by B.B. Pelletier
Let’s take a look at one of the longest-running airgun models ever made – the Diana model 27. The history given here is condensed from Blue Book of Airguns, Fifth Edition.
My Diana 27 was made in 1967 for the Hy-Score company. It’s a Hy-Score 807.
A long run
Diana is a German airgun firm with a long, colorful history. Started in 1890, the company survived two world wars and numerous civil upheavals, as well as several crushing depressions. In the U.S. today, Diana is so closely associated with RWS that many people believe RWS makes the airguns, but that isn’t the case. Diana makes them, and RWS simply imports them into this country under their own label.
The model 27 was first made in 1910, though it looked much different back then. The gun had only a buttstock – no forearm at all. In fact, it wasn’t until after World War II that the model 27 got a normal-looking stock.
Many names, but just one gun
The Diana model 27 has been sold in this country under several names. Just a few of the important ones are Beeman, Original, Hy-Score, Winchester and Milbro. All but Milbro were actually German Diana model 27 guns under other names.
The Milbro guns deserve more explanation. As partial reparations for World War II, the United Kingdom secured the rights, tooling, machinery, parts and drawings of Diana air rifles. Millard Brothers of London made Diana guns in Scotland that were also sold in the U.S. under the Daisy brand name, though I don’t believe they ever made the model 27 for them. During the years when Milbro made Dianas, the restarted German firm had to use the name “Original” to avoid confusion. After Milbro folded, the Germans got back the Diana name.
The Diana 27 was famous for the trigger with the ball bearing sear
Diana pioneered a type of trigger that uses three ball bearings to hold the piston when the gun is cocked. A complex arrangement of springs, bearings and nested cages and bearing races keep pressure on the piston stem until the trigger releases it. Adjusting this trigger is difficult, but once it is adjusted properly, it is as nice as any conventional trigger.
The 27 was just the right size and power!
This was not a magnum airgun. In .22, it shoots medium-weight pellets in the mid- to high-400s. In .177, it gets close to 600 with medium pellets. Why do so many airgunners flip over the gun? Because its so smooth, so easy to cock and light enough to shoot offhand all day long. A 27 is deadly accurate and so understressed that it keeps on shooting long after more powerful guns need a spring change.
I have owned three model 27 guns. The first was a .22 Hy-Score 807 that came from a pawn shop for $18. It was rusty and beat up, but it shot beautifully and I loved it. I eventually gave it to my best friend. Number two was a real Diana .177 that was in sad shape. I bought it for $20 at a gun show, and the dealer was “kind enough” to cock and dry-fire it once to show me that it worked! I repaired it and eventually let myself be talked out of it by someone who wanted it even more.
The .22-caliber model 27 you see above is the last one I bought, and it’s NOT for sale. I paid $110 for it 12 years ago, and I have since tuned it to be even smoother. It used to be a “go-to” airgun, but my Blue Streak and TX 200 have shoved it aside. Still, when I want smooth, light and just right, I pick up my trusty Diana model 27.
202 thoughts on “Diana 27 – a golden oldie”
hey bb I just wanted to let you know while reading a earlier post I noticed that you are using green gas or “propane” in your marui hi-cappa, your actually spossed to run HFC134A (AKA automotive freeon) in the marui guns because they don’t have the metal slides or potmetal internals needed for use of “propane aka greengas”, if a marui gun is used with greengas over a peroid of time (and yes I’ve seen this first hand) the slide will literally fly off the lower spewing small springs and various internal components everywhere. (this actually happened to me but it left a mark the shape of a 9mm beretta slide on my forehead insted of just sending peices everywhere)
if your intristed there are various websites that sell the upgraded metal slides and recoilsprings needed to run propane in your handgun, there are also ways to upgrade the marui electric rifles in some cases surpassing the 500 fps mark (this also gets very expensive expect to pay anywhere from 100-200 just for a upgrade to reach 400 fps)
I would also like to point out that in japan and many places in america airsoft guns are used in a sport simillar to paintball, the players are required to wear ANSI rated goggles and various protective gear . the appeal of airsoft over paintball is of corse the “mil-sim” style of play and just the general feel of the “weapons” and the fact airsoft is a lot safer than paintball . and just to give you a idea of whats required to play a marui electric rifle with 3 hi-cap magazines and a gas sidearm is the bare minimum to play
also would like to mention that in CA airsoft is a growing thing, a lot of people in this great nation including myself want a “assualt weapon” but since the media has deemed this to be a bad thing we have to turn to airsoft to feed the need, so it isn’t very unusual to see a collector thats got thousands into his replica guns all because he can’t own say a “real steel” firearm with a 8 inch barrel that fires from a open bolt (Ingram mac-10 anyone?)
just thought I’d throw that out there to clear up some grey areas about airsoft guns
Good article about the diana 27.I live in Europe (Belgium) where this model used to be very popular. This was my first teenager-rifle. I bought it second-hand when I was 13…for the equivalent of 20 USD !But it was in the years 70’s.I scoped it with an ancient model scope made in USA… The result was amazing ! Deadly accurate on any small game within 25 yards or so… I shot SEVERAL THOUSANDS OF ROUNDS with the 27 and after that it was still shooting like the first days !Unfortunatelly, I was idiot enough to abandon my dear rifle in a garden-shelter when I got married… What a pity.I re-discovered it 30 years later… It was totally rusty and YES MY OLD DIANA 27 WAS STILL WORKING.It still shots now… I find that pretty incredible! I have several airiflles and firearm some of them are quite expensive but NONE are so reliable and strong ! Do you think that I can do something to restore such an old rifle. No need to get in touch with the DIANA factory. I did it and they answered me that the spare parts for this model are no more available… ? ERIC
I read your other comment.
Since this is a safety and damage issue, I am alerting Pyramyd Air.
Thank you for alerting us!
Your story is better than my posting! It really reinforces what I said about these guns being so reliable.
Yes, you can fix your gun and return it to like-new performance. You probably need a new leather seal, although I would try the oiling recomendation I give in today’s post. Sometimes a leather seal just needs to be lubricated.
Also you have to oil the leather seal at the breech end of the barrel. It will probably need a lot of oil to take back its old shape.
If you have to make a new leather piston seal, I will ask Pyramyd Air to get Tom Gaylord to write an article about how to do that. They need that article on their site anyway, because so many other old guns need new seals.
As far as a new mainspring goes, there are several shops in England that supply replacement parts for older guns like yours. The parts are not factory parts, but springs are so general that they will work if they are close to the right size. If you can’t locate one of these places, I know a place or two here in the U.S. where you can get a replacement mainspring. Just let me know and I will give you the address.
Please keep shooting your old Diana!
if you guys want to get some green gas capable handguns look into the KWA and WE lines, they come stock with all the upgrades needed to take the gas and cost just about as much as their marui counterparts.
do they still make the modle 27
I bought my first Modle 27 in 1966 for 9 dollars and it still works fine as ever
The model 27 was last made in 1987.
I have a diana model 27 I picked up in the early 80’s not even a slight dent in the stock. Its like the one pictured in the article. can anyone give me an aprox value
A read beauty is worth $125-150 today. The Diana name is most desired, along with Wincherster. The Hy Score name used to bring a little less, but I don’t know if it still does.
I have a mid 70’s Diana 27 in perfect conditions. I would like to know if the two screws in front of the trigger (it is a ball bearing trigger) allow the adjustment of pull travel and weight and – if so – which is the correct procedure to follow.
The screw in the front, the one closest to the muzzle, is just a locking screw. When you have adjusted the trigger the way you like it, tighen this screw last.
The screw in the back is the only adjustment screw. First, tighten it (clockwise) as far as it will go. Then loosen it two complete turns. Now test the trigger by firing a pellet.
Keep your cocking hand on the barrel all the time the barrel is open. Expect the gun to fire without warning, until you load and close it. Then fire and see how the trigger feels. If you like it, tighten the front screw and you are done. If you want to adjust the trigger more, turn the rear screw clockwise (tightening it) by 1/8 turn and try the gun again.
Never let go of the barrel while it is open when you are adjusting the trigger. Continue to turn the rear screw in by 1/8 turns until you are satisfied with the trigger pull. Of course you can adjust it in the opposite direction, if that is what you want.
I have an air rifle that looks similar to the picture of the Diana 27. The gun was purchased in the mid 1950’s by my brother and the only markings are the HY Score emblem on the stock and the word GECADO stamped on the barrel.
