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Education / Training RWS Diana model 45 – Part 2

RWS Diana model 45 – Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Photos and testing by Earl “Mac” McDonald

Part 1

Mac’s RWS Diana 45 is a real classic from the days of the great horsepower races. It was at one time one of four different models that could sometimes deliver velocities in excess of 800 f.p.s. in .177 caliber.

This vintage breakbarrel is well-known to many of you readers. Apparently, the most common find is a 45 that’s lost most of its finish but still shoots great. And, the loss of finish comes from handling most of the time, so it would appear that the RWS Diana 45 is a gun that people like to shoot.

The 45 was one of the very first Dianas with a modern scope rail attached to the top of the spring tube. Earlier guns, such as the model 27, had a ramp in the same place, but it was designed to accept only aperture sights. There would still be some more slight design changes to come, but the 45 scope rail was essentially the final product.

The RWS Diana scope rail looks a lot like the rail found on later Diana spring guns. Only the big-headed screw is missing from this early attempt.

The importance of the scope rail is that today’s UTG scope base for RWS Diana airguns will fit. I would suggest getting the model designed for the sidelever rifles instead of the breakbarrels.

The cocking link is a single link rather than a two-piece, articulated assembly. For that reason, the cocking slot in the forearm has to be longer to allow clearance for the link to do its job. And, a lengthy cocking slot often allows excess powerplant vibrations to be generated.

The one-piece cocking link demands a longer cocking slot in the forearm for the action to cock.

The one-piece cocking link has one additional aspect. It doesn’t allow the barrel to go backwards as far as a two-piece, articulated cocking link does. Consequently, the rifle with a one-piece link will have less swept volume than a similar rifle with a two-piece link. Call it what you will, that is the hallmark of the modern magnum springer.

Two rifles’ cocking linkages in direct comparison. The RWS Diana 34 (the bottom rifle) with the synthetic stock allows the barrel to come back much further during cocking, because the cocking slot in the stock is twice the length of the one in the 45. That means the piston stroke is longer, which means that the smaller, lighter rifle is also the most powerful. An articulated, two-piece cocking link is the only other way to increase the cocking length.

And now for the velocity
The first pellet Mac tested was the RWS Superdome, which weighs 14.5 grains in .22 caliber. In the test rifle, they averaged 648 f.p.s., with a 10 foot-second spread that ranged from 643 to 653 f.p.s. The average muzzle energy was 13.52 foot-pounds.

Next, he tested JSB Exact Jumbos. At 18.1 grains, these heavy domes averaged 603 f.p.s. with a 14 foot-second spread that ranged from 597 to 611 f.p.s. The average muzzle energy was 14.62 foot-pounds.

This next result is going to drive some of you crazy. Mac tested 14.3-grain JSB Exact Express pellets and obtained an average velocity of 609 f.p.s. That’s right, they shot only 6 f.p.s. faster than the heavy Jumbos. This unexpected result has to do with the fit of the pellet to the bore. These pellets had an extreme velocity spread of 16 f.p.s., ranging from 598 to 614 f.p.s. And, they produced only 11.78 foot-pounds of muzzle energy.

Then, Mac tested the rifle with H&N Diabolo Sport wadcutters. This is a 13.73-grain pellet, so it’s leaning to the light side of the spectrum. They averaged 680 f.p.s. with a 23 foot-second spread that went from 671 to 694 f.p.s. The average muzzle energy was 14.07 foot-pounds.

Not wanting to exclude the Crosman Premier line, Mac next sampled 10 of those 14.3-grain pellets. They averaged 637 f.p.s. with a 29 foot-second spread. The low was 630 and the high was 659 f.p.s. The average muzzle energy was 12.89 foot-pounds.

The last pellet Mac tested was the new RWS HyperMAX lead-free pellet, which in .22 caliber weighs 9.9 grains. You would expect them to scream at that weight, and they did. They averaged 789 f.p.s. with a 14 foot-second spread that ranged from 780 to 794 f.p.s. The average muzzle energy was 13.69 foot-pounds.

