FAS 6004 Part 2

FAS 6004 Part 2 Part 1

Chiappa’s Single Shot Pneumatic Target Pistol

By Dennis Adler

More than a decade old, the FAS Domino AS 604 design was the basis for the new Chiappa FAS 6004, and this “mass produced” version has the same lines and handling as the original Fabbrica Armi Sportive model. In 2002, the almost entirely hand-built FAS 604 had a suggested retail price of $350, which is equivalent to about $500 today.

Italian armsmakers have a slight advantage over American armsmakers, and even over most European armsmakers; the Italian firearms industry is more than 500 years old. The earliest written reference to Italian gun making is dated April 21, 1459. [1] Beretta, the world’s oldest gunmaker, has been in business for 493 years, and thus it is safe to say that the Italians know a little bit about making guns. Chiappa has only shared in 60 of those 559 years of arms making, but has carved out its own niche among the most respected gunmakers in Italy. I have written thousands of words about Chiappa over the years, but never a word about airguns until now, and the FAS 6004, which is, in its own right, very much a “niche” airgun, with very few contemporaries as a single stroke pneumatic 10 meter target pistol. read more


FAS 6004 Part 1

FAS 6004 Part 1

Chiappa’s Single Shot Pneumatic Target Pistol

By Dennis Adler

The combining of FAS design with Chiappa’s high-tech manufacturing has produced an entry-level 10 Meter single shot pneumatic competition pistol at a price that is competitive with models like the Weihrauch HW75 and Beeman P1. The FAS 6004 has an MSRP of $470.

Chiappa is best known for manufacturing some of the finest Old West rifles and shotguns in the world, including stunningly authentic reproductions of famous 19th century Winchester lever action models like the 1892 rifle and 1887 shotgun. What few people recognize Chiappa for is building some excellent air pistols as well, including the FAS 6004. This is a mid-priced, single shot pneumatic target pistol that falls into the entry-level 10 meter competition pistol classification.

A little Chiappa back story read more


Revolvers vs. Semi-autos Part 2

Revolvers vs. Semi-autos Part 2 Part 1

The age old debate and 1911 magazine swaps

By Dennis Adler 

There was an overlap between the Peacemaker and the 1911 in the early 20th century, even in the military where the Single Action Colts were still being used, and this combination remained practical for southwest lawmen well into the 1950s. This match up of CO2 models is a factual portrait of a time in the American West when old and new worked hand in hand. (Single Action holster is a copy of Billy the Kid’s handcrafted by Chisholm’s Trail. The military 1911 flap holster is a reproduction of the U.S. Model JT&L 1942 from World War Supply)

It has been said that if you do something right the first time, you never have to do it over. At the turn of the last century there were a lot of armsmakers doing things over, especially for the U.S. military, which was in the rather unique position of having to find a large caliber replacement for the Colt Peacemaker and discovering that nothing was really working. The military began to abandon the .45 Colt Single Action Army in 1889 when the U.S. Navy purchased Colt’s new .38 caliber Model 1889 Navy double action revolver. With a swing out cylinder it was much faster to reload than a Peacemaker. But the 1889 was short-lived. It was replaced within the Colt’s lineup and in the U.S. military by the Models 1892, 1894, 1895, 1896, 1901 and 1903 New Army and Navy Revolvers in calibers ranging from .38 Colt to .41 Long and Short Colt. But none offered the stopping power of a .45 caliber Peacemaker. In 1905 the Marines Corps adopted another Colt revolver chambered in .38 Colt (or .38 S&W) aptly named the Model 1905 Marine Corps Revolver. This one saw only 926 guns produced before it was discontinued. By 1907 most of the earlier double action models were replaced by the Army Special model in either .38 or .41 caliber. read more


Revolvers vs. Semi-autos Part 1

Revolvers vs. Semi-Autos Part 1

Origin of an age old debate

By Dennis Adler

While it might sound far fetched, if these three air pistols were their actual centerfire counterparts, this trio of pistols and the two holsters, copied from originals, could have been photographed more than 100 years ago. By 1914 lawmen working still mostly untamed areas along the Texas-Mexico border were packing Colt Single Action revolvers and Colt Model 1911s. The holsters, hand-crafted in Spain, are copied from originals pictured in the book Packing Iron.

This is a debate that has, believe it or not, been ongoing for more than 100 years! The greatest difference in the 21st century, however, between revolvers and semi-autos is how they work, not what they shoot. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, semi-autos were small caliber pistols, the .25 Auto developed in 1900, .32 Auto developed by John M. Browning in 1897, .380 ACP developed by Browning in 1908, and in Germany, the largest caliber, 9x19mm (9mm Parabellum) developed by Georg Luger in 1903;  were cartridges made specifically for use with a self-loading pistol. Over the next century advances in cartridge design, the development of revolver cylinders built to load semi-auto ammo (Colt and S&W models built during WWI and WWII to chamber .45 ACP) and finally modern alloy and polymer frame revolvers, have given rise to wheelguns that shoot semi-auto cartridges in 9mm, 10mm, .40 S&W and .380 ACP. But, this is 21st century pistol technology, technology that has marginalized many of the distinctions between wheelguns and semiautomatics in respect to caliber options, handgun sizes, and practical carry. read more


Diana Chaser Pistol Part 7

Diana Chaser Pistol Part 7

The .22 rifle conversion

By Dennis Adler

The Diana Chaser rifle/pistol kit is the best of both worlds, an excellent entry level target pistol in .177 or .22 caliber, and a rifle all for one price. The conversion from pistol to rifle (the kit comes with the Chaser assembled as a pistol) begins with laying out the main parts. Since I have already mounted the Hawke scope on the pistol I am leaving it attached for the rifle conversion. Shown are the pistol, rifle barrel, barrel band and two hex head tools required for the barrel switch.

When is a pistol not a pistol? When it is a rifle. Rifle to pistol conversions are not uncommon, particularly in AR-15 and AK-47 based platforms that have been reworked from long range target rifles, to SBRs (short barreled rifles) and to pistols without stocks, with folding stocks, braces, or collapsible stocks. Depending upon how the rifle’s platform, barrel and stock are reconfigured can make it anything from a civilian legal carbine to a Class III firearm, and yet, at their core, one and the same. Airguns do not have such restrictions, and the Diana Chaser actually takes a reverse approach by converting the pistol into a rifle with a 17.7 inch rifled steel barrel chambered in either .177 or .22 caliber (4.5mm or 5.5mm).  As a pistol and pistol carbine with the addition of the Chaser stock sold in the rifle/pistol kit, the Diana model has already proven itself a very capable CO2 powered single or multi-shot entry-level target pistol. With the rifle/pistol kit you get to take the Chaser to the next level, 10 meter target rifle. read more


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