Do you have any information on this air rifle? The rifle is in good condition but missing the rear site. The air rifle still shoots well.
Gecado is a German importer/exporter, similar to Beeman in this country. Hy Score must have specified the stock emblem but not the markings on the meal, so yours is an early import.
Try John Groenewold for the sight.
Nice article BB,I reside in India and I own a pre-war Diana 27(only buttstock).A friend of mine inherited the weapon and asked me if I would take it,my answer of course was yes!!It was off to the gunsmith as the weapon had not been used for decades,spares were tough to come by but two years later the rifle is in fine shooting order.Information on the rifle is very hard to get,any help here would be welcome.This gun is old!!There is an etch of a Huntress holding aloft a bow on the cylinder,below this also etched into the metal are the words “Diana model 27 Germany”The lines have faded away and are only faintly visible.This rifle must have taken a heavy toll on the wildlife of this area.
The pre-war model 27 is quite a nice airgun. The trigger is different, but the rest of the performance is very similar to the post-war gun.
Thanks for the feedback!
The trigger isnt the only thing thats different.The fore sight is of a simple sliding type.It has become quite loose and so Iv been using loctite to keep it zeroed.
I have a Diana model 27 that I purchased new in Germany in the early 70s. Lately, it’s accuracy has fallen off and I need to solve the problem. The gun has never been disassembled and cleaned or lubricated because I didn’t have any instructions and was reluctant to proceed without some. I am sure the leather needs lubrication or replaced and probably the breech O ring should be replaced as it appears flattened. I am shooting the match grade wad cutters by RWS. I checked the factory installed iron sights and they are tight. I tried a little teflon grease on the breech O ring. I would appreciate any suggestions you may have to solve this. A source for replacement O ring would be helpful. Additionally, I like to keep it cocked and loaded. Is this likely to lead to spring problems?
Have you been oiling your piston seal? If not, drop 10 drops of household oil down the transfer port now and stand the gun on its butt for an hour. Oil the breech seal, too. It won’t look like it absorbs oil, but it really does.
After you do this, drop me a note about how the gun works.
Thanks for the quick reply. I have done the oiling you suggest and will give the gun a test when the weather clears.(should be a couple of days). Would you comment on the question of keeping the gun loaded and cocked? I use it on varmints in the yard and usually have a short window of opportunity. Are there printed assembly/disassembly instructions available? Thanks again Dell
If you keep it loaded and cocked the mainspring is probably shot. Also, since your gun has no safety, it’s a dangerous practice. It could fire just by falling over.
There are no instructions for disassembling your gun, plus yours is one of the most complex guns made. The trigger falls apart in many pieces when it’s outside the gun.
I recommend you send the gun to either Pyramyd Air (Boris) or to
My Uncle, during WW2 must have brought back a Diana Model 27, stamped with Hitler Jugend Gebiet Fronker (not sure about the spelling of the last word) on the butt of the stock. I was wondering if anyone out there has any information on what it might mean. The gun itself doesn’t have a barrel, but hopefully I’ll find it in the basement where my Grandfather worked as a gunsmith. He passed away in 1971 and we bought the home.
Thank you for any help that you can give me.
Your rifle belonged to a Hitler Youth club. They were the rough equivalent of the Boy Scouts, only the Germans used them to train young men for military service.
Thank you for your quick response to my inquiry about the Model Diana 27 that I have. Would you know if the markings on the butt would make it more valuable to WW2 memorabilia collectors, or to your knowledge, are there lots of guns out there with the same markings?
There aren’t what I would call lots of them, but I know of several hundred in this country. They show up on the gun auctions from time to time.
If your rifle were in good condition it would command a small premium over a 27 in similar shape without the markings.
The most highly prized guns are those with the Nazi swastika.
I recently purchased what was represented to be a pre-war Diana 27L. It has “DIANA LUFT GEWEHR” stamped on the top flat of the barrel. I has the number “42241” stamped under the breech. It is 42&3/4″ OAL with a 18&3/4″ smooth bore octagon-to-round barrel. How can I determine the model and year of manufacture.
Usually I can’t hep a lot with a question like this, because there normally aren’t enough things to pin down a gun’s year of manufacture. But you have an exceptional gun.
According to the Blue Book of Airguns, your pre-war Diana 27L was made prior to 1923 because it has the octagonal to round barrel. You didn’t mention it, but of course your rifle does not have a wooden forearm – just a buttstock.
The 27L was made from 1910 to 1936, and was made as either a smoothbore or rifled. I’m pretty sure the number under the breech is the serial number, which would make your gun closer to 1923 than to 1910.
While your rifle is not uncommon and has no great collector value, the barrel configuration you have is scarce and raises the worth by 20 percent. So you have a gun worth $100-130, if it’s in very good condition with most of the blue remaining.
Where can I find the seals for the Diana model 27?
Diana 27 seals,
Try this guy:
hi also have a early model diana mod.27
with a symbol of a woman holding a rifle and next to her there is a bow and arrow wich brand and make does this mean?
and an other question what brand or size scope can i buy to fit my diana mod.27 rifle i wouldt like a scope to shoot more accurate.
p.s. i am never gonna lose this rifle out my sight i love it
Your rifle is a Diana. The trademark is the goddess Diana disgarding her bow for a rifle.
You will have a problem mounting a scope, because the 27 does not have provisions for a scope stop. Without that, your scope mounts will walk off the rear of the ramp on your rifle.
Also, the ramp on the rear of the
spring cylinder is not meant for scope mounting. It’s too narrow to accept modern 11 mm scope mounts. It’s there to accept a Diana aperture sight.
You might contact the following source to see whether he has had any success mounting scopes on the Diana 27.
does anyone know the specs of the original diana mod.27
cause i wanna know them and cant find anything on the web or does some one have the original brochure of it,
plz mail me on email@example.com
i wounder witch caliber this gun uses…because i gott this gun from my grandfather after his death and he never told me what bullets to use, i think it´s one made after ww2, it has the picture of the woman with arrow and bow.
It should be marked either 4.5mm or 5.5mm.
no markings….but i tested diabolo 4.5mm and it worked just perfect thnx!
My husband has a Diana 27, his late father bought it for him when he was 12. I would like to find out some information ont he gun, and also if it has a value?
Since this post was written there has been a resurgence of interest in the older Dianas like this one. I was at an airgun show last month and there were several Diana 27s in nice shape. The asking prices were around $250, which makes their value $200-250.
Thank you for that information B.B.
We llive in the UK so I need to check the exchange rate to get an idea of value in GPS.
The gun was bought new in 1959, and is in very good condition for its age.
I’m sorry about that. What I gave you were U.S. prices, of course, but the market over here is probably also different. I don’t think my estimate will hold in the UK, even if you do the conversion (which will be very close to 2 : 1.
Thank you for taking the time and trouble to reply B.B.
Yes, I realise that the U.S. views guns in a different way than we do over ‘the pond’ here. It was nice to be able to show your reply to my husband though, as this is the first time I have been able to find any site on the Internet to find out anything about his precious gun!!!!!
You’re a good wife. I hope he responds in kind.
BTW, the book “Gas, Air & Spring Guns of the World” by W. H. B. Smith is a wonderful old book about airguns that includes your husband’s Diana. It’s long out of print (it was printed in the UK), but you can still find them for sale on the Internet at the old book sites. Just in case there’s a birthday for which you need you need a suggestion.
Thank you for that bit of info B.B. I’ll look out for it online. It might come in handy as a Christmas present.
Hello BB Sir,
My dad has a Winchester 427 in .22 which apparently is a variant of the Diana 27 you are speaking of here. He keeps it stored in his garage so it has minor pitting/rust on the external barrel which looks like it could be restored. It seems to shoot fine, I just added a few drops of oil as you suggested to the transfer port. The front sight has been knocked off and he removed the rear sight from the top of the barrel block and put on a cheap .22 rimfire scope. He wants me to sight it in for him. (and use it till it fails) I was wondering if you think it would be worth “restoring” and putting on a muzzle brake and a newer scope like the bug buster or 3-9x40ao that pyramid sells. The “o” ring seal on the barrel seems a little flat towards the top, can this be replaced with a similar sized one from any source? Thank you for your time. “UncleTimmyS”
Well, there is no danger of loosing any value with this gun, so go ahead and make any mods you like. You can refinish the gun because all collector value has been lost with the rust and loss of sights.