Mac noted that all the pellets in this test were too small for the rifle’s bore. The HyperMAX pellets were small enough to enter the muzzle, even though the barrel is choked! That would explain the disparate numbers we’re seeing here.

Next, we’ll test the accuracy of this vintage rifle.

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

79 thoughts on “RWS Diana model 45 – Part 2”

    • I have an old BSA Meteor (inherited from my grandfather) that also has a somewhat-oversized .22 bore. After a lot of experimentation, I found that Beeman’s “Bearcub” pellets (which have a larger head diameter than most .22’s) fit snugly in the breech. They shoot quite accurately in the old rifle, and with substantially more muzzle energy than any other pellets I tried.

      It appears the Bearcub line has now been discontinued (although I managed to buy up a huge stockpile :-). BB or Edith, do you know if there is a replacement for the Bearcub line, or possibly a direct H&N equivalent?

      Neil in VA

  1. More improvising…..

    Paint balls sitting on golf tees make good targets if you don’t have too much grass or frozen ground.

    Some times you just can’t find a good place to put them.

    I started with a piece of scrap wood and drilled a line of holes down the length (about half way through). The golf tees force fit into the holes.
    I had a spare shop helper. The kind that is adjustable height and has a wide roller on top for helping with table saw and planer work on long boards. Removed the roller. The strip of wood with the tees can be taped right on top.
    No need for expensive paintballs and tees. Use the cheapest you can find. You are going to destroy them anyway.
    If paintballs are not challenging enough, use airsoft ammo.


    • Darn, it never even occured to me to shoot at paintballs! Great idea. I could never hit airsoft ammo, though.

      Some people shoot at plastic army men. Personally, I just can’t do it. To many good memories of decades gone by are lodged in those little green guys. Overly sentimental, I know, but there it is. 🙂

      • Another good target is the larger cousin of the grape, the scuppernong (a type of muscadine.) They are about the same size as a paintball, free if you have a vine, and 100% biodegradable. They grow well in hot climates (such as Texas) and are resistant to disease. Only problem is you will end up with vines on your shooting range!

    • We use paintballs on tees for our woodswalk (ML’ing). I’ve split the card, driven a tack, cut the crossed rubber bands, etc., but I’ve never scored on the paintballs, which are particularly difficult because you can’t hit the tee to get a score. Fun trying, anyway, although a .50 cal. ball may be overkill on a paint ball if I ever do connect:).

      • How about shooting off the tee without hitting the paint ball?

        Paintballs are a bit dissappointing with anything that I have shot them with so far. You would expect them to explode in a fine and glorious mist, but usually just kind of squirt.

        I did get one of the tiny crab apples in my back yard to give a great reaction one day. The sun was just right, and the tiny thing exploded into a beautiful, sparkling red mist from a dead center hit.


          • Do a little thinking and improvise. Something that is cheap or free that does not leave dangerous fragments laying around.
            Seasonal fruits, different kinds of food. Anything that shatters.

            When I was gardening I planted a lot of tomatoes. Of course the big green tomato horn worms show up. They can be hard to spot. They pop and deflate when hit.


    • twotalon,
      And any others who make these targets:

      I would suggest that you drape an old carpet over the hard mount and put holes in the top for the tees. I know from first hand experience that ricochets will happen with any hard object down range.

      First off, my grand kids are taught to wear safety glasses at all times on my range and that has been reinforced by the following incidents. One of my grandsons was shooting his IZH-61 at a 1″ plastic cow at 33 feet. He shot the head off the cow but was rewarded with a painful pellet hit in the forehead. Another incident happened with another when he was shooting at a green bean can. The ricochet hit him in the shoulder hard enough to make him want to cry. So no more hard objects downrange. The thin coke cans are ok but vegetable and soup cans are a no no.


      • Not too much danger with the stuff I plink with, except down range. I have been hit with bbs and pellets that came back with low powered guns, so I watch what I’m doing with those. My usual stuff is not coming back.
        You really have to watch some things though….like golf balls.


