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Education / Training Hy-Score 805 – Part 1

Hy-Score 805 – Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier

Photos and testing by Earl “Mac” McDonald

Mac wants to share another vintage sweetie with you. This one is a Hy-Score model 805, which the Blue Book of Airguns identifies as a Diana model 16.

Hy-Score 805 is actually a Diana model 16. It’s made of folded sheetmetal but made to a very high standard.

The gun is made entirely of stamped steel parts. The only machined parts in the gun are the screws! There are some laminated parts where several sheets of steel are tack-welded together to form a single part, but we’ve seen this kind of fabrication on high-end spring guns such as the BSF series. It isn’t just a cost-cutting measure.

This is what can be done with folded sheet metal. The Hy-Score breech.

The gun is a smoothbore, which is why Mac picked it. He was curious just how accurate a smoothbore could be. That was the motive for testing this gun. I’ll combine parts 1 and 2 and parts 2 and 3, so this will be a two-parter, rather than a three-parter. In this part, I want to get the physical description handled.

The gun has an overall length of 32.75 inches, which makes it just under three inches shorter than a Daisy Red Ryder. The length of pull is 13.2 inches, which seems long for such a toy-like airgun. The barrel length is only 12 inches, and the barrel is a piece of brass tubing that’s fastened at both ends by the outer sheet steel barrel shroud.

The gun weighs 2 lbs., 10 ozs. Cocking effort is under 10 lbs., yet the trigger lets go at 59 oz. It’s non-adjustable, as you can imagine from the photos. It’s not a target gun, by anyone’s definition, yet the trigger is reasonably crisp and repeatable.

The sights are plain and simple, but they fit the design of the rifle perfectly. What I mean is that they’re not gadgety or quirky — just straightforward sights that you’d expect to find on an older air rifle.

The front sight is just a vertical pin.

The rear sight adjusts for elevation, only.

Mac reports that the bluing and metal prep are better on this little gun than on his TX 200 Mark III, which is saying a lot. I hope the photos help convey a little of that quality.

Here, Mac shows us the engraved (or roll-stamped) name and model number. Note the deep, even finish.

The Hy-Score logo is clearly stamped into the butt.

As simple as the gun is, you might be tempted to discount it. That would be a mistake. Examination of how the parts interact to make the whole gun is a fascinating study. Though this is, without a doubt, a cheap airgun, it has a lot to offer in the way of design education.

And the Diana 16 was widely copied. I once owned a Czechoslovakian variation of this gun that was very similar in all ways, save the stock. The Diana stock is the more robust one. Most copies have a slab wood stock.

The silver shelf seen here is the back of the piston that is caught by the sear.

When Mac first got the gun at an airgun show, the breech was stuck together. He oiled the breech until the leather seal swelled up and released the barrel for cocking. Had he forced it, the breech seal probably would have torn.

As the breech is opened, you can see how the barrel locks up.

With the barrel broken fully open, you can see how the leather breech seal seals against the rear of the barrel. There are no o-rings — just a leather-to-steel interface.

This is what the gun looks like when broken open all the way. You can see the notch in the cocking link that wraps around the stock screws.

Mac asked me this question in relation to this airgun: “When does an airgun become a toy?” I had to answer that I didn’t know. As long as it shot something, I always considered any gun not to be a toy. This gun is certainly not a toy, though it does appear toy-like in size and weight. In the next installment, Mac will shoot it for velocity and accuracy.

author avatar
B.B. Pelletier
Tom Gaylord is known as The Godfather of Airguns™ and has been an airgunner for over a half-century, but it was the Beeman company in the 1970s that awoke a serious interest in airguns. Until then, all he knew were the inexpensive American airguns. Through the pages of the Beeman catalog, he learned about adult airguns for the first time. In 1994, Tom started The Airgun Letter with his wife, Edith. This monthly newsletter was designed to bring serious reports about airguns to the American public. The newsletter and Airgun Revue, a sister magazine about collectible airguns, was published from 1994 until 2002, when Tom started Airgun Illustrated -- the first American newsstand magazine about airguns. Tom worked for three years as technical director at AirForce Airguns, the makers of the Talon, Condor, and Escape precharged air rifles. Today, he writes about airguns and firearms for various publications and websites. He also makes videos, and you'll find short clips embedded in some of his artices on Pyramyd AIR's website. Tom is a consultant to Pyramyd AIR and writes under the name of B.B. Pelletier.

