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.

For the .22 caliber pistol test I selected four different grain weight pellets, 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.

Chronograph test take 2

Find a Hawke Scope

Since I am using the Chaser rifle/pistol kit in the .22 version, today’s velocity and target tests will be with the pistol barrel only, and the wrap up on Saturday will be with the 17.7 inch silenced rifle barrel and shoulder stock.

I began the pistol test with the 14.0 gr. Meisterkugeln, which delivered a high velocity of 449 fps, a low of 441 fps and an average velocity of 447 fps with a standard deviation of 2 fps. I am going down in grain weight with each pellet so next is the H&N Sport 13.73 gr. lead wadcutters. The more deeply skirted H&N wadcutters delivered very consistent velocity with a high of 452 fps, a trio at 448 fps, and the fifth shot at 449 fps, for an average velocity of 449 fps and a standard deviation of 1 fps. Stepping down to the next lowest grain weight pellet, I shot the 11.9 gr. RWS Hobby Sport Line wadcutters. These pellets have a ribbed skirt; some say the ribs improves accuracy, others that it is just a decorative touch, I have shot both ribbed and smooth pellets with matching grain weight and I haven’t found any noteworthy difference. One difference is a rim on the inside edge of the pellet skirt (creating a thicker skirt), and this is identical to the Meisterkugeln. Both are made by RWS. The slightly lighter weight Hobby lead pellets cleared the ProChrono traps at a highest velocity of 471 fps, a low of 465 fps, and an average of 469 fps with a 2 fps standard deviation. Last come the Sig Sauer Crux Ballistic Alloy 10.3 gr. domed pellets. Not surprisingly, the Sig alloy pellets delivered the highest velocity at 502 fps, with a low of 498 fps, and an average velocity of 499 fps, with a standard deviation of 1 fps. With four different pellets, the .22 Chaser pistol is sending lead (and alloy) downrange at velocities that are well within factory specs, and with two lighter weight pellets that exceed maximum factory velocity tests.

My default wadcutter pellet is the RWS Meisterkugeln for .177 caliber pistols, but in .22 the Meisterkugeln, at least in the Chaser, was not the most accurate with a best 5-shot group measuring 0.875 inches. With an $80 target pistol from 10 meters, I can’t exactly be ashamed of a sub 1-inch group fired offhand.

Pistol at 10 meters  

Beginning with the Meisterkugeln, I needed to make two slight adjustments to the rear sight, one click up in elevation and one click to move my point of impact right. My best 5-shot group fired offhand from 10 meters measured 0.875 inches. I had one a little high one a little right to blow out my group with three touching in the 9 ring at 0.375 inches. With the H&N I placed five shots at 0.625 inches. The pellets are not key-holing the target, the backer board is getting shot up already and the pellets are tearing irregular holes. I also had to make another rear sight adjustment bringing the elevation back down to where it was originally.

H&N Sport with a slightly lighter grain weight brought me closer to a better 5-shot group with a spread of 0.625 inches. I was making minor sight adjustments for each brand of pellet, as no two shot exactly the same from the Chaser.

Next up was the RWS Hobby 11.9 gr. wadcutters. I had to make several rear sight adjustments for the Hobby, which was consistently hitting low and left. After a few elevation and windage adjustments I shot a little high (this is why I am not a competition shooter!) but managed to plug three out of five shots into one ragged hole, and two to the left for a total spread of 0.74 inches, so in between the Meisterkugeln and H&N for tightest groups.

With RWS Hobby 11.9 gr. wadcutters I made another rear sight adjustment for both elevation and windage and I was still shooting a little high but grouped five rounds into 0.74 inches with three overlapping.

For the last test I shot the lightest grain weight Sig Sauer Crux domed alloy pellets. This required another minor elevation adjustment. My best five shots grouped at 0.625 inches with four of five at 0.437 inches to tie with the H&N for best group.

With the lightweight Sig Sauer alloy Crux domed pellets I was expecting a slightly wider group but found that my shots were much tighter until I pulled one high. I still ended up with five rounds at 0.625 inches, with four of five at 0.437 inches. This tied with the H&N for best group.

I can’t say I am disappointed with the accuracy of the .22 when you have consistent sub 1-inch groups. As a target pistol it is up to the challenge and a better shooter could probably put all five rounds into the 10 and bullseye.

Carbine Pistol

To wrap up the pistol tests, I have chosen the Sig Sauer Crux pellets to shoot with the shoulder stock. Like the .177 caliber Chaser range test, I will be using a Stormrider pellet magazine, which holds seven rounds in .22 instead of nine in .177. As a carbine pistol the .22 caliber model is suited to longer range targets and for small game, which is why I have chosen domed pellets over wadcutters for this test.