Here is a source for parts:
The flat leather washer at the breech is common for these guns. It doesn’t have to be replaced until there is significant air loss at the breech. Be sure to oil it and the leather piston seal frequently (every month if you shoot a lot).
I have a Diana Mod 27 air rifle but I’m not sure of the type ammo to use. No markings on barrel to tell me. Any help?
Your rifle is either .177 or .22.
My 27 isn’t marked on the barrel, either. It;s on the top of the receiver. It will say either 4.5mm (.177) or 5.5mm (.22).
If there are no markings anywhere, try the Q-tip test. A Q-tip cotton swab will enter the muzzle of a .22 fairly easily. It will have to be pushed to enter the muzzle of a .177.
If all else fails, simply measure the diameter of the hole at the muzzle with a metric ruler.
I own a gecado mod .27 i am very happy with my gun i live in south africa and it shoots 700 fps and it is very very accurate and it has lots of power
I received a Diana 27 18 years ago.Now, I would like to sell it,but I have no idea of the price.She’s in very good condition and she’s very accurate.The caliber is .177.Somebody can help me????
The price depends a bit on what name is on your gun. The Winchester name sells the best, with the Diana name right behind. At airgun shows this year, Diana 27s in great shape (looking almost new) are asking $200-250. They are probably selling for a little less.
I bought a Diana Model 27 in 1967 while station at Lajas Field in the Azores. I’ve kept it in excellent shape; no rust, no nicks, no dents. It has been used but not abused.
I’ve read about oiling the felts. Can you tell me exactly where and how much oil?
There is no felt on this gun. Felt is found on multi-pump pneumatics.
This rifle has a leather piston seal and a leather breech seal. The breech seal is seen around the breech when the barrel is broken open. The hole behind the barrel when it is broken open is the transfer port. That’s where the air comes from when the piston compresses it.
Drop 10 drops of 3-in-1 oil into the transfer port and spread anothe r couple drops on the breech seal. Decock the gun and let it stand on its butt for four hours. Then shoot it about 100 times. That should bring the seals back to flexibilitry if it isn’t too late.
NEVER shoot this gun without a pellet in the bore and NEVER use cleaning pellets in it.
Hello B.B., great site. I just bought a collection of about 30 guns. I got a Diana 27 rifle, (British made). Is it co2? Or spring type. Nice feeling rifle.., thats for sure. It’s the type with the full barrel stock. I may sell it cheap.bnubge Thanks, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Diana model 27 is a spring piston rifle.
I have a Gecado 16.
Does anyone know when they were made?
I have a Diana Breakbarrel Rifle Mod 22 .177 caliber. Is there anything that anyone can tell me about this rifle? On the barrel, it says that it was made in Great Britain. Any information that anyone can provide would be greatly appreciated.
Your rifle was made by the Millard Brothers (Milbro) if Scotland. They received the machinery and right to make Diana models as reparations for WW II.
Your gun was made after WW II – 1953-1985. The Blue Book says an excellent one is worth $65, but I think a better value would be $100. In average shape it’s still worth $50.
say i have pellet gun made in germaney winchester mod.416 cal.177 can anyone tell me if this gun is still been made? this look like it is old gun.if any body has a manual on taken this gun apart that want to sale let me know ok?thanks JB.
The Winchester 416 is the Diana model 16. I doubt you will find a schematic, but disassembly is pretty simple. The mainspring is retained by a crosspin at the rear of the spring cylinder tube. Restrain the mainspring when you remove the pin.
I just recieved a 1954 diana 27 today,good condition,I added 6 drops of 3 in 1 oil to the transfer port and some on the breech seal,will be chrony testing fps tomorrow and hoping its under 500 fps with beeman laser pellets as i am moving to canada in a few months,maybe i will have to detune it to be slower….we’ll see tomorrow!
Hey it’s me Taz with the 54′ m-27 in .177 caliber,well i added another 4 drops last night of 3n1 oil and let her sit over night,set up the chrony today and initial shots were averaging in the mid 600 range,after maybe 20-30 shots she started to settle down and heres the info:
10 shot strings on the chrony for each pellet type.
daisy wadcutter avg.-374 fps
RWS Diabolo Basic pellet avg.-407
Beeman Laser Pellet avg.-437
Gamo Rocket avg.-266
looks like either the spring is tired or needs a new seal,i’ll bet on the seal but as it is it’s well under the 500fps range so i can bring it with me to canada without claiming it as a firearm,i suppose i shouldn’t shoot it anymore till it gets a new seal though.
The oiling will collect and the first couple of shots will be higher. Best to shoot it a little to burn the oil off.
I agree that your spring is shot and maybe the seal, too, but don’t fix it until you get home in Canada.
Hi BB,Taz Again,took her all apart to see how it works!well maybe i shouldn’t have as it hasn’t been apart before by the looks of it,,,oh well to late now!it all started with my fascination to remove the rust…using super fine steel wool and oil,then i had to take the stock off to”clean rust more easily in the corners”,after removing the rust i just couldn’t resist and apart she came!OMG!the bearing trigger and the springs!
She actually was pretty nice inside,the spring has 35 coils and i tried putting in a shrunken r7 maccari spring that i destroyed by putting in my izh-61!bent it all good the izh did,I couldn’t remove the leather compression seal because the screw only loosened a little than became tight again,the leather seal was actually ok so now i feel like a dummy for ripping into her.
My great idea to moly up the original spring and put her back together…OMG,how do you get moly out of a white rug?I kept dropping the bbs from the trigger and the spring shot across the room which i still need to get from behind my dresser,next time she comes apart i will need a new leather seal and a proper new mainspring,i hope the moly doesn;t effect the trigger because that’s the only way i could keep the little buggers in.
I think i need a knowledgeable website for info on rebuilding these with pictures on teardown and rebuild,what kind of new mainspring should i use for when i rebuild her?
Oh ya the fps was at 6500 feet altitude here in colorado
Ok,now i forget i think the mainspring was actually 39 coils!
Will need a new leather too will have to call John Groenewold
Now you know why not to disassemble an older Diana. To reassemble the trigger as a unit, cost all the parts with viscous crease. That will hold the ball bearings in place as you install the trigger. The later Dianas unitized this trigger and are much easier to work on.
Smear the new mailspring (please use a new one) WITH SOME KIND OF HEAVY GREASE. SINCE YOU ARE GOING TO CANADA, I’D OVERDOSE IT WITH MACCARI’S VELOCITY TAR. THAT SHOULD SLOW THE GUN DOWN, THOUGH PROBABLY NOT BELOW 500.
thanks BB…any recommendation on which mainspring will fit?
Contact this guy:
Thanks will contact him…did another chrony test today and she is pushing diabolo basics at an average of 456 fps and beeman laser pellets at an average of 467.
A slight increase most likely due to the beeman m2m i applied to the mainspring or the leather is waking up or both,i will tuck her away with her sisters for now and give the readings again once i am at sea level,and once again at sea level when the new spring and seal is installed.
Thanks for the help BB.
I forgot the altitude. You will be about 525-540 at sea level. That’s close to the original spec, though I would still replace the spring.
Hey BB,I’ll test it at the last pit stop before the border to make sure,will bring the paperwork with me in case it needs the firearms importation.
Wow…went in to the garage today and did a 5 shot into the pellet trap at about 15 feet on a rest and had one ragged hole!I wasn’t even trying and it was dark…wow.
i have a diana model 27
and its a fine airgun
what’s the fps
f.p.s. means feet per second. It’s how velocity is expressed for guns.
I have just read your excellent postings about the Diana Model 27; you sure seem to know your guns.
I am in the UK & have just recovered an air gun from my nephew I had as a youngster which I haven’t seen for 31 years. It’s marked “Original” “mod 27 West Germany” so I’m assuming it’s from the Diana factory & was given to me from an old guy I used to sail with so I think it’s quite old. Unfortunately it’s quite rusty & the butt’s scratched but it still fires fairly well. I will take your advice on the oiling, is WD40 spray lubricant OK or should I invest in proper gun oil?