87 thoughts on “Hy-Score 805 – Part 1”

      • In about 1959 I was given a HS 805 by my uncle when I was about 12. He bought it on a fishing trip to plink with but became bored with it and decided to give it to me. I already had a Daisy Red Rider carbine. The HS seemed so cool with its blued metal and nicely finished wood stock. It made the Daisy seem so toy-like. I had a great time with the HS, shooting it , taking it apart and putting it back together again. I can’t remember what happened to it, but one Xmas I got a Sheridan and forgot about those pop-guns. Thanks for reminding me of the great times I had with that HS 805 air rifle.


        Fred S.

  1. Finally a springer I can love,small and lightweight is for me!
    But with real wood and metal!
    It just seems like I’m in such a minority these days that there’s no niche in the new gun market for us.
    I guess there isn’t enough demand for mild backyard/garage style plinkers
    that are still built well with good looks (wood and metal with classic lines) and have nice triggers,for mfg’s to put in a line of them.
    Everything seems to be heavy or too plastic-y or above 6 fpe.
    I guess I should get a bronco but the front sight,muzzle arrangement still puts me off somehow.

    It’ll be interesting to see how well this lil’ smoothbore shoots,until then I’ll be plinkin with my
    1377,760,and 953 plastic “toy” guns lol.
    Here’s hoping everyone had a great holiday cheers yall!!

  2. TX 200 update,

    As some may recall, I was having significant inaccuracy issues. I took the rifle apart, removed factory lubes from piston, mainspring, and spring guide, and re-lubed using Macarri’s lube kit. The original spring looked in great shape and saw no need to change. I just coated it with tar, not too much, but definitely not too little. I also cleaned the bore with JB paste, but it did not look too dirty.

    I replaced same original scope and shot rifle last night. the first three shots had very clear detonation and was shooting at over 1,000 fps. It calmed down progressively. until about 40 shots, it was 960-967 fps, with occasional 940 and 980 values. Accuracy was perfect. No spring twang. Feels much better than when purchased three months ago.

    My conclusions:

    – New TX200 from factory needed re-lubing as soon as purchased
    – Inaccuracy, which was significant, was mostly due to mechanical issues related to vibration and inconsistent dynamic behavior. I was getting over 1 inch spreads at 13 yd, and I am now back to consistent .15 inch groups
    – TX 200 is a great rifle. Especially because it is easy to take apart

    • As I recall, Slinging Lead also had significant problems with his TX200 until he took it apart, lubed and tweaked it. Then he loved it. I know this is one of B.B.’s favorite rifles that he recommends unreservedly (in .177.) So I’ll be the fly in the ointment: Any manufacturer that produces a product that requires the customer/user to take it apart and adjust it for it to perform properly is doing his clientele a disservice and being lazy. It’s just plain wrong. I would not buy the gun for that reason. (Besides the fact that I’m a klutz who trembles at the prospect of replacing a light bulb!)

      • Alan,

        I second that. I agree with you. No product in this price range should require that a customer go through such lengths to make the product “usable”. Shame on the manufacturer.


        • Wait just a danged minute here.

          First of all I would like to say that Mac’s description of his Hy-Score finish and metal prep being better than on his TX200 is tantamount to fightin’ words. It may be better than his TX, but it sure as heck aint better than mine. I can check my hair in the finish of my TX. There is no part of the metal on this rifle that does not look like black chrome.

          Secondly my problems were due to my own idiocy. The TX has a rubber bumper affixed to the shroud that keeps the cocking lever from scratching the finish when returned home by ham-fisted types. I decided to go another route and installed o rings into the two slots on the cocking lever, and put a grub/set screw into the hole originally occupied by the rubber bumper. I added locktite to the grubscrew, but I stupidly adjusted the screw again after the locktite had dried. Eventually the vibration of shooting the gun allowed the screw to move upwards into the barrel and into the path of the pellet.

          I did not need to lube or prep the gun in any way, I only needed to take it apart to see exactly what the problem was. Even so, disassembly is a breeze compared to many rifles of similar power. I cleaned the barrel with JB’s while I had it apart, and it shoots as good or better than it ever has.

