by B.B. Pelletier
Well, I cleaned, lubed and assembled the Diana 27 on Monday. Today, we’ll see how well it works.
Cocking and firing behavior
You may recall from the early reports that this rifle was firing rough after the breech seal disintegrated following oiling. But after the seal was replaced, it smoothed out again. However, now that I’ve put black tar on the mainspring and spring guide, there’s been a noticeable “quieting” of the powerplant. This is no different than any other spring gun, and it’s always such a welcome surprise.
The rifle now cocks quietly, with no noise coming from the mainspring. Firing is absolutely dead calm, like closing a bank vault door. You have to experience this to know what I’m talking about.
You may recall that I adjusted the trigger to a good two-stage release. Now, with the firing behavior being so calm, the 27 is a sheer delight to shoot. The only thing that’s missing is a trigger overtravel screw adjustment.
I expected to lose a few f.p.s. with this tune. Not many, but some decrease almost always happens with this kind of tune. However, different spring rifles react differently. As the power of the rifles being tuned increases, the amount of velocity loss with black tar decreases. A Diana 27 is a low-powered rifle, so we can expect to lose 20-30 f.p.s.
All screws tight
You will also remember the lesson of tight stock screws reported in Part 7, where I boosted the velocity about 30 f.p.s., just by tightening the screws. Naturally, the screws were checked before this test.
When this rifle was first tested after oiling the factory breech seal, Eley Wasps averaged 225 f.p.s. After considerable fiddling with various breech seals and stock screws, the average velocity increased to 602 f.p.s.
Following this lubrication, the rifle averaged 598 f.p.s. for the first 10 shots. The spread went from 575 to 625, which is a bit broad. I will say more about that in a moment.
RWS Basic pellets
Seven-grain RWS Basic pellets averaged 212 f.p.s. in the very first test. After all the tweaking, they were up to an average of 655 f.p.s. with a leather breech seal.
The average following this lubrication is 648 f.p.s. The spread is from 630 to 663 f.p.s. If you know much about spring guns, you’ll know that the spread is too great. The rifle seems to be breaking in and will require many more shots before the velocity becomes consistent.
Crosman Premier 7.9-grain pellets
Crosman Premier 7.9-grain pellets averaged 321 f.p.s. in the first test and 609 f.p.s. after the leather breech seal was installed and the screws were tightened.
The average after this lube is 586 f.p.s., with the spread from 579 to 596. This is an early indication that the rifle is starting to break in, because it is both noticeably slower than the pre-lube velocity and more consistent than the first two pellets.
RWS Superdomes were the most consistent pellet in the first test, averaging 393 f.p.s. After all the tweaking was done, their average jumped up to 586 with the leather breech seal.
After this lube, the average is 563 f.p.s., with a spread from 552 to 576 f.p.s. Seeing the results from this pellet made me want to test the Eley Wasps once more.
This time the Eley Wasps averaged 577 f.p.s., which is a drop of 19 f.p.s. from the first test in this series. The new spread was from 545 to 601 f.p.s., so the gun is still clearly in the throws of a break-in. I would estimate that it will settle out around 565 f.p.s. when all is finished.
I’m very pleased with what this lubrication has done to this rifle. It’s now a very pleasant shooter that can be shot all day without fatigue.
The accuracy hasn’t changed, of course. The rifle still has the same barrel and, therefore, the same accuracy as it did from the beginning, though by adjusting the trigger-pull I did make it somewhat easier to shoot accurately.
Was it worth it to lube this rifle? Quite frankly, no. I could have continued to shoot it as it was and enjoyed the gun for many years. However, I did learn about the condition of the interior parts, so that was one benefit from the exercise. And now I know that all the parts are clean and properly lubricated, so that’s a second benefit.
Another benefit arising from this lengthy report was learning the importance of the breech seal to the overall performance of the rifle. I can now change the breech seal in my .22 cal. Diana 27 and should see an increase in performance. We shall see, because that’s coming next.
58 thoughts on “Diana 27 – Part 10”
The largest benefit of the lube tune was being able to show readers what the internals of a Diana 27 look like and to show them how it goes together. That is worth a lot in my book. I admire the trouble you go through to stop what you are doing, clean up enough to use a camera, set up lighting, etc. to give the current readers and readers for years to come a very good basis to work on their guns. I stayed on the phone with a guy one evening as he put his back together. In the future I can just point them to this blog.