Anyway the 2 questions I have so far are:
1) Is there any way I can find out how old the gun is? I’m an Engineer by trade so have no problems in disassembling to find the serial number & have taken note of your information on the tricky trigger assembly & will be careful & ask further advice if I need to strip the spring out etc. (I learnt my lesson when as a 15 year old I decided to strip down my “Relum” .22 only to find the spring pops out and you can’t compress it back in without specialist tools)
2) How could I fit a scope to it? Seeing as it doesn’t have any grooves for scope mounts & I’m just introducing my 15 year old son to the art of shooting & he’s struggling with the iron sights.
I am really excited about finding an expert who can help with the re-found gun from my youth.
Looking forward to your reply.
Okay, time for tough love!
Please read this report on the Diana 35:
The Diana 27 you have and the Diana 35 are constructed similarly. They are among the most complex of all spring guns to work on. Your Relum was just a prelude to this – the difference engine of air rifles. A look at the trigger I’ve shown disassembled in that other report should demonstrate why.
How to mount a scope on the Diana 27? Well, let me ask you this. How should I go about installing the engine from a Chieftain tank into a Smart Car?
“Don’t do it!” you say? Well, don’t try to mount a scope on a Diana 27, I say. Teach your son to use open sights with that rifle and get him a modern air rifle when the time comes for a scope. Open sights are the basic way to sight, anyway, and he should be taught the basics first. Here is three tutorial reports on the use of sights:
As for WD-40, I love the stuff, too, but it should never be used on guns, clocks, fishing reels and other finely-made mechanisms. When it dries it turns to a yellow varnish that will gum up the works of anything that’s fitted close. Use regular household oil (3-in-1?) or gun oil.
One final thing. The date of your rifle should be stamped in small numerals on the left rear of the spring tube, just above the trigger. It will be the month and year the rifle was made.
Thanks for your reply. I can’t find a serial number only “Made in West Germany” in small print on the left side of the spring tube just above the stock. I have taken the stock off but can’t find anything else.
I have oiled the gun as you recomended & adjusted the trigger so it is shooting quite well at the moment apart from I noticed the seal at the muzzle has a small section missing so am probably loosing some power there. Would my local gunsmith in the UK have a spare I could fit?
The only other thing I am struggling with is the sights. They are a “V” nothch for the rear with elevation adjustment on a slider & an open inverted solid “/” at the front which can slide left to right. I am finding when trying to sight at 17 yds (the length of my garden to the Squirrels) I have to push the front sight as far over to the right as possible & also the rear sight is not held firm so have to move that to the right as well & on the lowest elevation setting have to place the tip of the front sight just showing in the bottom “V” to get anywhere near on sight after that things seem fairly repeatable but obviosly things move when storing or transporting the rifle.
Is ther any other type of sight I could fit or how could I remedy the current sighting issue?
I am shooting RWS Hollow Point 14.8 grain .22 pellets which poses another question as to whether they are suitable in this rifle for Squirrels?
The Diana 27 has no options for alternate sights. I agree that those peppercorn sights are very difficult to use.
You may be fighting yourself with those sights! You say you are pushing both front and rear sights to the right, but that doesn’t work. The front sight has to be pushed in the opposite direction of the way you want the pellet to move, so if you are shooting too far to the right, push the front sight to the left, and vice-versa.
The UK is home to the best supply of vintage airgun parts anywhere, so that rear breech seal should be easy to replace.
As far as the best pellet to use, use the one that is the most accurate. At the short distance you are shooting a wadcutter is as good as a hollowpoint.
I have 2 diana air rifles that have been in the family for over 25 years, a model 50 and a model 27. As far as I can remember they have both been outfitted with scopes. I would like to outfit them once again with their open sights. Do you know where I can find and purchase the open sights for these outstanding air rifles? I appreciate your help. Thanks for your time.
Two places come to mind. Pyramyd Air has a huge supply of vintage Diana parts and they include vintage sights. Look at them online, but call if you don’t see what you need. The 50 and 45 may use the same rear sight and they all pretty much used the same front sight, from the 35 on up.
The 27 was a cheaper gun that had a fixed front sight in a hood.
The other source is this guy:
Thank you very much for the info. I have contacted them both for my needs. Would you by any chance have or know the location(link)of the exploded diagram for the DIANA model 27? Once again, thanks for your valuable help.
P.S. My model 27 has rails in the front of the barrel.
Doug Law may have the schematics for a Diana 27. His website is:
I came across a Gunmaker in the UK called Chambers who carry spares for the older rifles including the Dianna 27. But they also have some exploded views with part numbers on their website at
Hope this helps.
PS. I'm still struggling with my iron sights wandering all over. Any suggestions?
Thank you for that link. I hope it’s what he needs.
As for your sights wandering, is your barrel pivot bolt tight?
Thanks for the link. Very useful.
Re: Diana model 27
Wanted to thank you again for your help in my decision to purchase a Diana model 54. Can’t wait until I can change the temporary base with your new leapers. I just purchased a diana model 27 that looks brand new. Date stamp is November 1980. Shot it 20-30 times. Shot groups were all over the place. Couldn’t do better than 2″ at 20 feet. Put oil down the transfer port and on the breech seal as you suggested. Maybe that will help. Rear site seems a little loose, moves slightly from side to side. Is this normal? Would also appreciate knowing which pellets in .177 you’ve had the most accuracy with in the model 27. kevin
ps-I didn’t even know I was in the market for a diana 27. Is this normal?
Just look at premium pellets that are not Crosman (too hard and small). I never tested my .177 enough to know what it the most accurate. Probably RWS Meisterkuglen.
Yep, you’re an airgunner.
Your 27 will group inside an inch at 25 yards all day long. USE PREMIUM PELLETS! Don’t buy pellets at Wal-Mart.
Wow what a fast reply. Do you have a computer embedded in your body?
You’re a fan of the domed crossman premiers in the cardboard box. You’re recommending against those for this gun? Immediately after I posted this question pyramyd air called me and said your new scope base for the 54 is in and will be shipped to me tomorrow. Hip, Hip Hooray! I added a cardboard box of the domed crossman premiers light (7.9 grains) to this shipment. Are these premiers to hard for the diana 27? Sorry to be such a bother. kevin
I’m sorry about leaving out the 7.9 Premiers in the box. It takes many paragraphs to explain to people why the box and not a tin and I was just lazy.
But pure lead pellets will be better in the long run.
Sounds like you have found a keeper.
Thanks for the reinforcement on using crosman premiers in the diana 27. Shot the new diana 27 this morning after oiling per your instructions and then letting it sit overnight. Even with loose fitting daisy pellets that came with the gun it groups better. Can’t wait to see what the premiers do in this sweet gun. Read your december 26, 2005, “Lubricating Your Spring Gun Part 2” article early this morning. Sure looks like pictures of your diana model 27 in that article. I hope Pyramyd Air realizes the asset that they have in your knowledge and your unwaivering commitment to their website and airgunning. Based primarily on your knowledge and advice I have placed 4 orders with Pyramyd Air in just the last 90 days. One of those orders was in excess of $1,400.00. I would humbly suggesst to Pyramyd Air that you be compensatad on a “per word” basis. Please keep up the great work. Really appreciated. kevin
If you really want to thank me, you could post that last message on today’s blog. We have a new guy there who has been told by one of the other readers he will probably spend over $1,500 in the next 12 months and he just doesn’t believe it. He says he spends all his big money on long-range centerfire rifles!
I’d love him to see how true that prediction is.
You’re probably tired of hearing this but..you were right, again. Spent quite a bit of time this weekend with my newly acquired diana 27 (.177 caliber). Took a tin of rws meisterkugeln’s and a tin of rws superdome’s to my place in the mountains. My neighbor stopped by while I was shooting targets and told me about his gamo that he can’t hit the broad side of a barn with. I gave him a quick B.B. lesson on a light artillery hold for a springer and he was grouping shots within an inch at 20 yards in no time with the diana 27 (open sites). He ran back to his place, got his gamo and some crossman premiers and we had a ball. After shooting the crossman premiers, the rws superdomes, the rws meisterkugeln’s, the cheap daisy pellets that came with the gun and some old crossmans in a tin, the meisterkugeln’s far and away are the most accurate in the diana 27. Surprising since my diana 54 (.22 caliber) is most accurate with the crossman premiers. I think my neighbor, Jack, will soon become another one of your fans. After dusting off his gamo and learning a light hold he has a renewed excitment for shooting his springer. He asked for your blog address. Watch out, I think you may have hooked another one. kevin
Good for you – passing it on.
We just moved and in the our new home we found an old Diana mod.27
But i have no knowledge at all about these tools. I have a few questions: Can someone tell me how old it can be or how old it is?