          Did I mention the absolutely gorgeous fish scale checkering? Pressed? Maybe. But then sculpted by lasers. It is both grippy and the nicest rifle stock I have seen with my own eyes.

          • Slinging Lead,

            Easy dis-assembly and assembly is an important thing, and is often an indication of quality. However, I would be concerned if a particular, and relatively high-end, product required it. If it’s a matter of elective fine tuning, then that’s another matter. If a product is picky (sensitive) to certain ammo because of something like weight, then the manufacturer should make that clear. Otherwise, customers will need to rely on others experiences regarding such issues in places like this blog (only one of its many benefits).

            In truth, I would never question that the TX-200 is a fine rifle. I do, however, think it’s important to know it’s limitations, if there are any.


      • AlanL,

        That’s a valid point. I do have to say that, initially, it performed very well. I used the CPheavies at some point trying to reduce the velocity (this was before Jane suggested it). They were terrible in the rifle and I have the feeling that they contributed to the problems, as inaccuracy started right after together with significant twang.

        I have had several air rifles and every single one had problems of one sort or another. I own a Diana and it shoots and feels great, but I did have issues with the muzzle brake that took me a while to fix. I had three Gamos in a row and the mainspring or spring guide in all broke. I only own one PCP, a Disco, and it was awful accuracy-wise until I realized a small set screw, which stabilizes the barrel, was loose. Took me months to figure this one out.

        So, I have learnt that if platform is good, I will be able to fix any issues with the factory’s QC (this, besides learning that I am not very lucky…)


        • T.E.,

          Are you using other heavy pellets without problems? If so, for how long? I’m curious because one thing that Charlie the Tuna stresses is that heavy pellets are not good for air-guns. I suspect that what you experienced is what he is referring to, since he wasn’t specific. I don’t know myself, as I’ve never used anything heavier than the 7.9 Crosman Premiers. But I did recently order 8 tins of the heavies from PA. Hope I didn’t make a mistake that could ruin, or cause set-back with any of my springers.


          • Victor,

            No. I have always preferred the lighter pellets around 8 gr. After the experience with the CR heavy pellets, I read many comments in various sites warning against heavy pellets in springers and specially in the TX200. I also tried them in the Disco, but they performed no better than the CP Light pellets.


            • T.E., AlanL, and Victor,
              When you folks are talking about the use of heavy pellets are you referring just to the TX200 in .177 or are you talking about springers in general without regard to caliber?

              I am shooting a RWS Diana Model 35 in .177 and a RWS Diana 350 Magnum in .22. Should I be careful of shooting a too heavy pellet in either gun. Also what is considered a too heavy pellet?

              Thanks one and all,


              PS I am in agreement with you all about new guns having to go back for a lube job etc. I sent the 350 back to Umarex under warranty for the same reason. Was not a happy camper, but it sure shoots nice now with the proper use of the artillery hold. (Thanks B.B.)

              • Mr. B,

                I was talking about exclusively Crosman Premier Heavy pellets used in my .177 cal TX 200. I do not have any experience with .22 air rifles. I have a .177 Diana too and I get excellent results with CP light pellets, so I will not experiment with CP Heavy pellets. Everything else I have only read on the forums, which in many cases indicate that pellets heavier than 9 gr are not suitable for springers. Most likely, this is a generalization that, like all generalizations, is not entirely accurate. Performance with different pellet weights will probably depend on the length of the mainspring and its elastic parameters, pre-compression load, diameter of compression chamber, etc, etc.

                Only way to find out is to try


              • I am switching between 12.65gr Silver Bears and Weihrauch F & T Specials 15gr in my TF87-22. Not having any problems; though the lighter silver bears are slightly more accurate. I am hoping to get some Barracudas soon and will see if those make a difference. I need to see some hard data before I am convinced.

              • Mr. B,

                I’m asking in general. I believe that that heaviest pellet that I’ve ever used was an 8.2 grain H&N. Not exactly a 10.5 or greater. While one gun may be more sensitive than another, I can see this as a potential issue with most guns, unless some form of compensation is added. In any case, a heavier load would add more wear and tear, I would imagine.