I still wonder if the lithium grease may be better for low powered leather sealed guns.
Have a good weekend at the show,
Thanks for your contribution as well. Your advice on the twist tie is brilliant. Thanks.
Thank you for this series on the Diana 27. I’m curious, about how long did it take for you to do this series? I’m thinking alot more goes into this than we know.
PS Enjoy the show and have a safe trip home.
Yes, enjoy the show and let’s see a report if you have time. Also, I would appreciate hearing about the quality of the Mitchell Mauser when you have a chance.
Robert, thanks for your thoughts. Mild 8mm loads is good, but worn out rifles is something I hadn’t considered and is not good. I would be looking at unissued rifles like the Yugo 48 that was mentioned although I don’t expect them to be plentiful. Great news about your Mauser rimfire. What’s the model?!! Is it one of the CZ rifles? I’m thinking of commemorating and experiencing the classic Colt single action army in the form of the Ruger Single Six rimfire, so why not the Mauser in rimfire form?
I’ve heard some good things about the Finnish Moisin Nagants.
Sounds like you have the 27 buttoned up. Have fun in Phoenix.
I’ve heard the US loads are mild for 8mm. Unfortunately, what I shot was surplus stock. Or maybe it was just a bad day…from the spec’s, there’s no reason an 8mm should be much different from a .30-06.
A Mauser clone in .22LR would be neat. Speaking of CZ, I’ve been looking at the CZ Varmint in .22LR. Does anyone here know why the Varmint is less expensive than the American, or am I just looking at an odd price list?
I’ve got a convertable Single Six bought new in the early 60’s with ivory grips I had custom carved while I was serving in Viet Nam. They are real good shooters and alot of fun to boot. The .22 Mag cylinder doesn’t get shot much. Let us know when you buy yours.
Most the currently manufactured ammo for the old guns is kept on the low side for saftey reasons.
Is crosman nitro just an upgraded genesis?
The Genesis stock looks the same as the Crosman Nitro, but there's no way to know for sure without holding the guns or asking Crosman for the info. Crosman's info sheet says the Nitro comes with a special carbon-fiber stock that helps reduce vibration.
There are some significant differences between the two guns. Besides the Nitro's gas spring, it also has a bull barrel & doesn't come with sights. The Nitro is 3" longer, 3 lbs. heavier & 200 fps faster than the Genesis. The Genesis is avail. in .177 only, while the Nitro also comes in .22. While every manufacturer tends to use elements already in its inventory (triggers, stocks, sights, scopes, etc.), that doesn't mean the entire gun is the same.
I'm sure B.B. will test one of these once they're in stock.
Edith (Mrs. B.B.)
The Crosman Nitro Short Stroke Air Rifle is no faster than the rest of their 1000fps air rifle line from what I know so far. Crosman started playing GAMO and relisting their top FPS using lead-free pellets. Go look at a Crosman Storm XT in walmart with the new packaging and you’ll clearly see 1200* FPS but just one month ago that guns box would have said 1000 FPS. It’s just marketing hype. I can’t blame Crosman though because I think GAMO pushed them into this shady practice.
What is up with UPS?
They’ve been leaving PA shipped guns at more door for years. They just ring drop and run. But my little Daisy 953 needs a signature. So they didn’t deliver.
Within the past couple months, Pyramyd Air switched from FedEx to UPS. So, I figure the previous drop-and-run deliveries have been from FedEX.
Edith (Mrs. B.B.)
Each segment takes different amounts of time. This test segment went fast, but the rebuild went a lot slower.
In the end, it looks like a lot because it has all been accounted for.
Figured it was something like that. But the drop and run system was real convenient.
I’m lucky to live in one of those very safe neighborhoods were no one needs a gun because everyone has one. We get a odd ruff neck pass through once in a while but the do not stay long.
off topic for sure, but do you still have your 40th year Crossman 760? does it still hold air?
I don’t recall how long ago but I bought one and blogged that it was going to be stored in the box and we both agreed that it would be best to give it a couple of pumps before putting it in the box for storage. well… I took it out of the box to rid myself of some pesky mocking birds the other day and mine no longer holds pressure!