If it’s worth something?
And what caliber it can be or is?
It still works but not quite well. I think it has to be cleaned and revised.
The date should be stamped on the left rear of the spring cylinder, just above the wood.
For a thorough rebuild, try this guy:
Look very closely for the date stamp. The numbers are VERY small. You should find the month and year the rifle was made. The caliber should be stamped on the side of the receiver just beneath the rear site. It will say either 4.5 mm (.177) or 5.5 mm (.22). Before you send your rifle off for a restoration you may try to restore the leather seals by oiling. I just purchased a diana 27 that barely shot and this worked wonders. Put 10 drops of 3 in 1 oil into the transfer port and spread another couple drops on the breech seal (see the posting above by B.B. dated August 15, 2007 3:10PM). I paid $50.00 for my gun a month ago and it is in excellent condition except for a pin head size of blueing missing on the barrel. B.B. has some estimates for Diana 27’s in the postings above. If you’re not an airgunner and just want to get rid of the gun, please email me at email@example.com. It’s not fair to Pyramyd Air to talk about a gun sale on their site. kevin
Many thanks for your blog.
I’ve had a Webley Tempest for the last 25 years and enjoyed plinking with it. I wanted to graduate to a rifle and have lusted after an R7 for years, but the recent price increases have put it out of reach.
I usually hit the local gun shows in hopes of finding someone who sells used spring guns. Today was the first time I saw a springer rifle at one of these shows: a Winchester 427 in .22. The owner didn’t know the German company who made it, so I came back home figuring your blog would have the info. I was afraid if I bought it outright I’d later find out it has some fatal flaw.
But sure enough, your blog has all the details!
I went back, and he let me have it for $150. It was made in May 1970 and has just a few scratches on the stock.
I’m going to oil it per your recommendations. I’ve also ordered some tins of RWS wadcutters. Can’t wait to try it out. I’m sure I’ll be enjoying this rifle for many years.
Thanks again for the informative blog!
You beat the current market price by $100! Congratulations!
Have just resurrected my father-in-law’s old Diana 27 – I wasn’t sure that it had the oomph it should have done so have just oiled it as you recommended – I’ll wait and see what happens. Pity about your scope comments – I was looking forward to seeing what I was shooting at!! (the eyesight isn’t what it was!) But I have had a look for a date – and I can’t find one. The rear end is marked ‘Diana Mod.27 Made in Germany’ but nothing else. It has a blade foresight but no ring. I believe it to have been bought in about 1964 (but don’t know if it was new). Can anyone offer any help as to age?
I’m pretty sure the date will be there, but it is smaller than 1-point type. Get a magnifying glass and look on the tube just above the wood at the left rear of the trigger.
By the way, you are the average age of a serious airgunner. I’m 61.
Thanks for that B.B. I've looked again with a watchmakers eyeglass and altho' there's some rust pitting I'm pretty certain there's no date – I'll try a little gentle wire wool tomorrow. There's also no calibre under the rear sight as far as I can see. I'm still curious that it says 'Germany' if others say 'West Germany' and that the tunnel foresight in the drawing by Chambers & Co appears to be fitted on a slot from the front of the barrel and secured by a small screw. My foresight is a straight wedge fitting driven in across the barrel in the style of an Enfield, but with no means of tightening. I'm wondering if this was second hand in the 60s and dates from pre/war time stock? Sorry if this is getting a bit into the weeds – I'm just curious!!
Glad to know that I've got a few years airgunning left (I'm only 8 behind!)
The front sight you describe is pictured in the Blue Book, so it’s correct for an after-war 27. I am surprised about the date stamp, though. Perhaps it’s just below the wood line. And my Hy Score 807 also says Made in Germany.
Last word on this one! I took the gun apart and sent the pieces off for re-blueing to Chris Molloy. No date. He suggested looking on the woodwork and, lo, on the heel of the butt at the top was 2/38. This may explain ‘Made in Germany’. So in the end it is a just pre-war example – and showing its age a little is not such a surprise!
This blog teaches so many things. Now I have learned of an alternate date stamp spot on Dianas.
Thank you. And I guess you were right all along.
I have a HY Score Model 806 Air Rifle 177 Cal my father gave me. How do I load it? I purchased 177 Cal BBs from WalMart but cannot figure out how to load them other than dropping one in the barrel after cocking it and shooting BBs one at a time and the still roll out of the barrel if I am down too much.
Your Hy Score 806 IS NOT a BB gun. It shoots .177 caliber lead pellets ONLY. BBs are steel and will ruin the bore. And don’t shoot it without a pellet in the barrel, either.
To load the gun you break open the barrel until the gun cocks, and stick a lead pellet in the breech end of the barrel. That’s the end that wasn’t visible until you broke open the barrel.
Put the pellet in nose-first, leaving the hollow tail peeking up at you from the breech. Push the pellet into the barrel until the end of it is flush with the barrel.
U recommend using Gamo Match pellets, which Wal-Mart sells. Daisy lead pellets will also work. Crosman pellets are too small for the bore of your rifle.
Also, you need to drop 10 drops of oil down the air transfer port, to oil the leather piston seal. The transfer port is the hole behind the barrel that you can see when the barrel is broken open.
If you have any more questions, please ask them.
Hi B.B I’m back again. The gun is now back from having been re-blued and the parts are looking very smart. My challenge is to remember how it came apart!! I’m going by the Chambers diagram but first thing is that there appears to be a spare flat washer with a hole in the centre. I think that this fits in the piston tube behind the trigger assembly and in front of the end cap – is that likely? I’m also not 100% sure exactly how the trigger pieces fit in relation to each other (but luckily it is the unitary trigger assembly). In which order does it go together and what holds the spring that goes down the centre in place? I’ve also got 2 really small springs (1/8 or 1/16 dia approx)one which goes with the wedge assembly that fits under the chamber and the other which goes with the trigger (but not the one in the trigger unit). Any clues as to where exactly they go?
I’m sure that given time I can work this one out, but if you knew/had a picture it might help me on my way! I’ve got a bit of time as I’m waiting for a new piston seal to arrive but if I can work out what I’m doing now then it’ll speed the process up. Grateful for any advice.
I’d love to help you, but I’ve never worked on the gun you describe. My gun has the trigger I showed you.
Here is what you do. Sit back and tell yourself that in the Diana plant there was a 19-year-old girl named Trudy who assembled these guns at the rate of one every 90 seconds. If Trudy could do it, so can you.
Difference is that after the first one Trudy knew what she was doing! I’ll be O.K on the second one too. Oh well here goes, wish me luck!
I’m pulling for you!.
The guys on this forum may be able to help:
Thanks B.B. I think I’ve worked most of it out. I can’t see how the trigger mechanism works – just hope that it does when it’s together. I think that the tiny springs come from under the heads of the small screws which secure the larger screws on the cocking arm and main barrel connection. However, one which I’m sure you can help with – I’ve got a new piston cup seal as the last one looked deformed at the bottom – how do I get it into the piston? Oil it and just work it in there?
You unscrew the screw in the center of the piston and remove the fiber washer that holds the leather piston seal in place. The new seal receives the fiber washer and you screw it to the top of the piston. Soak the new seal i9n oil for a couple days before installation.
B.B. thanks. I guessed that must be the solution so I applied oil and worked it into the seal which then gave up its rock like consistency and I was able to get it in. Respect to Trudy – best part of a day later and a sore shoulder from leaning on the spring to try and get the rear pin aligned but I’m there. Well I would be if it worked! There are no spare parts (I’ve worked out where the springs came from) but although I get compression when cocking the trigger sear is clearly not engaging. This is a bit fundamental. My concerns about putting something together when I didn’t understand how it should work are justified! The only bit that I can see that I might have got wrong is the spring that fits with the trigger mechanism. On the Chambers plan it’s CS196 and I put it in the front of the trigger mechanism – should it have gone behind so that it bears on the end cap? Any thoughts?
P.S Looks damn smart even if it doesn’t work!!
It’s most likely a trigger return spring of some kind. Look for dimples on the metal parts where the springs seem to go. Those locate the ends of the spring. If not dimples, look for square projections of metal where they seem to have no purpose. Those are spring anchors.
Richard & B.B.,
Richard, looks like the vintage forum helped answer your question. Sure is some great information on the diana 27's in that thread you started.