              • Mr. B,

                I also have the RWS Diana 350 in .22, and this rifle is so powerful that it’ll shoot even the heaviest .22 caliber pellet well. My favorite is the H&N Baracuda Match. But the Crosman Premier heavy (carton) and JSB Exacts work well too. So do the Predator Polymags. Each one requires readjustment of the sights or scope but all shoot consistently. B.B.’s artillery hold is a must but is fairly easy on this rifle– it is not too finicky. Still, I’ve never managed better than nickel-sized 10 shot groups at 25 meters but then I’m a klutz. Still, that’s good enough for me since I figure if I need to eat I can still bring down my dinner with that accuracy. For really nice accuracy I love my HW30 pretend S, which I can cocl all day with my little finger.


  3. I’m just got back from a little Christmas vacation.
    I hope everyone had as much a good time as I did (sure seems like Kevin did) great times with family, I enjoyed it very much.

    This rifle seems wonderful and the pictures… man are you guys great photographers! Can you reveal how much Mac paid for this nice looking piece of airgunning? The Blue Book lists the Diana model 16 between 20$ and 90$ that would seem like a very good price for such a nice looking thing. Looking this good it could just be displayed and would suit me fine, if it can also be shot with some kind of accuracy it would just be a bonus!


  4. Off Topic…for anyone that cares, in my opinion the most fun 80 bucks you can spend on an airgun is the Steel Storm!!
    Christmas morning, after all the presents were unwrapped I and the boys headed to the basement to try out the new weapons (Santa came through!!)
    I didn’t want to use my standard pellet trap for fear of richochets, so I had purchased a large shipping cardboard box, double lined, from U-Haul. Literally packed it with a months worth of newspapers.
    Loaded the guns…single shot…about the same as shooting any Umarex pistol.
    But on 6 shot auto…well, you couldn’t keep the shiite eating grins off of the boys faces (nor mine).
    Within 45 minutes we had gone through two sets of cardridges and about 500 b.b.’s.
    And completely obliterated what I thought would be a pretty sturdy trap.
    Man…hunks of cardboard were just flying off the thing.
    I had a couple of front grips from the boys airsoft rifles that nicely fit the Storm, along with a couple of the inexpensive Umarex lasers…these made the guns easy to control and darned accurate.
    The only downside will be finding someone who gives deals on caselots of CO2 and b.b.’s 😉

  5. Did one of these for Wayne a while back. Yes, cheap and toy-like, especially compared to the youth-sized Slavia 618-622 models. Didn’t do much for me at all. Don’t remember velocity or accuracy figures, but I seem to recall that both were better than I expected.

  6. Morning B.B.,

    The bluing on this gun looks wonderful in the photos. The cocking linkage is interesting. I’ve gotta think that it’s going to amaze a lot of folks when they see how well it shoots with a properly fitting pellet.


  7. BB and Mac:
    Manufacturers these days stamp ‘This is not a toy’ on some products and ‘Must have adult supervision’ etc.
    One thing is for sure, Mac’s immaculate Hy-Score 805 is beyond the description of ‘Toy’ now.

    With high expectation I tried the JSB Exacts for the first time.
    First shot,in the bull,subsequent four shots,left of centre,mainly high.
    Swap target to small 5 disc side.
    All 5 shots high and to the left.
    Panic sets in and much fiddling with windage(elevation already set to its lowest).
    Worse results,even further to the left.
    That’s when I realise I been winding the wrong way DOH!
    Turkey gone to brain must calm down.
    Two five shot strings in barely more than a one inch group at 50ft unscoped.Nice.
    Cold temps and wanting to end on a high closed proceedings 🙂

    • Bub,

      I’ve used low powered scopes on low powered airguns. Typically they’re lightweight and fit a low powered gun well. For your discovery you may want more magnification for longer distance shooting.

      As for parallax, does your scope have an Adjustable Objective (AO)? If it doesn’t then what distance did the factory set the parallax for? Last week B.B. showed us how to re-focus a scope for closer ranges which is also an option. Will the eye relief of your scope be comfortable when mounted on your discovery? A 1-3x scope sounds to me like a pistol scope and if it is they eye relief may be too long for mounting on your discovery.