  2. Looked like American Airgunner was killed off. Found it relocated to 9pm tonight on the sportsman channel.
    Hope it will really be there, and not some assault weapons bs.


    • twotalon,

      When I joined GengisKan at Damascus, MD where this years National’s were held, he’d brought some paint balls. Their 50 yard sight in and plinking range has a rectangular steel beam very similar in looks to those steel posts that hold up road signs laying at the 30 yard line. He lined up paint balls on that beam whose holes were the correct size to hold them giving us great biodegradable reactive targets

      I did not hear any pellets ricocheting off the post, but that would be a concern for me shooting in my back yard. (Gotta keep my pellets inside the yard ) I’d use a 2×4 with the appropriate size holes drilled in it to hold up the pellets.


          • Don’t know what those are.
            However about the the next time I see one of the Fushigi (sp?) ball commercials, I am going to Wallyworld and getting one. I want to see how it will react to a 300gr JSP.


            • twotalon

              If you don’t know who Justin Beiber is, then that means the relentless, multi-fronted media onslaught has failed in its mission. That makes me happy. I wish I wasn’t aware of him.

              He’s a teeny bopper. The male equivalent of Hanna Montana or whatever she calls herself these days. If you don’t know who she is either, that would be really cool.

              • Heard of her somewhere. Don’t know where. Don’t care.
                No kids here. Suits me just fine. Don’t watch kid shows on TV. Don’t like kid music.

                Give me creature movies, action movies, rock and roll.

                And some more ammo. And something to kill.

                Just scared a really big hawk out of a tree out back. Did not want the bugger eating the neighborhood cats. Had to walk to about 40 yds of him before he took off.


              • Actually I liked Bieber’s portray of Sean Parker in “Social Network” – one movie version of Mark Zuckerberg’s rise to be the youngest billionaire on the planet, as the owner and developer of Facebook. Sean Parker was the guy that created Napster – ask your teenagers if they know what that is – he changed the way the current generation buys music (itunes instead of stores).

                Fred PRoNJ – who still owns records made of pure virgin vinyl and CD’s

          • Slinging Lead, at last a like-minded view on that kid. He makes my skin crawl. And the fact that he is a multi-millionaire and has a headline stories about how he is “trying” to stay single is even more mind-boggling.


            • I cringed a couple of weeks ago when my 10 year old said that what he really wants from Santa this year is an electic guitar (this in addition to the Steel Storm from dad and (a bit reluctantly) mom.
              (in reality I thinks he is pretty doubtful about the Santa concept…but is smart enough to know that admitting it would be one less present).
              Anyhoo I found one that was a real great deal. But I had visions of Justin Beiber, Hanna Montana and the Jonas Brothers tunes blaring out of the amp. He’s quite proficient on the piano so I think he’ll pick up the quitar quickly)
              But lo and behold yesterday he said that if Santa brings a guitar, can I help him learn a bunch of AC/DC and Beatles songs.

              • Right on!!! Beatles and AC/DC !!!!!
                Two completely different things, but they ROCK!!!!
                Too many kids have no idea who some of the greatest rock and rollers are. They like the music I can’t stand.
                Someone told me that you like the music you grew up with. WELL…my parents always had to watch Lawrence Welk on TV. I hated it then and still hate it.


  3. Folks,

    I am posting this for your consideration and action.


    If you go to this web site, http://www.LetsSayThanks.com you can pick out a thank you card and Xerox will print it and it will be sent to a soldier that is currently serving in Iraq. You can’t pick out who gets it, but it will go to a member of the armed services.

    How AMAZING it would be if we could get everyone we know to send one!!! It is FREE and it only takes a second.

    Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the soldiers received a bunch of these? Whether you are for or against the war, our soldiers over there need to know we are behind them.

    This takes just 10 seconds and it’s a wonderful way to say thank you. Please take the time and please take the time to pass it on for others to do. We can never say enough thank you’s.

    Thanks for taking to time to do this.


