are also civilian versions of the M17 to compliment the Sig Sauer P320, upon which the M17 is based. Now, jump back to 1985 when Colt lost its “primary” manufacturing contract for the Model 1911A1 as the standard issue military sidearm to Beretta’s Model 92F (M9). Beretta built a good percentage of those guns in its U.S. manufacturing facilities. In 2017, (after only 32 years compared to Colts 74 years) Beretta lost its contract to build the U.S. military’s standard issue sidearm to Sig Sauer in the U.S. Army’s Modular Handgun System (MHS) competition. That gun is being built in a special section of the company’s New Hampshire manufacturing facility. All things being equal, the M17 is an American-made handgun. What’s my point? read more