  8. Great report on a gorgeous little Diana 16/HyScore 805 most of us would never give a second glance on a show table!

    Only thing that struck me was the caption for the last picture. While that picture gives the natural impression that the notches in the cocking link fit up around the stock screws, the earlier picture of the breech opening shows that the notches actually fit around the barrel pivot screw rather than the stock screws, which are farther to the rear. But the last picture sure makes that a natural mistake to make.

  9. Not to be too nit picky but it appears that the notch in the cocking linkage is there to clear the pivot pin. This is how it appears in the upper photo showing the breech open and barrel lock up. At least this is how it looks to me……

    • Mark, you’re half right. That notch does fit over the pivot pin, but it isn’t there to clear it. The spring-loaded pawl inside that notch clips onto the pivot pin and keeps the action closed. That, right there, is the actual lockup mechanism.

  10. “When does an airgun become a toy?”

    How about an airsoft gun? I would consider the vast majority of airsoft gun to be toys, but you could probably hurt someone with one, if you did something dumb like shoot them in the eye.

    In my opinion, the transition from airgun to toy happens when the power/fps hits a low enough level that, chances are, you would be hard-pressed to hurt someone with said gun. I would say common sense plays a large part in discerning whether or not a a given weapon is a toy. Unless someone lives in New Jersey, in which case the government decides for you whether or not you can own a nerf-gun.

    • Malcolm, this is one issue I respectfully disagree with (and have brought up before).
      I really do think airsoft should be treated as toys…and in fact more caution should be used when letting children shoot them than with pellet/b.b. guns.
      The whole premise of airsoft…kitting up and shooting at your friends in a simulated war game is all well and good for someone, say 10 and older.
      But handing and airsoft to a child (10 and under)…intimating that it is a toy is bad in my mind. How do you get it across to a young person that the airsoft is a toy…go shoot your brother, but the same looking gun in pellet form must never be pointed at another person.
      A year or so ago I bought a couple of inexpensive Crosman spring airsoft rifles for my boys. Got them the face shields and all and went for a day playing ‘army’.
      The next day when the 7 year old mentioned it would be fun to do with the Red Ryders was the day the airsofts went into storage until they KNOW gun safety.

  11. B.B.,

    Well, finally took the plunge and treated myself to a year-end tidbit: Just bought your favorite survival gun and Edith’s go-to mouser, the Sheridan Blue Streak, with a box of CP and a tin of Beeman Kodiak Extra Heavy Dome 13.27 grain. I’d been looking forward to this ever since you blogged it on 4/22/2010. No scope. Plan to plink open sight only. I guess the occasional drop of Pellgun oil and the never-to-be-forgotten single pump for storage is all I need to worry about, right?


  12. I had one of these guns. It was badged a winchester 416. I also remember someone saying that they were also badged as gecado’s. Don’t know that for sure.

    Mine was in rough shape and was missing the rear sight. Very petite gun. Mine had an oversize bore and shot superdomes and wasp pellets best. Tough to say about accuracy since the rear sight of mine was missing and the bore was rough. Mine was manufactured in 1962. The date stamp on mine was on the butt of the gun. Typical Diana date stamp with month and year.

    Mac’s gun looks brand new. Amazing condition.


  13. Wow, what a surprise to see this! The very first time that I visit your site, and you have my airgun. This one is marked:


    I received it as a gift back around 1973-74, and it was used, with cracked stock. I sent it in to Daisy and they replaced the stock, no charge. Hardly ever shot it after high school, but I did break it out this past summer to teach our 12 year old daughter how to shoot.

  14. B.B.,

    A couple questions regarding Field Target competition:

    1. Is .177 caliber the only, or most commonly, used caliber?
    2. Is there a separate class for PCP versus springers, or are matches mixed (common class)?


    • Victor,

      You can use any caliber you want in field target, but because of how the kill zone works, .177 gives you the best chance of succeeding.

      Yes, PCPs are in the open class, while springers are in a separate springer class. Matches are shot mixed, but the awards are handed out by classes.


      • Victor,

        One caveat to what B.B. said:

        Field target clubs may set their own rules and allow only .177 cal. You might want to check with your local club to see if they allow larger calibers.


    • Victor,

      Welcome to Field Target!