  4. Anybody,
    Per Mac’s test:
    RWS Superdome —14.5 –648fps
    Crosman Premier –14.3 –637fps (should have been faster than RWS)
    JSB Exact Express -14.3 –609fps (should have been same as Crosman)

    It’s probably difficult to tell the degree of looseness of each of these so can it be seen if these are different lengths to explain this anomaly? Especially the Crosman and JSBs which weigh the same but are so radically different in fps. If the JSB fits looser to explain the lower velocity where did the weight go? Head diameter to skirt diameter ratio?


    • There is more to it than head and skirt size. Different pellets have different shapes and different skirt thickness. The hollow area inside the pellet will be of different size and shape as well.
      The head and skirts are different shapes…..some more sharp or rounded than others so there will be more or less contact with the bore. Even when the same size the one with the narrower contact will feel looser when seating.
      Then there is hardness. The CP is much harder, so can feel tighter than a soft pellet of exactly the same size.
      Then, does the skirt expand more from pressure when fired. Does it seal better or worse?
      And how much force does it take to get the skirt shoved far enough into the bore that it is sized down by the rifling?
      There is more than simple size and weight at work here. We are dealing with how the pellet works with the pressure curve of the power plant. The pressure curve changes with anything that is different about the pellet.


      • twotalon,
        Thanks for the info. Once again shows life and airguns are never simple.

        I just got caught up on yesterday’s blog on the “The art of collecting airguns”. Terrific piece of work!

        I also want to comment on the PA Christmas Video – Very funny, looks like fun people and a fun place to work.


        • Chuck…
          Some people try to over simplify. This can be the cause of much hair pulling, and the selling of what could be a very nice shooting rifle.
          What HAS to be wrong …or even right does not always work out. There can be multiple reasons why things work either good or bad. Some things are easy to nail down while others are not.
          There is a lot of physics involved here. A great deal of interraction. It’s great when you get lucky, but sucks when you do not.


  5. I seen in the pic of the rail. Is this an after market type or is it from another rifle? This i ask cause it does not appear to be the normal “Good Machining” fit. It looks like it is a 11mm or a Weaver type interchangeable?

  6. B.B.,

    I read that small-bore (rim-fire) rifle barrels get better with use (except for wear on the crown). This was a claim made by a small-bore rifle shooter’s father, who was a metallurgist.

    Well, I’ve also read lots of revues from people who have been shooting certain air rifles for decades, claiming that these older guns shoot at least as well as the day they bought them.

    My question is, do air gun barrels get better with age (use)? I’m sure it depends on the type of metal they are made with, but is this generally true?


    • They get slowly polished. Takes lead a long time to wear down rough spots in steel.
      In rimfires, the bullet lube and powder fouling also will gradually form a consistent layer in the bore. This also happens with air guns with pellet crud and lubricants.
      A competition shooter told me a long time ago that you never clean a .22 until it gets too hard to chamber another round. Then you will have to shoot a box or two of ammo to get the rifle to shoot good again. This seems to pan out, at least for me. Don’t even shoot one shot of a different kind of ammo or you screw up the accuracy. Don’t clean it then expect it to shoot right without wasting some ammo.

      So you have two things…
      Gradual polishing, and bore conditioning. Things stabilize after time.
      You also have power plant considerations. Wearing in until it becomes stable. That is untill the power plant starts to wear out.


      • TwoTalon,

        This is very interesting. Sounds like what I’ve heard, and suspected from air-gun reviews, plus my own experience, to be true.

        When practicing for outdoor competition, I used Eley Black. For the tournament I used Eley Red. To the rifle those should have had the exact same effect. What I did learn, the HARD way, is that mixing lots of the SAME ammo made a HUGE difference. This only happened once after many years of shooting, but it did happen. I shot a 400-35x in a Dewar match, then we sent on to the 100 yard match. My loading block had a box for sighters, plus the individually inserted match ammo. By some fluke (again, this only happened once) the box for sighters was from a different lot. Well, going from my sighter to my scoring bull, the bullet dropped a full inch lower. THAT caused me to drop one point for the match! I was amazed (pissed off, really)! We’re talking two boxes of Eley RED, but from different lots. If you’re plinking, it doesn’t matter, but in competition using two different lots of Eley Tenex is as bad as using bullets from two different manufacturers.