7 pumps, cock, wait one or two minutes, squeeze one off for a disappointing ‘phloop and droop’!
did I buy a lemon?
Thanks for this and all your reports, I learn something from everyone of them.
I was particularly interested in your ability to interpret the spread in velocities in this Diana 27 report. I have a Gamo CFX .177 that has fired about 1800 shots and is ex factory apart from a GRT 111 trigger. On six shot strings I found the following velocities with different pellets:-
H&N Field Target Trophy, 8.64 gr Average 805 ft/sec with a spread of 53
H&N Finale Match, 8.18 gr Average 855 ft/se with a spread of 56
Gamo Pro Magnum 7.87 gr Average 802 ft/sec with a spread of 46
Based on your comments on the spreads with the Diana 27 these seem too large but I would appreciate your thoughts.
I had the Mitchell’s Mauser from Yugoslavia–the M48. It was essentially in new condition with a new teak stock.
The 8mm Mauser round is quite punishing. I doubt you will shoot any shots with this caliber. It will give you an appreciation of how much your Garand does for you though.
I haven’t checked my 760 recently, but as soon as I get a chance I will.
Have you oiled the pump piston head?
I would say that your rifle’s velocity spread indicates that it still has too much oil. Did you ever oil the piston seal? You shouldn’t oil a Gamo for at least 5K shots and 10K might be better.
I’m pretty sure I used a minimum of oil on the piston prior to storage, as i made sure the rest of the gun was lightly coated for rust prevention.
I am now trying to condition piston with oil and pressure (3 pumps), check the next day. will that work?
Pete, the CFX has an atypical breech sealing arrangement due to the rotating breech. There’s two O rings (one around the breech itself and one on the front face of it), and they can be a little more prone to damage during installation and use. That might be worth looking into.
Thanks (BB and Vince) for your thoughts on velocity spreads on my CFX. It has never been lubricated since new so maybe its still drying out since the factory assembly. I’m aware of the two breach seals but don’t want to replace them until I’m sure they are the problem.
I took my Diana out today. I dont know. I enjoyed it. But I think it lacked power. Perhaps its because its new. I shot a pidgeon at 14 yards and it didnt die. Yes im sure I hit it!
Try for head shots on pidgeons. They can be very tough to kill with body shots.
May 15, 2009 was a special day for me. I am here in Phoenix, Arizona visiting my brother at the same time the NRA show is taking place at the Phoenix Convention center. The NRA show not only features firearms and firearm seminars but also air guns and air gun venues. However, that’s not what makes this day so special.
Today, I had the opportunity to meet Tom Gaylord in person. Tom, in person, is as nice a guy as you already think he is just by knowing him on this blog. He is also as busy as you might imagine. I tried to find him at the Pyramydair booth but missed him by ten minutes, according to Stephanie. Many of you know Stephanie as the very cordial person who helps you with orders that have gone awry. She thought he might have headed for the Crosman booth so that is where I headed. As I approached the Crosman booth I asked the attendant there if she knew Tom. She said she did but he left just a few minutes ago, she knew not where.
Giving up the search for the time being, I meandered over to the AirForce booth and while there I chanced asking them if they knew a guy named Tom Gaylord and the guy there said yes, he had seen him earlier but didn’t know where he was now. You see, by now, I’m thinking everybody at the show must know Tom. While I was there, I looked at the new Air Force Edge they had on display. I liked the real thing better than the pictures I’ve seen. I even shot it, but I’ll talk about that later. I also looked at a peep sight they had on display. As I was leaving, I asked them if they would tell Tom I was there looking for him, then the guy says, “I know exactly where he is.” I turned around and there he was right next to me and he seemed excited about something. I introduced myself. It was one of those “Also Sprach Zarathustra” moments ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWnmCu3U09w ).
As an added bonus to meeting him, I followed him over to another booth and he showed me the “something”, and it is something that we, who are continually striving to wring out that last bit of accuracy from our guns, will all want to own. I know I will and can’t wait until it becomes available through Pyramyd. I hope they will carry it. I also visited the Gamo booth and the Stoeger booth. Unfortunately, you can’t buy anything from any of the vendors at the show. They’re just for display.