      Like Edith said the individual “Match Director” sets the rules for local matches… most will let you shoot what ever you have to get started… they don’t want to turn away any new folks!

      Like BB says.. .177 makes the most sense, since the game is to get the pellet through the steel kill zone and onto the paddle.. making the target fall. Some kill zones are as small as 3/8″ for official AAFTA matches, and even 1/4″ for fun local matches. Trying to get a .22 cal pellet through a .25 hole at 10 to 16 yards is the ultimate challenge! But some folks like a challenge and do start out with a .22 cal gun like a Marauder. Bob, a friend of mine, is one of them.. and he scores in the high 80% range.

      The other disadvantage for the .22 cal is that the heavier pellet will have a less flat trajectory, so you’ll be clicking more or holding over more….

      ..a small advantage is the heavier pellet might be effected less in the wind.. debatable though, cause the larger diameter will also catch more wind.. Most folks go for flatter trajectory.

      Open class PCP has the most shooters. That allow up to 20fpe. The two pellets most use are CPH 10.5 and or JSB 10.3 or the similar Air Arms heavies 10.3. There is also a class called “Hunter class” which allows you to use a short stool and bi-pods. You can only use your scope on 12 power in most cases, and “clicking” is not allowed. Springer or “Piston” class can be shot in both 12pfe or 20fpe.. but most clubs end up mixing those two, unless enough competitors show up.

      The rest of the world mostly only shoots 12fpe, and so when we go to compete abroad, 12fpe is usually the limit and that class is called “International” or WFTA. Harnesses are allowed in “Open class” but not in “International” class.

      I would recommend a Marauder in .177 for a low cost entry level FT gun with a Leapers 6-24 or 8-32×56 scope.. next level is the Air Arms s400.. or better still the, AAs400 MPRFT.. next step up in scopes might be a Bushnell Elite 4200 8-32 or next up might be the Nikko Diamond 10-50 x60.

      The national champion shoots a USFT, (me too), custom made by Tim at Mac I.. his number is 310-327-3581.. there is a line waiting for them:-)

      here is a link to the field target forum…

      .. you might want to check it out and find the club nearest you… Most clubs are loaded with helpful folks, that will let you shoot their rigs.. and might even have one you could get a great deal on.

      Again, Welcome!

      .. hope this helps.. and I hope your near me, here in Ashland, Oregon!

      Wacky Wayne,
      Match Director,
      Ashland Air Rifle Range

        • TE,

          Yep, the Hunter class is the only class that limits scope power to 12… and that there is also no clicking allowed.. Hold over only.. and in most other clubs abroad, you can’t even focus the scope! .. and 10 power is the limit!

          Wacky Wayne,
          Match Director,
          Ashland Air Rifle Range

        • Bub,

          It’s up to the Match Director on using a magazine feed air gun. There is a time advantage using a magazine, but usually the match director won’t care unless your score is competitive. What some contestants do to please the match director, is to take the magazine out and replace it in, each time you shoot. Usually the local matches are not timed as you shoot.. only the AAFTA sanctioned state and national shoots… so it’s really a non issue for a newbie.

          Like B.B said, the Disco is a great little accurate gun to start off with… and maybe a leapers 30mm 4-16 with side focus, might fit it better.

          A stock that allows you to use the most stable sitting position and support the gun directly on your knees, is the key to success. You can have custom field target stocks made for any air gun… or..

          With the disco, (or any sporter stock rifle), you could use a sand bag on your knee (some MDs frown on it, but I’ve also seen them used at state matches, go figure!),.. or fashion a knee stand from solid foam or the like.. secured with Velco or something to you gun…

          Ground to knee bones, to the gun.. find the most stable sitting position that is comfortable. There is a link on the FT forum showing how to use this position.. you don’t want the gun laying on the muscle that will go up and down with your heartbeat.

          Wacky Wayne,
          Match Director,
          Ashland Air Rifle Range

        • B.B.,

          My friend, only thanks to your lessons and leadership! I thought it was rather funny that I, on the west coast, was the only one to sign up for the “How to start a field target club” class you were going to hold with Joe.

          You got me started on something I just couldn’t let go of.. way too much fun! And I’ve met the nicest bunch of folks in this sport… That’s why I’m willing to drive around the country playing the game!