        • An old friend of mine used to go out and buy a couple boxes of shotgun slugs before deer season to see how they shot ….of as many kinds as he could find. He did not simply use the same kind he used the year before.

          He picked the ones that were the best and noted what he could expect. Then he went back and bought a few boxes of the same lot number.

          Could this also relate to pellets?? YOU BET!! You hear about it all the time…..’this die # CP is good’ or bad. ‘I used to get these and they were great, but the last tin sucked’.
          Not always the same.

          And, never test pellets or lubes until you have shot enough of them to be sure that things have stabilized and become consistent with how the rifle likes them.


        • Also..
          If you have to clean a .22 for some reason you could waste a couple of boxes of junk through it before you go back to your favorite. Should get enough fouling and lube buildup in the chamber and bore that it won’t take as much of the good stuff to get it running right.


        • Victor..
          B.B. and I had a fairly lengthy conversation on the bolg one time that could have been a separate blog on it’s own.
          It involved an AF LW 24″ .22 barrel that looked horrible inside and out. Rusty, dents, scratches on the outside. Horribly filthy inside. For some reason it did not go in the dumpster.
          The outside took a lot of rubbing with emery cloth to clean that mess up. Then a reblue that turned out purple.
          The bore cleaned out easy enough of the crud. I don’t use the JB paste, but the JB polish. Gave it a good workout and ended up with a bore that had as perfect of feel when driving a tight unlubed pellet through as I would not have believed possible.
          That one almost went back to PA because of the looks. Not PA’s fault…they don’t look in the tube and inspect the barrel. The bore had such a good feel that I had to do the job on it after cleaning out the crud, but before polishing..
          What a shooter!!!!
          Only reason that it is not on my Talon right now is that I have a Condor power plant in it and am getting good performance from the recrowned 18″ barrel. And that the 24″ seems to get in the way because of the length.


  7. The velocity numbers would not put the Diana 45 in the pole position for the horsepower races. Am I missing something?

    Victor, what a background. Add me to your list gufgo24@yahoo.com. You must have been the kind of guy who was at the top of all the math classes. I understand that Robert Oppenheimer lost something like 30 pounds under the stress of managing the atomic bomb project with gigantic egos like Richard Feynman. It is a question why the massive resources and talent of government bureaucracy at all levels seems to underperform. I have this vision of an opposition between egos and talent that mostly cancels out in cooperative activities.

    Maybe the whole ego thing is at the root of another issue of writing. Why is it that the solution to writing well seems simple–it is in fact simplicity itself and economy–but the predominant error is to be overly complicated and obscure? This seems backwards. Could it be the old cliche that style is the man? It is much easier to use writing as self-expression (ego assertion in effect) rather than genuine communication to someone else which involves omitting much that may strike your fancy.

    PeteZ, I’m a great admirer of John Boyd’s work, especially its broad reach, although personally he was pretty obnoxious and weird. The impulse to turn the F-16 into an attack plane was completely antithetical to what he wanted, and it stems from the military’s compulsion to “dirty” systems by adding in unnecessary and expensive features. It’s often forgotten that Boyd was a superb fighter pilot in his own right. Favorite anecdote is from a pilot who was mock dogfighting with him. The pilot said that he had Boyd in his sights when Boyd pulled “an outside double rat’s a– two-tone trick —-.”

    Duskwight, I had to look twice to see the double propellers on the MB5. How unusual. I wonder why that was never taken up with other planes. Was it because of a shift of attention to the jet age or because this was a technological dead-end? I am very excited about the new helicopter by Sikorsky with counter-rotating propellers that can almost double the speed of the single rotor design by going way over 200 kph. Can’t wait to see them in action.