I won’t steal BB’s thunder on the “something”. There is probably still some work to be done there before making it public. Maybe I’ve said too much already.
I do want to brag though…I shot a Maurader!!!! Suweeeeeeet!!!! My name’s going on the list as soon as BB is done with his review(s) on it. Also, Wackey Wayne, I shot an Air Arms S410 TDR Classic. I wish I didn’t have to choose between it and two Ms (chuckle). The TDR looks like a pistol with a stock added and I really liked it.
So glad I got to meet Tom (BB) Gaylord!!
BB, I was just on the crosman website and saw what they call a nitro spring. From looking on the pyramyd air website Ive seen these rifles and they look similar to a tac 77 elite. Can you tell me some facts about this rifle ?
A question for you from a very satisfied Talon SS shooter–how do they compair? Thanks.
I shoot .177 CO2 in a stock, shrouded, Talon SS barrel. I shot the Big M in a large wide open range, noisy environment, on air, in .22. It sounded quieter than the SS.
Remember my following observations are after shooting only 10 shots (.22 CP in box)- one magazine. How reliable can I be?
The M stock fits better, obviously, because it is more ergonomic. I’m left handed. The ambidex stock cheek piece fit me comfortably.
I like the bolt action cocking mechanism which advances the magazine also. I had no trouble holding the gun with my left hand in the shooting position (finger off the trigger, of course) and cocking with the right.
I am satisfied with the trigger. The trigger was light to me. Lighter than my SS. But, I’ve not tried to adjust the SS yet. I’m still shooting it out of the box.
The safety is a trigger like blade that is a slightly smaller version of the real trigger and is just in front of the real trigger. It is not automatic. Once shut off it stays off.
I believe the gun is as accurate but probably more so than the SS. I didn’t do too good because I shot 10 shots in a 1/2″ group at 10 meters, but in all fairness I had my elbows on a bare table and the the person(s) shooting next to me (and me too probably) were shaking the table as I was shooting.
The gun was scoped but they had just put on the scope and took a couple shots to zero it in. The cross hairs were still canted. I thought I did pretty good under the circumstances.
I really like my SS. I have never shot another gun as well as it. But, I believe if I had the M I wouldn’t have bought the SS. As it is, I will buy the M and keep the SS as a backup. I think, at this time, I will buy the .22 version. But June is a long way off (current PA delivery date) and BB’s reviews are pending. At that time I will also buy BB’s “something” for it (re: previous comment).
Would using heavier pellets help me kill these buggers? Will I get more knockdown power after my gun breaks in? When breaking my barrel, my brand new gun, creaks(or squeels)…Is this normal? Or is there something I dont know?
Congrats on your new rifle.
The Diana 34 should have sufficient power to cull a pigeon provided you place the shot right. A heavier pellet will retain more energy at longer distances. But at 14 yards, most pellets will over penetrate unless very heavy. So its not the pellet.
I assuming you either shot through the feather without actually hitting the bird (it happens) or have wounded it badly, in which case it will die a slow and painful death.
With a head shot, you can guarantee a clean kill with the pellets you’re using. When you get the time, learn the kill zones. That will ensure you dont wound a creature.
The sound you mention sounds like its time for a proper lube. However, most Diana’s are over lubed from the factory, so im doubtful. Take it to a gunsmith and have him lube it.
I hit that pidgeon dead centre, in its underside. Right through its belly but it got up and flew off as if nothing happened.
I’m guessing you probably shot through the feathers. Did you see it after it flew off? Once hit they ‘usually’ dont fly too far.
For a pigeon, I’ve always found head, neck and chest shots effective. In that particular order.
However, if I remember right, you’re using a .177, in which case head/neck shots are your best bet. I use a .22 for pigeons and sometimes they fly off when hit in the chest but die soon after. Usually they just topple over and die immediately.
If you do shoot a lot at 15 yards or less, use wadcutters for maximum effect.
No, mostly shoot at 30 yards.
Using AA field atm
First find out how the pellets group at 30 yards. If you can reliably keep the shots within an inch everytime, you should be able to take a clean head shot.
If the bird is facing away from you, aim for between the shoulders. That will be at the base of the neck and will provide you with a slightly bigger target.