          Thank you sooooooo much my friend!

          Wacky Wayne Burns,
          Match Director,
          Ashland Air Rifle Range

    • Edith, Wayne, B.B.,

      I appreciate the information! I’m still learning a lot, and have a long way to go, but do need this kind of information to help me make future purchases. Since I do have a fair amount of experience as a competitor, I don’t think that I want want to start at the bottom, but do hope to make a good decisions regarding level of rifle that is appropriate for me.

      Obviously, a PCP is easier to shoot well, but I’m learning a great deal from shooting my springers. The level of focus required to execute a single shot well is incredible, and even more so a string of shots, but it is doable.

      Thank you all!

      • Victor,

        That’s great your so brave! My friend Johathon, won the nationals in 12fpe piston, and he totally amazes me with his accuracy with his TX200s.. he’s a master tuner on his own guns as well. There’s a few of you masters I totally take my hat off to… those who can master the springer are for sure the masters of the game! Jonathon takes flies off the targets at 50 yards! .. but his finely tuned master pieces are not your “run of the mil springer” either:-)

        It’s the rest of slouches that need a PCP to shoot accurately by simply holding it steady, with the right pellet, weighed to perfection, held exactly right for the wind and distance. That’s enough of a challenge for this old fart:-)

        You’ll have so much fun in this game.. what ever you shoot!.. just do it!!!

        Wacky Wayne,
        Match Director,
        Ashland Air Rifle Range

        • Wayne,

          You know, I don’t know if it’s brave. I realized something the last time I shot my standard rifle in competition, as opposed to my heavy free-style small-bore rifle. My score dropped close to 25 points in prone competition. The reason was weight. The standard rifle was MUCH lighter, and it didn’t have a nice Kenyon trigger. The point is that my fundamentals weren’t as sharp as I thought they were. While it might feel like torture to shoot a “lessor”, harder to shoot rifle, there’s something to be learned from the lessor one.

          My personal feeling is that it’s OK to work with lessor equipment, provided that it doesn’t cause you to learn bad habits. If it help reinforce good habits, then even better.


  15. BB,
    I like this one — one of few air rifles I’ve seen that doesn’t have 8x too much wood on it. I guess I would have to handle it to tell if the metal work felt cheap (light) and toy-like; it looks very nice, and stampings can be just as suitable as any other method if they are made right. That rear sight is my favorite type of “cheap” rear sight, much better than the ramp style. Regarding the pull, I wonder if the lack of a buttplate isn’t an invitation to fit the rifle to the shooter; it would be easy to take a bit off the stock for a small boy or girl, so the length is more in the way of providing options.

    As far as toys, I don’t treat any gun that expels a projectile as a toy (I hate Airsoft — hate it), but relatively, most all of them are toys compared to something else. .22LR (and many more powerful rounds) is a toy when there is a bear in front of you, for example. Sometimes I think we take ourselves too seriously for a fun pursuit — unless we are hunting for survival, they are all toys in one respect.

  16. BG_Farmer,

    So, what I’m hearing is.. If I’m walking in the woods with my Slavia 614, (also looks just like this diana 16), and my new Marlin 1895 (thanks for the correction..posts ago) in .45-70..
    I should choose increase recoil and take the shot at a charging bear with the .45-70 instead of the Slavia:-)

    Is this what you mean about “toys” vs. the right tool for the job:-)

    Wacky Wayne

    • Wayne,
      You know it is accuracy and shot placement that counts, so you should use the Slavia. Incidentally, did you update your will leaving all the lever actions to me yet :)?

  17. BG_Farmer,

    I’m workin on it now bud…

    Whew.. I hate extra recoil.. now when you say “shot placement”.. I’m thinking blasting off a toe nail would really hurt and change his mind real quick… right?

    Only the lever actions???…

    …doesn’t anyone want any of the 5 USFTs I’ve got now????

    I know they be ugly but they can shoot:-)

    Wacky Wayne

    • Wayne,you could put me down for four…..’cause I already have one,and I don’t want to be greedy!
      Have you learned anything peculiar by owning and compairing several? Have you tried any other calibers??

      • Howdy Hey Frank!