B.B., Please forgive me for linking to another forum, but since you still own a 27 (?hyscore 807?) I thought you might be interested in this information. There are some great diagrams, photo's and info on reassembly of a pre-war and post war diana 27's with links in this thread that detail the two different triggers, original prices, exploded diagrams, etc.
If I'm out of line let me know.
If you scroll up a few comments, you’ll see I sent Richard to that forum. I never have a problem with getting someone the advice he needs.
B.B. & Kevin,
Yes, that was a really good link and has solved my problem. I was a bit unsure of the age of my gun but the date on the end of the butt and diagrams provided from that forum clinched it. And when I knew what I was trying to achieve it really wasn't too hard! I think I now need to put a fair few pellets through it as I suspect that the new seal has more drag in it – the gun is suspiciously quiet!
Ah, yes! Quiet!
That’s one thing I always notice about the 27 and never mention in print. Mine sounds like a mouse cough.
I recently restored a Diana Model 27. The gun was in a real poor condition (all metal parts covered in rust, pitting, sludge dripping out of the piston assembly, stock scratched). Rebuilding the gun was quite exciting. All metal parts were sandblasted and consequently treated with NU-BLACK Brüniercreme Nr 82. I changed the piston seal with an original leather one, I kept the original spring and swapped the breech O-ring and barrel washers. The spring was lubed with Molycote grease and for the piston seal and barrel I used two-stroke oil SAE 30. Reassembling the trigger mechanism was a handfull, considering the ballbearing system this gun uses. The stock was sanded and put in a nice light-oak coulor. I finished off the gun with a Walther 3-9x 32mm sight with paralax correction.
On to the shooting test: with Near zero at 11 metres and far-zero at 20 metres the accuracy of the rifle is staggering. The shot group of 10 pellets, using RWS Proline Meisterkügln (0.53 grams)landed at 20 metres in a zone of less than 2.5cm (the gun is very sensitive to the proper ammunition). The performance of this oldie is testemony to the quality of which Diana designed and constructed this rifle.
My dad passed away and I have sold most of his guns, and was trying to sell a Winchester Model 427. It has some very minor pitting on top of the barrel, and a couple small dings on the stock, but otherwise looks very nice. Can you give me a ballpark figure as an asking price and the best place, or internet site to try and sell it? I’m in Portland, Oregon. Thank you!
Your Winchester 427 sounds like it should fetch about $200-250. I just bought a Diana 27 in the same shape at an airgun show for $150.
Ant thoughts on where a guy should advertise it other than trying to find an air gun show??
You won’t find an airgun show west of the Mississippi. Here is a site with lots of links to places that accept free classified ads.
However, there is a man in southern Oregon who is looking for this exact rifle.
This is his contact info:
His name is Wayne Burns. Tell him what I estimated the value of the gun at and I think you will be pleased.
Thank you so much!!
I forgot to give you the website with the links to classified ads:
I have a Diana Model 27 I bought at a yard sale a couple of years ago for $5. It has been in a corner until today when I got curious about its possible value. It really looks like a high quality airgun, and after reading your blog I understand why. I have not fired the gun, but intend to add some oil (as you have recommended) and find some decent 22 caliber pellets so I can test it. On top of the barrel, above the trigger, it has the female figure with the rifle and the bow. It says DIANA MODEL 27 in large letters and MADE IN GT BRITAIN in smaller letters. Farther up on the barrel it says DRILLED FOR SCOPE between two small holes about 1 1/4″ apart and says 22 CAL. I cannot find a date on the barrel, even under close scrutiny in the area above the trigger. Also, no date is visible on the wood stock. I did, however, find a number on the barrel breech (left side) which looks like a serial number in the format 272XXX with a large E below it. Any idea how old the gun might be? I’m looking forward to testing it. I haven’t shot a pellet rifle since I was a kid and had a C02 model from Crossman.
Your Diana was made by the Milbro company in Scotland. There were two versions, one was the straight 27 made from sometime on the 1950s to 1963 and the second was the G27, made from 1963 to 1967. The G27 should have a manual safety, while the earlier gun has none.
That comes from the Blue Book of Airguns.
I have had a Winchester 427 (22 cal) since my grandfather passed in 1988. it has been sitting in the back of my gun safe and has acquired some very slight surface rust. I plan on cleaning it up in the next couple of days. Any tips?
I’m a gun person and will never let this heirloom go.
I should also say that I have the Winchester box it came in. Is there any interest/premium in the box?
Rub the metal down with a clean cotton cloth soaked in Ballistol. Read this report to see why:
The box adds at least 25 percent to the value of the gun. In very good condition your gun is worth $150-200.
Thanks B.B., Randy
Hey I just found a mod 27 german made in my gramps house been sitting up there for years made in 1960 and it also works perfectly i can hit cans at 30-40 yards no bother at all. i just wanted to know how easy it is to change the spring or if it would even need a spring change!?
Congratulations on finding the Diana 27 in your gramps house! Great little gun that is infamous for accuracy.
What makes you think you need a new spring? Lack of power? (these are not high powered springers) Noise when you cock?
Since your Diana 27 has leather seals, please consider oiling the leather. Start with 5 drops of 3 in 1 oil dropped down the barrel, sit the gun upright, on its' butt, and leave it there overnight.
B.B. just did another multi-part series on the Diana 27 that you should consider reading. Here's the link that you will need to copy and paste:
This link takes you to part 10. You can access the other parts by clicking on the links at the top of the article.
Hi there, I have recently purchaced a Diana 27L, the nunbers stamp on the breach end of the barrel say 8,29 am i correct that this is the date of manufacture? when cocking the rifle, the spring makes a hell of a racket and is very notchy, 2 questions, how do i get to the spring to change and lube it and where can i obtain a suitable replacement spring, is there a contemporary one that will or can be made to fit?
Sandy, Bedfordshire, UK
Yes, that date sounds correct.
Your rifle should be easy to figure out. The disassembly centers on the rear of the spring tube, around the trigger area. The rear section unscrews from the tube, I believe, though I've never had one of these apart. Look for a grub screw that fixes the rear cap in place.
As for a replacement mainspring, which you certainly need from your description, any good airgun store there in the UK should be able to find one for you. The actual part hasn't been available for more than half a century, but these things are not that precise. Any number of generic springs can be made to fit.
To find a stockist, simply Google:
airgun parts UK
Great web page. I have a 427 Winchester that I bought at the US Army rod and gun club in Kitzingen Germany in 1971. I have let it sit in my gun safe for many years and was always curious about its pedigree. Bingo. I find your web page Now I know. I just came in from the garage shooting into a trap. It had been oiled per your advice. Pleasant memories brought back by the smell of smoky oil. It shoots perfectly. Very accurate. I also found some of the German pellets I bought 38 years ago. Thanks for the great advice and wonderful history of the gun.
Glad we were a help.
I shopped at the Hertzo and Graf Rod & Gun from 1974-1977.
i have recently cleared out my loft and found a gun i was given 12 years ago, it looks very much like the one in your picture but the only markings are on the barrell,
made in great britain
and a number stamped on the butt, are4 u able to give me some information on this
Milbro was a Scottish company that made Diana air rifles in the 1960s. You have a Diana made in the UK.
It's a Diana model 16, a youth model and not really like the one this report is about. It probably isn't rifled.
Hi I found an air rifle today but can't find any information about it at all.
It has special mod 22 written on it and that's all.
Just intrested about it now is it old and is it a colectable ect it cocks and fires fine
It will take photos to identify your air rifle.
I will post some on in the next few hours thanks for responding so quickly
I just realised I can't post pics I could email them if you are happy to give me your email address
This blog is really not the best place for this. Here is a collector's forum where they welcome such questions:
They also have the facility to post photos.
Hi can anyone help me please. I have an Original model 27 .177 cal which is marked 'Foreign'. My problem is that I unwisely dissembled the piston/trigger assembly and experienced a spring launched separation of the parts. Does anyone have the correct way to reassemble the parts? I've seen the Chambers web site which shows the exploded view and is helpful but I would appreciate any tips on re-assembly.The piston has a synthetic/plastic washer so presumably is a later version of the Diana 27. I'm in uk and aquired the gun here.
I don't have the answer for you, but I can help you. You posted to a blog written in 2007 and there arn't but a handlful of people checking the oldies for new posts. Please repost you question on our current one, written daily Monday to Friday and someone there will give you a hand./blog//
Wildebeast, this might help….