With the shoulder stock attached I went after a tight group with the Sig Sauer Crux domed pellets and I got one, just lower than expected. After the first two rounds overlapped, I decided to keep shooting with the Stormrider magazine and put all seven alloy pellets into 0.75 inches with five of seven in a ragged line measuring 0.56 inches. Not what I was hoping for…

At 10 meters I was shooting a little low but the group was looking so good I kept shooting and punched all seven rounds into a total spread of 0.75 inches with five of seven in a ragged line measuring 0.56 inches. And then a package arrived.

…and then I made a change in my plan. Having just received the EyePal peep sight for rifles, I put one of the contact lens like diopter patches on my shooting glasses and headed outdoors to give it a try with the Chaser. You can see it on my right lens. This gave me almost unlimited depth of field outdoors, with both the rear and front sights in focus as well as the target 10 meters downrange.

I order test guns well in advance of articles, when the opportunity presents itself, and along with a single shot target model I’ll be reviewing in about a week, I received an EyePal peep sight system. This is basically a pin hole sight that fits over the lens of your shooting glasses and gives you greatly improved depth of field for target shooting. It is a very simple stick on that comes in a case like contact lenses. So I decided to give it a try with my prescription shooting glasses and the shoulder stocked Chaser.

It was not raining for a change, just hazy, hot, and humid, and that gave the .22 Chaser a chance to be shot outdoors. In the heat and humidity I was getting major wisps as the CO2 hit the air.

The improvement in accuracy is not the gun, it is already accurate; the improvement is using the EyePal. At 10 meters outdoors, I finally got the target I knew the Chaser was capable of. Shooting single shot with the Sig Sauer Crux domed pellets; I put five rounds into 0.437 inches cutting through the bullseye, 10 and 9 rings at 9 o’clock. This is what the Diana Chaser is capable of.

And this is what I expected the Chaser to do with the shoulder stock at 10 meters, a less than dime-sized 5-shot group measuring 0.437 inches through the bullseye, 10 and 9 rings. For the outside shooting session I went back to loading single pellets rather than using the 7-shot Stormrider magazine.

Saturday (weather permitting) I’ll wrap up with converting the Chaser pistol into a rifle and run 10 meter tests with the adjustable rear sight and a switch to optics for maximum accuracy.



16 thoughts on “Diana Chaser Pistol Part 5”

  1. The Diana Chaser is proving to be the proven surprise of the year. For accurate , affordable shooting , with the option of being a repeater it should qualify in consideration for best pistol, and certainly best value of 2018. Nice consisteny accurate shooting

      • It would have more “possibility” than an 1860 Army. The tooling to make a Volcanic-style pistol exists within the forthcoming (late, very late) Umarex lever action rifle. What would possess Umarex to make it into a pistol is beyond me. A massive campaign from readers to make one. Minimum order would be 1,000. Everyone who wants a Volcanic pistol start saving up! I’m in.

        • Where can I sign in for this?
          Anyway I think of a ,.22 cal cylinder, like the converter already offered by a certain US based company, with the valve acting directly on the pellet.

          • That’s a bit too much I fear, even the Italian air pistols built years ago used breech loading self contained CO2 cartridges. Wish they’d bring those back. But an 1860 Army Richards-Mason conversion could actually use the CO2 Peacemaker grip frame and firing mechanism. Different frame design, barrel and ejector, but the technical side (firing CO2 and pellet cartridges) is already done. Getting Umarex to make the next move is going to take a lot of consumers making requests. But yes, can do, technically.

    • I’m still hoping for a Richards-Masson 1851 Navy some day using the same pellet cartridges as the Peacemaker. It is the tooling that makes this such an expensive project. Only a small part of the Peacemaker could be utilized for the Richards-Mason 1851 Navy conversion. It would be an awesome western air pistol. In that respect, it wouldn’t be any more or less difficult to make it a Richards-Mason 1860 Army conversion instead. Maybe some day it will happen.


      • Back in the day Crosman was fairly strong I. The SingleAction Western airgun market. They were limited by existing technology. Umarex and others are not , just by a lack of interest and will . Most of the mentioned products can be done , and in addition I would suggest the Colt da Frontier, Bisley ,Flat Top , New Frontier, and I am convinced that the Da Thunderer is possible as well.

  2. Back to the product at hand. TheChaser hits hard , and while paper impresses, soup cans are running for cover. In 22 cal this pistol rivals a 22 rimfire for ventilating cans. Through and through. They are gut shot , nothing I can do for them.

  3. I think if they used the grip frame and co2 mechanism of the current peacemaker, couple with the front loading cylinder of the old Crosman. a pseudo percussion revolver could be made.

  4. I have a Diana rifle .22 , I noticed that not all pellets brands can be used, Crossman , cannot be used, only Diabolo so far, which one so far is the best to used for Iguana hunting? Also ,which .22 slugs could be fire with this rifle, if any. It seams that the Quality Control in this barrels are not to consistent. Thanks for your time…

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