The thing about body shots is that the wings can absorb a lot of impact. Couple with the fact that it may have full crop, in which case the pellet wont do enough damage.
Lucky you to meet Tom!!
I’m not waiting for my “M” in June..(who knows if that is a sure date anyway)..
So I ordered an Evanix Blizzard.. It’s a 10 shot, fully shrouded PCP.. no power adjuster!!..
So it’s strictly for hunting and plinking.. I got the thumbhole stock because it’s more than a pound lighter..
I’ll be comparing it to my .177 Air Arms s410 of course.. but also the .22 cal FX Excaliber I got off the Yellow classified.. (it just came in and I haven’t even shot it yet).. The AR6 I had was pretty nice but way too loud, harder to cock than this nice side lever blizzard, and not very accurate, (mainly because it’s too powerful for even heavy kodiak, the only pellet it shoots well is the .28gr Eunjin.. which is just not an accurate pellet..
So I’m willing to try out this new guy that shoots 260fps slower (1055fps) than the AR6.. If I use .22 cal Kodiak, I’m hoping it will come down into the 900fps range..
But we’ll see, and when the “M” finally arrives, it’ll have something to beat!! They are very close in price!!
Ashland Air Rifle Range
What Chuck was too modest to mention was the fact that I was just as happy to meet him and his brother as he was to meet me. Thus far he is the only reader to introduce himself at this show.
The item he alluded to is a scope, but I wanted to save the particulars until I know that Pyamyd Air will have them to sell. Chuck saw what I saw and he seemed to be just as impressed as I was with features and a price that will bowl you over!
No, I can’t tell you who makes it because it’s part of the surprise.
So for a couple more weeks at least, Chuck and I will share the secret.
Thanks for your reply. Are you going to get a HPA pump or run the Marauder on CO2? If you want to quiet your SS check out TalonAirgun.com-Index. My old fashon hardware store has lots of bushings, o-rings, etc and they do work. Your “something extra” sure sounds like a harmonic balancer of some type.
Mo has given you some good advice about where to hit the birds. We used to say flat for feathers and round for fur. Shoot them just below where the neck joins the body with a front to back or back to front shot. Works for me.
On the noise your gun makes, my Diana 350 Magnum sounded awful when I cocked it. Called Umarexusa and let them listen to me cocking the gun. It got sent back for a disassemble and lube action under warrenty. Their phone number is 479-646-4210. E-mail email@example.com Keep us posted please.
So much for a harmonic balancer.
I know…but the harmonic balancer was a good guess anyway. I’ll bet you said. “Scope? We don’t need no more scopes!” You’ll still be pleased I think when you hear about this one.
On the M, I’ll be going air from a scuba tank.
Thanks for the tip on TalonAirgun.com-Index. I’ll check that out.
Dangit Wayne! I was perfectly happy to wait until June before making another purchase, but now… you planted the buy bug.
Does anyone own or have an opinion on the Gamo Recon? What a nice springer! I shot one at the NRA show and it was so easy to cock and handle. And was so much tamer than what I’m familiar with, but I don’t know if it was tuned or not. I really like shooting it.
I like three pumps better than one when having problems like yours. Let’s keep after it for a couple weeks and see if this brings back the seals’ resiliency.
You cannot oil-oil that pump piston head, as long as the oil is Pellgunoil. I would have used 20 drops in this instance.
Guys, I have a problem. My UTG scope mount rail with 20.7 droop compensation is over compensating. Its shooting too high on any elevation setting. If I buy the Crosman Ultra Magnum 10.5gr will it bring my POI down a bit? Any suggestions on how to fix my problem, EXCEPT buying another rail with no droop compensation.
You can correct the over compensation by shimming the bottom of the front ring. I’ve cut up business cards and plastic lids from food containers like pringles, etc.
Remove the top of the rings from the scope and the scope from the bottom rings, place the shim in the bottom of the front ring and remount the scope. B.B. has a blog on scope mounting which you can find using the search engine.
Let us know how you made out.
BB, Ive recently come by a Shakespeare Canada acro 1, .22 caliber air pistol. I cant find much about this gun. Is it worth anything.
Thanks Mr B, Do you feel a 10,5gr is too heavy for a springer?