I owned Diana 27 .177 cal. from 1977 to 1992 & all I can say that it is a wonderful rifle, easy to use & maintain. I used to change the spring every one or couple years & the piston seal every five years, the rifle was light, accurate & deliver reasonable power to knock down a dove or a starling at distance between 120-150 ft. using (4×30) scope. I fired more than 20,000 pellets of different types, hunted thousands of games not smaller than the starling…
hi there, i have just aquired a diana 27 with the marking made in germany on the left hand side above the trigger mech. it has the swaged foresight and the sliding rear sights. i have cleaned and oiled it as it sat at a friends house for a decade in the hot water closet in his garage, it still fires beautifully for an old rifle and i have just dropped some 3 in one down the hole as you have recommended.
i am in new zealand so these rifles certainly get around
thank you for so much valuable information
thankyou for the post, I have an old mod 27 with the gecado markings on the top of the cylendar, it also towards the rear of the cylendar has the words "made in germany 06 70" do you know what these numbers could mean? simply the year?
I have owned the gun for 15 years and it has recently lost power, im going to try oiling the seal, but do you think its worth changing the spring if that doesnt work?
also it has what looks like a flat scope rail on the back, i read its for an appature sight? i have had a 4X32 on it for 15 years and it has never come lose or gone off zero.
any advice on the spring is very welcome.
Oil that piston seal and your gun will shoot okay again. I would bet on it. These guns were so over-engineered that they don't wear out in only 50 years.
That date stamp is the month ( June) and year (1970) the rifle was produced.
Yes, that is a base for the rear sight. Read today's blog to see one just like it:
Just to bring it to your notice.
There are brand new diana's 27 & 36for sale in Dubai (United Arab Emirates) Al Sayyad Hunting equipments is the authorised diana agent having these models.
The Diana 27 was discontinued in 1987. The Diana 36 stopped either in the late 1990s or perhaps just past the Millenium.
If they are selling brand new guns, they have acquired new old stock guns from somewhere. This is a wonderful opportunity for shooters fortunate enough to be able to buy these models. I hope you can take advantage of it.
Hi there I have got a DIANA 27 barrel breaking rifle say's made in Germany and not Great britain, it even has some kind of a hall mark of a laidy hunting (prosume its the Diana logo). Only thing is its a little rusty but fires perfectly, and the some of the screws have faided but am sure somebody who knows how to restore should give a reasonable price.Was wondering if you know how much its roughly worth many thanks.
A Diana model 27 in the condition you describe is worth about $175-200. And for the record, Diana is a German brand. The UK manufacture was just a temporary abberation.
I found this site about the Model 27 while looking for some alternate air gun. The RWS is expensive and GAMO made in Spain, crap, so I started looking at this 27 that my godfather gave me for my birthday in the late 50's early 60's. I thought it was a new gun he gave me, but after looking at your site and repeatedly going back and forth trying to find a date, finding no numbers on the metal parts, I did find a 57 stamped in a square on the butt stock, so if this was made in 1957 I guess my godfather gave me his own rifle. The only writing was on the left side just above the wood and trigger, "Made in West Germany". When I was a teenager, I used to shoot squirrels in the eye and kill them with one shot, not to mention the occasional bird. It still shoots OK for a 56 yr. old rifle. Should I send it off to put a new spring in it?
If your rifle still shoots okay, as you say. why put a new spring in it? These mainsprings can last for many decades, if the rifle is well cared-for.
Just keep it oiled with 10 drops of household oil down the muzzle and standing the rifle on its butt for a few hours every 6 months and that leather piston seal and mainspring will outlast you.
Hi from south africa !
I have a Gecado mod 27, and it has n brass seal stating specially made for cymot.
I want to know howe old is it and what is the value ?
I can't find a number, only made in west germany.
Did you look on the bottom of the butt?
No way of knowing exactly how old, but the early '70s is a good guess.
Thanks for all the info above.
Just got a Gecado mod .27 for $50aud
Shoots a 20 shot half inch hole at 5m.
Apparently the gecado’s were more popular in Australia than dianna.
Good on ya, mate! That is a real buy.
Gecado was an exporter like RWS. In fact, they still are.
Gecados are Dianas, you wont find (other than private imports) pre early 80’s Dianas in Australia, they are all Gecados(possibly other names like hy-score as well) up until the time Diana got ownership of their name again. Earliest Dana i have is a 50To1 from ’82 or 833(i forget) and i have Gecados from late 70’s.
Its kinda like mx5 v miata, same car differemt branding.
I’m aware that Gecados are Dianas exported by Herr Wilsker, I believe. His company name was/is Geco.
Besides the name you mention Dianas have also been Beeman, Winchester and Peerless.
Here is a link to my 50 that is before the T01, so earlier than 1965:
It’s stamped 06/67 made in Germany
Does anyone have any info, or a video with detailed instructions on a complete teardown of a hy-score 807 .22 caliber? A parts list and where to get parts would be nice also. The gun is so old that I suspect it needs a new piston, at least. It was a tack driver, 4 or 5 thru the same hole when it was last used. Thanks in advance for any help here.
Welcome to the blog.
The Hy Score 807 is a Diana 2. If you look for that model you’ll find a lot more information.
The 27 comes apart like any modern Diana — the 2 crosspints are pressed out while the trigger assembly is under compression from a mainsopring compressor.
I haven’t published detailed plans for disassembly because the trigger can be difficult to assemble after its out of the gun. But what I have done is show the steps and discuss them.
Here is what I have done on the Diana 27:
Thanks for your most enlightening blog. I have recently inherited a British Diana Model 27 in .177. What is interesting is that although it clearly says model 27, it has the direct sear trigger of I suppose a model 23. It was made in March of 1960 according to the stamp on the butt in “GT Britain” according to the stamp on the receiver. The end of the pistol grip is also squared off and not rounded as in your example. Was this a cost cutting exercise from Millbro during this time? The rifle is butter smooth and very accurate and a real sweetheart.
Welcome to the blog.
I don’t know why the Milbro stocks look different, but I know that they do. It was probably seen as either a style thing at the time, or just easier to set up the profiler to cut the stocks their way instead of the German way.
I am glad to hear your 27 is also very smooth. I often wondered about that.
Yes it is still well made I suppose, but not to the tune of the german guns. None the less, it does what it was designed for and fairly well. Was the trigger change a part of the Milbro manufacturing process?
Diana had two triggers for their model 25, and I assume they would also fit the model 27. You appear to have the direct-sear model. That would be MUCH cheaper to produce, since far fewer parts are involved, so I’m guessing Milbro took that route.
I have a model 25 with a direct sear trigger and it is quite good. So I bet yours is just as good as mine.
I was just hopping it would be the legendary and unique ball bearing trigger. The trigger works fine though, very crisp let off.
What pellet does your Diana like?
Thanks for all the info. I really enjoy your blog.
I haven’t really tested my 27 for accuracy. I just shoot RWS Superpoints most of the time. I think the rifle is more of a plinker than a target gun.
I have a Diana model 27 that my father bought when he was a teenager. I think its a ’67 model but i can’t find anywhere on the rifle the serial number that states the year it was made.It only has the Diana logo and next to it “made in Germany”. Also, is it possible to mount a scope on this particular model?
Welcome to the blog.
Diana stamped the date of manufacture on the left side of the spring tube, back at the rear. They sometimes stamped it on the butt. And sometimes they didn’t put it on the rifle at all.
It’s possible to scope some versions of this rifle that have the rear sight base, but it ruins the experience. A Diana 27 with a scope is like a Corvette with a tow hitch.
Thank you for your quick reply. Mine does not have a rear sight base so i am going to keep it as is. I also looked everywhere for the date of manufacture but it seems it is not on the rifle, as you said. Is there a way to determine the exact age of the rifle?. One more thing, the two rubber gaskets on each side of the barrel at the “breaking” point are worn out and need replacement. Do you know of any place that sells them and ships in Europe?
Much love for the 27, my all time favourite! Its a shame a lot of data on Dianas was lost during the war.
I have to question the validity of the comment about pre ww2 27’s not having foregrips, google image will reveal a clearly ’38 dated 27 that has same stock as post war it is under Gecado name.