    B.B., haven’t heard of the p-38 anecdote. Most WWII pilots who claim to have broken the sound barrier in a dive–mostly p-47 pilots–have been discredited because of the way the instrumentation is affected at that speed. But ground-based instrumentation would seem to be pretty certain. All the more surprising that this fellow survived. I understand that the lower limit for diving p-38s in the early days was 15,000 feet, so our guy had room to pull out. However, I understand that in compressibility it was not so easy to bail out. The controls felt like they were set in concrete, and it was not easy to even move, so it was pull out or else.

    Loren, have always liked the p-47 for a certain off-the-wall quality: big, agile, although slow-turning. Some have described it as the quintessence of the American WWII fighter (and mentality?) for its massive size and power.


    • Matt61,

      I will absolutely include you. Thanks for your interest and consideration!

      What you describe about Oppenheimer and Feynman is absolutely real. A competition of egos too often results in a negative culture.

      When I commented about “a room full of PhD’s” my point was NOT that the issue was that hey had PhD’s, but rather that EVEN a PhD (and a room full) could be thrown off by a negative culture. When I mentioned “lessons learned” the first thing that came to mind was specific observations that I made when I realized that a culture was negative.

      You see, in a negative culture “the team” could end up being more stifling than supportive. It’s great when a team is critical enough to keep each member honest, but that’s different from tearing each other down. The same goes for bad management.

      I’ve always said that I wish that all of my problems could be technical, but we rarely have that luxury. We have to deal with all sorts of human drama. Every time you introduce a person into an effort, you not only introduce communications issues, but also reality issues. What many think of as a “communications gap” is often actually a “reality gap”. I believe, for example, that this “reality gap” is the very thing that devides our country politically. It’s not so much about who’s right or wrong, but rather the fact that we don’t know to try to understand the others perspective. Not everyone is blessed with the same insight and awareness that others might have. These things change ones capacity to believe. THAT changes everything. I could go on-and-on, but I won’t here.

      Where this is on topic with something that B.B. and I once discussed in a previous blog, is the fact that we can learn from topics that we may not have considered as points of interest. I like to keep adding things to my “bag of tricks”, so I never consider knowledge that someone is willing to give me as USELESS. Everything has value, we just don’t know when we’ll have to invoke it. It’s not important that you commit every last detail to memory, only that you be aware that there may be more to consider.


      • Been there…done that.

        The myth of the “team” = whenever more than 3 people make up a team, the members will gradually sink to the level of the lowest performing member.

        Proven every Monday Night by the NFL!

    • Matt

      I guess a little bit of both. On that technology level piston-engine fighters were hitting the ceiling, so jets promissed more.
      However I think most obvious reason was economics – it was cheaper to upgrade tried and tested spits. War’s end was almost palpable, and “meteors” were on the waiting list, they flew their first combat missions in early 1945, so what’s the reason for radically new prop fighter? Perhaps, if it appeared in 1943, it would definitely give Germas a beating. In this case I alway remember Patton: “A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week.”


      • And double propellers, they are still in use and quite a wide use, e.g. Tu-95 “Bear” (fastest prop-driven aircraft) famous Reno racer Ron Buccarelli`s P51 “Precious Metal”, many British late-war and post-war planes like Westland Wyvern S.4, Fairey Gannet etc, even spits – like Seafire Mk.47, several transport planes and so on.

    • I have heard of pilots resorting to lowering landing gear to slow the plane down enough when in a dive that they could regain control of the surfaces and pull out of the dive. I believe that’s why the German Stuka’s didn’t have retractable landing gear? You know, while everyone loves the P51, I keep hearing that the P 47 was a better plane due to it’s superior armor and ability to take a beating and bring it’s pilots home. I also recently heard that there were more P-47’s flying in WW II than P-51’s.

      There is also a very interesting story regarding the P-38 that I believe I heard on the Military Channel. When the English started to build their own version of the plane and when the US tried to “cheapen it”, they didn’t include the engines’ superchargers. Without the superchargers, the plane was a sled.

      Fred PRoNJ

      • Fred,

        It’s quite simple about 47 and 51.