Please refresh my poor old brain cause I don’t remember you gun’s caliber. However, there is a never ending debate on slow heavy bullets versis light fast ones going back to Mr Keith and Mr O’Conner.
I have a .177 Diana 34P. Someone told me that 10.5 gr is too heavy for a springer and will shorten the lifespan of my spring and it will become difficult as it will cause my gun a huge kick.He said I should stick to the 8.4gr pellets. Is he right or can I use the 10.5gr?
The 10.5 gr pellets will not distroy your rifle. Try them and see how your rifle shoots: size of groups at different distances as well as how much the POI changes with distance to target.
I don’t know anything about that air pistol.
Can anyone else help him?
Did you cancel your Marauder order?
I saw the full page ad for the Blizzard in the PA flyer and was intrigued, still having an opening in .177 created by my departed FX Whisper. The thumb hole stock was a good call, but it looks like it only comes it .22 cal. The STD stock model at 8.75 lbs cooled my jets pretty fast. Add scope and a mounts and you’re talking 10 lbs. Ouch.
Lets us know what you think.
Ive managed to find this out about the air pistol, It was made in stratford, Canada. That city is famous for holding a Shakespeare festival, so that explains the name. The company produces fishing supplies right now. The company didn’t produce very many. Its probably not much older than the 12 gram cartridge. Its entirely metal, not a single piece of plastic. I’m not sure how much its worth still.
No, I didn’t cancel on the Marauder order.. just can’t wait!! I’ll test them head to head.. when Crosman gets them shipped to PA. (they still don’t have them on the dealer part of the website.. I wonder if they ever will)
I went .22 cal on both the Marauder and the Evanix Blizard..
..because, I’m still sold on the Air Arms s410 side lever .177 with adjustable power for “best all around one gun only”… especially when it’s shooting the CP heavy 10.5 at 1038fps. = 25.13 foot lbs. on high power (Lubed now, thanks to Derrick!!… still making my fingers black, but when they give me 5/8” 10 shot groups at 50 yards… well.. I can clean my fingers…)..
Then dial her down to 700fps with 8.4 JSB like I’m about to for 100 shot plus/fill indoor evening practice!
Anyway, why not have a good selection for the Ashland Air Rifle Range.. compare, compare, compare.. test, test.. ya know..
..but for me so far the AAs410 .177 sets the standard for everything from squirrels to field target, (now with the single shot trays I got)..
Heck… we’ll probably end up with a Marauder in .177 too!.. we’re adding to our membership a lot now..
Ashland Air Rifle Range
Shakespeare has been a fishing tackle maker for a long time. They are one of the oldest still in production.
They probably put their name on a gun made by someone else. I’m thinking that gun is an Am Pell made in Italy.
I am your reader from Indonesia. Because in my country airgun limit only .177 cal for regular person (or non FAC), i want to maximise the .177 power potential (i want to build .177 PCP), so i have some question for you :
1. It is possible to use supersonic velocity in .177 lead bullet and the grouping still accurate? Because i want to cast my own ammo (from used pellet), i think bullet shape is simple to make, and i learn that bullet shape is more stable in supersonic velocity (with the fast twist rate).
2. If the answer for question no.1 is possible, can you recommend the twist rate/grooving for the barrel? or the recommended bullet shape/weight for the rifle? i interested in .17 HMR model, but i don’t know if the spec can also compatible with the PCP airgun.
Thank you for your information. Your blog is numero uno!
Don’t use an airgun barrel, which is .177″ diameter. Use a firearm barrel, which is closer to .170″
I would think a twist rate of 1:8″ would be enough if you can get the bullet up to 1,000 f.p.s. Cast a bullet of no more than 14 grains and I think you will be fine.
Thank you for your information!
The numbers on your .177 sound abt right.
My .22 Winchester 427 shoots right at 500 fps with mid-weight pells.
Not the most powerful gun, but with a peepsight mounted, what a tackdriver!
One of my very favorite plinking guns, and I've got around 50…
This one shoots Gamo-Match very well.
I have a god stock of Diana 27 at reasonable price if you are interested.
Write to me
Welcome to the blog.
What would be a good price for a very good 27 in .177 caliber?