I have 2 model 27’s in my safe right now, neither have seriels let alone date stamps in metal. Illegible stams on butt area only, i hope to somehow pull these dates one day. One of them is particularly old, was my friends gradfathers rifle so many years of hisyory in their ownership alone. I suspect it is late 30’s, it is a smoothbore.The other is more modern, but lack of seriel and or dovetail say its still pretty old.It is however rifled and amazingly accurate.
Got another in-transit, it is modern as it has a dovetail(on which a Diana diopter is present!) And i notice from picture’s a more simpler construction with no locking screws like the older ones, for the pittance of $125 aud one cannot go wrong, id pay that for the diopter itself! It will end up with irons or a red dot though, diopters going on one of my 50’s!
Welcome to the blog.
The pre-war Diana 27 is an entirely different model that isn’t related to the one in this article.
Sometimes the date stamp is on the flat butt. I have one from 1940 like that.
Thanks so much for the reply and welcome!
Words cannot express my admiration for you, hope you understand im just trying to learn here and not be a smart ass and mean no disrespect what-so-ever. As is said in my first post,I realize info on these rifles is shady due to the whole ww2 thing!
I indeed know about but stock dating, the older 27’s i have are worn past it being %100 legible but a few people have seen the barely visable 38 on the old girl so its not a figment of my imagination!
You said: “it wasn’t until after World War II that the model 27 got a normal-looking stock.”
See the attached image of a clearly ’38 dated 27 with foregrip.
Obviously this is not post ww2 (assuming the date stamp is correct) and it does have foregrip so this is why im questioning your statement about them not having fore grips until after ww2. I have sitting at home in my safe a practically identical rifle to the one im referencing above, its a smooth bore , has foregrip timber and a semi legible stamp on the but that appears to read ’38. Im sure i saw someplace that Germany had restrictions on rifled barrels manufacture in the inter war period.
I got my 3rd model 27 i mentioned above last week, aside from a awful camo job on the timber this rifle is in very good condition and my first 27 with a rail and date stamp on receiver, shes a ’69.Best bit is rifle is the diopter,been chasing one for a while and its only a win that paid less than diopters worth for whole rifle!
She was smashing out RWS superdomes in the mid 600’s which actually makes her my most powerful break barrel, just edging out my best 35! The older 27’s pull low to mid 500’s, the smoothbore actually edging out rifled one. I haven’t put enough rounds through the new one yet to say for sure, but i suspect she will be my go-to rifle for small game and punching holes! This is also my only 27 that has a serial present.
Forgot to add for what its worth, all but one of my “dianas” are Gecado branding as it would appear everything Gecado here down under until Diana got ownership of their name back some time in the early to mid 80’s.My only Diana branded rifle is a mid 80’s 50t01, i much prefer the older stuff, the build on the model 50 is not up to scratch of my next youngest rifle, a mid 70’s production 35 and not even close to the late 60’s (immaculate safe queen) model50.I spent a lot of time hand finishing various parts, shes under restoration at the moment as needed a bit of work (so no de-valuing, not a collector piece) to repair some splits in stock and a butchered rail, will be at least re-assembled and test fired this week!
I look forward to your thoughts on these full stocked old 27’s!
Duncan from Australia
Thought id share a cpl pics.
The smoothbore 27
Safe queen late ’60’s 50
Model 27 (i think 50’s)
Last(for now) mid 70’s model 35
Thanks for these pix!
What “we” know about the Diana 27 is in the Blue Book of Airguns. The wording about the stocks is unclear and I have been reading it the way I wrote in this report. I just re-read it and see that it could be interpreted either way, so your stock is possible. There just isn’t enough information ton determine it either way.
So you win. You have a Diana 27 with a full stock from, before the war. I think your trigger must be different than the ball bearing trigger though. Do you know? And is your cocking like 2-piece?
Thanks for all the pix.
Your more than welcome, do with them what you wish ,however i must highlight, the first pic is not mine, i pinched it from another source for reference.The date stamp on the smoothbore just doesn’t show up in pics.
Im wondering if maybe its a typo and they meant ww1? Ive been researching these rifles hardcore for the last few months and have pulled so much info from many different sources.I wasn’t trying to win anything, just share and learn.
Theres something wrong with the trigger on the really old 27, the first stage is basically missing and its flapping about in the breeze! The second has lots of creep and is far from crisp., VERY different to the second stage of the newer 27’s which are absolutely marvelous! This poor old rifle has seen many years (3 generations, 2 from a very young age)of abuse and zero maintenance, it originally belonged to my friends grandfather(supposedly a competition shooter in the day, id say this is when there was a peep mounted to the stock on the 27, the holes left behind can still be seen), who gave it to my friends father who had it as a kid and then finally my friend had it as a kid so the amount of rounds through it is astronomical . Trigger looks almost identical externally but the number on the trigger blade is different, at least to the newest one i was comparing it to the other day.Ive not had this one out of the timber as yet, its in line next for a full refurb, i just need to put some finishing touches on myt 50t01 im working on currently.I try to only work on one project at a time, otherwise id have guns in pieces all over the place! Id love to be working on it right now but its far too hot in my workshop to do anything 🙁
If there’s interest im happy to share many pictures and information, don’t want to upset anybody by spamming threads though!
Also im not sure what you mean by 2 piece cocking, please elaborate
Shame i cant edit,
RE the triggers, i been racking my brain and i just realised im pretty sure the newest 27 and oldest 27 have similar triggers but the middle one has a different type, like the one in the 70’s 35. I will post some pics after,. Have to keep them locked up by law here and its not a simple task to get to the rifles in the rear, i call it safe jenga!
I played a bit of safe jenga, these few were on the outside!
Here’s the “new” 27, something that stands out, am i correct in thinking for the date of this one, 1969 , it should not say “made in Germany”?
At the current exchange i got this one for just under $100 of your American dollars!
That’s a real beauty! Even if the wood got painted.
Both of these 27s have the simpler trigger that’s also found on many 25s. The ball bearing trigger has two screws in the trigger blade.
Thanks for showing them.
Update on the 69 27 of mine, i bought parts from a model 35 for a few bob including the entire trigger group and just dropped the metal trigger blade straight into the 27! Still haven’t got her back together yet (busy busy as always)but its an achievable upgrade, thats for sure.Couple more additions to the collection as well, picked up a really nice 35 for $75 and my best ever score yet, a early 80’s production 52 for a measly $100,even came with some crappy glass! Ive put a few dozen pellets through her and she has potential, very powerful! Alas i forgot to take my chronograph 🙁 I know from penetration its exceeding the performance of my 50t01,which is on the money for what it should do, 8gr in the high 800’s. Most importantly im happy it has sling swivel studs which none of my other have.
A few more of the old one.
This is the 50t01 im nearly finished.Spewing i couldn’t get my normal water tank spot as the light and backdrop is much nicer, people would have seen me and its practically illegal to be seen by a random person with a rifle in this country, even if its just a old air rifle legally owned and to take pictures! So very sad…
Here’s a mod 27 just taken apart , it has the easy to remove trigger.
Awaiting a new leather cup washer and a clean up.
Regards, Mike. Hayling Island ,England.
Welcome to the blog.
Thank you, . .. always reading your superb ‘site.
Yesterday was my lucky day!! I purchased a almost brand new 74 Diana 27 in .177
And a 25D with a slight bend barrel and a 25D with a loose barrel.
So i thought of you, when i pulled the trigger.
This one has a nice short first stage, then a stop followed by a nice release.
The big difference is how it feels compared to the other 2 ball bearing triggers we have. Both others have that longer not really controllable first stage. But this one is still short and feel stiff. But not in a bad way. But i can imgaine that when it wears a bit it becomes much smoother.
Sad detail, its all in “new” condition. Inly a nasty scratch on the stock and the up/ down adjuster crew is half missing but it still works.
That is a plastic part by the way.
You like me to put up some pictures?
Like the breech seal was still blued on the indide on a rifle from 74 :-))
Greetings from the Netherlands
Sure. Show us what you got!
And the barrels are not that hard to bend. See this report.
Here they are, :)) happy day. Don’t mind the scope please, my woman has put a lot time in it to sight it. So i kept it on for her.
Greets from the Netherlands, and BB
Can you please put a link up, about a bend barrel? I can’t find it in the search strangely.
Thanks in advance
I put the link to bending barrels in my comment to you. Here is is again.
Thanks for the pix!
And one more
You can see, bit odd angle 🙂
Sorry for the pics i cant send em all. But look this breech. Almost new in a 74 rifle