        1)Liquid-cooled 51’s V-12 engine needed a single .30 bullet put into its cooling system to die after 5-6 minutes. While 47’s air-cooled radial “star” could run even with several cylinders torn off or shot through.
        2) P-47 is simply larger plane than P-51. So size matters – roughly it can take up more holes without vital systems being shot. Compare it to “flying fuel tank” P-51’s airframe and you’ll see why.
        3) P-47 was mass flying on European theater of operations since spring of 1943. P-51D high-altitude escort fighter (well, before it became famed P-51, it evolved from a _very_modest fighter) arrived in Europe in its primary role mostly in ’44, although Brits were using it since 1943. So P-47s simply had more time (to hatch some eggs 😉 ).

        Downing one’s gear in attempt to slow down is a sure way to get rid of that gear and, sometimes, tail empennage. Gear legs will be simply torn off by the wind.
        Ju-87 “pants” were just a tribute to mid-1930’s aircraft ‘fashion”, think of Boeing P-26 Peashooter or Ki-27. Next step in Ju-87’s evolution was planned to be Ju-187, with first thing to get rid of – “legs” protruding in flight. Some say that “legs” provided additional stability and precision in a dive, acting like stabilizers but in fact they DE-stabilised the aircraft in a high-speed dive due to turbulence.


        • Duskwright,

          I appreciate the lessons and having some wrong information dispelled (extending landing gear in a dive is an excellent way to get rid of the gear – I love it). Spasibo.

          Fred PRoNJ

        • Ehhhhhhh….. the P51 started out as a modest fighter? Don’t know if that’s really true… The first P51 as built for the British still had an excellent airframe – it was, what, 20-40mph faster than the P40 with the same engine? And its wonderful flying characteristics are what prompted the Brits to try putting one of their cherished Merlins in it. Sure, it was held back somewhat by the engine – but the airframe was always a superior design.

          On a side note, am I the only one who thinks that the Army might have missed the boat by trying to hot-rod the P-36 into the P40? Everything I’ve read about it (the ’36) seems to indicate that it was overall a sweeter plane to fly – and more maneuverable, especially, given the much lighter weight of the powerplant. I often wondered if a further development of the P-36 would have been a better match-up against the A6M’s in the Pacific…

          • Vince

            Search for NA-73 🙂
            The only thing that prompted Brits to try Merlin was that P-51 was underpowered and “blind”. That prompted them to install “Malcolm’s bubble”.
            After that P-51 started to be what it became towards D-series.
            Initial tests against Spitfire and captured Bf-109 showed that P-51 was worse than both, so it means that Fw-190 would not even notice tearing it apart.
            Russians have almost the same story – famous La-5 series evolved from rather poor-performance V-engine powered LaGG-3 through installation of new powerful radial engine and 360-degree canopy.


            • Yup, and I found this tidbit… (http://www.acepilots.com/planes/p51_mustang.html)

              “In April, 1942, a British test pilot, Ronald Harker, flew the Mustang and was very impressed by it. He suggested that the new plane would be a natural fit with the Rolls Royce Merlin 60-series engine, well-suited to high altitudes.”

              “Harker test-flew an RAF Mustang on April 30, 1942, and noted that it was 30 MPH faster than the Spitfire Mk V and had almost double the range.”

              To the best of my knowledge, the Brits never bothered lavishing any real development effort into any other American fighter…

              • Vince,

                By April 1942 Spitfire Mk. V was sort of old news 😉 Spitfire Mk.IX was starting to be deployed into combat squadrons. It was 40 mph faster than Mk.V and had 11000 ft higher service ceiling, so Mustang was no breakthrough.
                Higher _top_ speed doesn’t mean better fighter, as piston fighter needs high _combat_ speed, good acceleration and maneuvrability.


                • Point is that it performed so well with a substandard powerplant. THAT’S what impressed the Brits so much. Again, it speaks to the advanced design of the airframe. It took the Griffon-powered Spits – with 500 more HP – to match the speed of the P51 B and later variants. And speed with less power = range, again an important attribute. So again, as far as the design of the airframe goes, it was indeed a breakthrough.