        USFT#44 is 12fpe, a shorter version, so I use it for international class and now plan on giving her a go in 12fpe – 25 m bench rest… This one is my lightest, and is most steady offhand for me.. It was my first USFT, and I shot international class all my first year (2009), with this gun. Also, I’ve shot some of my highest overall scores with it.

        LD, just now, is finishing up a .22 cal, 12fpe bench rest specific model for me.. which is one of the five I’m speaking of.. LD is also finishing up a 32fpe .22 cal with his newly designed very heavy bull barrel, custom made right here in the USA!.. These are the Air guns we will be taking back to S. Carolina next July/Aug. to compete at the world bench rest.. If I/we can qualify of course:-)

        USFT #6 is set up for 20fpe open class, but I put a long forearm on her, so I could use her also for bench rest while LD is finishing up the bench rest models.

        My last USFT is also set up for open 20fpe class, and it’s a slightly smaller version than the full sized #6.. I’ve been shooting her exclusively since I got her in open class.. and took 2nd with 41/44 at the last Calif match I went to a couple weeks ago.

        The extra weight/size is great when settled into your sitting FT position, but when you have to stand or kneel for offhand lanes, (which the world contests seem to have a lot of.. so one should get good at them), the heavier gun is much harder for me to do well with.

        I almost think one should use the smallest, lightest, USFT one can make.. tuned up to 19.5fpe for open or Hunter class..

        .. which is.. BTW.. what LD has done to shoot in Hunter Class, for his own personal gun, since his injured shoulder makes it hard for him to get up and down from the sitting FT position. This is the sweetest little gun, I think it weighs like 6lbs with the fixed 10 power scope he has on it!.. (whereas, USFT #6 with the Nikko 10-50×60 weighs about 17 lbs!)… he can hardly range distance at all with that scope… but at that same match he shot a 43/44!!!… the old master still has the touch!! but… I’ll catch him yet:-)

        Wacky Wayne,
        Match Director,
        Ashland Air Rifle Range

    • Wayne,
      I’ve seen what those FT people wear, and even if I could get into it and into position, I wouldn’t be able to get out of it :). Shooting offhand/open sights, even my clunk is adequately accurate.

      Anyway, I’ve been having a lot of fun shooting MLer matches — even though last couple have been in the 20’s with snow blowing and my shooting was abysmal.

      • BG_Farmer,

        I guess your speaking of the Harness, that is allowed in open class. I know what you mean about them.. It looks like a lot to fiddle with and wear… I’ve not gone there yet… Although they are said to really “lock one up” into a human tripod… butt and feet:-) Almost all open class shooters use them… especially the ones in the winners circle.

        But…They are not allowed in international class, so I don’t want to even think about getting use them.. Shooting “straight” jackets are allowed in International class, but in hot weather, I see guys overheating or, taking them off and putting them on again all day.. not worth it either.. I’ve decided to just shoot naked:-).. it also works as a distraction to other shooters:-)

        I haven’t tried the MLer matches.. this old fart can only can do so much:-)

        Wacky Wayne

  18. This design does actually live on, to some extent, in the various Marksman/Beeman break-barrels – the version I’ve got is sold (here in the UK) as the Biathlon trainer, but I’m sure you’ll recognise it


    Construction is now in die-cast alloy but note the similarities – barrel catch in cocking lever that fits over the barrel pivot, breech seal around the transfer port, similar style of sear. I assume the design migrated to the US via the links between Milbro, making their Models 15 and 16, and Marksman.

    Regarding your Hy-Score, if it doesn’t have the usual Dianawerk month/year of manufacture stamped in it (or if it isn’t visible) note that it does have the German F-in-Pentagon stamp in it, signifying a muzzle energy less than 7.5J, which came into force in the early 1970s.


  19. wonderful review on the Diana Mod. 16. Found my grandfather old Diana Mod. 16 and got it to shooting again. Great, smooth and pretty accurate (+- 15-20 meters 1-2 inch accurate). Thank you for the review!

    Young Gun.

  20. Young Gun,

    Welcome to the blog. We’re so glad that you’ve got your grandfather’s Diana 16 up and shooting again. B.B. posts a daily blog, Monday – Friday at /blog// there are a lot of wonderful folks there talking about airguns.

    Stop by and check us out, but be careful cause you might just get bit by the bug.


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