      • Superior – how? High-altitude interceptor and escort fighter? Probably not. As a ground attack aircraft? With 8 .50’s firing the spread that typically comes from wing-mounted guns and the air-cooled engine? Seems like the Jug in Korea would’ve been an ideal match, instead of pushing the ’51 into that role…

    • For all that Feynman became a very great and famous physicist, probably the best general theorist of the last half of the 20th century, you have to remember that in 1942-45 he was fairly fresh out of grad school, and one of a bunch of brash brilliant kids at Los Alamos. While he had an ego, it was surely no larger than that of a dozen or more of that crowd (the brightest group of physical scientists ever assembled for a single project, IMHO).

      Oppenheimer lost his weight from dealing with BG Leslie Groves (head of the Manhattan Project), Edward Teller, Eugene Wigner, George Kistiakowsky, Hans Bethe, and of course Seth Neddermeyer (who invented the implosion bomb idea, but who was never able to build anything that worked and who resisted greatly being removed from the leadership of the implosion group).

      • Pete,

        And, apparently, Feynman was a very good educator as well. It seems that he cared a great deal about teaching and preserving his thoughts, even if purely theoretical and possibly non-“real world”. But then again, he was a theoretical physicist. I just think it’s cool that his lectures are available to any science student.

        Regarding issues between greats, what does happen at times is that the student will (or can) surpass the teacher, and the student efforts will be down-played or ignored. That’s why an up and coming great will have to part company and find a place where they can better spread their wings. By doing this, they will get the respect that they deserve, won’t be overshadowed, and produce a greater body of work. This is sometimes hard to do that when you’re working under the shadow of someone else. Some mentors are better than others. Also, as you noted, management can ruin a project. Too many are clueless about how they should treat their staff. The psychology (motivation) of a highly skilled and creative individual is very different from that of someone whose ambitions are purely to obtain positions of power and/or money. Bad management will make even the best and brightest feel like they are just another cog in the wheel. They don’t realize the power of creativity. Lots of people are highly skilled, but aren’t creative. It’s the rare individual who can, on demand, create something of substance from scratch. The rest will be very good and learning and maintaining this work, but could not have created it if their lives depended on it.


      • Oh, one last thing. Even worse than being overshadowed by someone else, is being stifled or undermined by corporate or project politics. In the “real world” the best do not always win.

  8. I must apologise for motor mouthing so much today. It happens once in a while.

    I am sure that B.B. as been busy working on his next blog. At least he has not jumped me for saying anything that he finds disagreeable or incorrect.
    I don’t mind if he does.

    Maybe he will plan to soon test part 2 of cb caps vs. the Condor. I would love to see that.
    CB caps , lose they will. Condor ,win it will.


  9. I hope everyone here is entertained by this,I know I was.The US Navy just released a video of their/the biggest gun ever.It is a rail gun that uses 33 megajoules of electricity to fire a projectile
    110 miles at over 7 times the speed of sound!!!!! (NO,it’s NOT a Gamo).the video shows it firing.
    Try searching Navy super gun on Youtube…..I’m terrible at posting links.This happened Dec. 10th.

    • Frank,

      The physics of rail guns, and kinetic energy weapons in general, is very interesting. At such high speeds, everything behaves as a liquid. Crazy stuff! I’m sure that Pete would know more about this than the rest of us.


  10. I got a quick question for those of you who have the Benjamin Discovery or have used it. I’ve read a lot of reviews where they said is loud, if you run it on Co2, does it reduce how loud it is?

          • In the article you wrote: “The importance of the scope rail is that today’s UTG scope base for RWS Diana airguns will fit. I would suggest getting the model designed for the sidelever rifles instead of the breakbarrels.” What is your reasoning for that suggestion? Thanks.

            • Joe,

              I helped Leapers develop these bases and I advised them of how much droop each one needed. Apparently the RWS Diana 34 that I used to test the bases was an exceptional one — it drooped a lot more than most of them. So, unless you have a rifle with a large amount of droop that you have confirmed, I am recommending getting the bases that have less droop.


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