Diana K98 pellet rifle: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana K98
Diana’s K98 Mauser pellet rifle is very realistic.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

This report covers:

  • Shoot left-handed
  • RWS Superpoints
  • JSB Exact RS
  • RWS Superdomes
  • Now, for the mind-blower!
  • The underlever latch
  • Trigger adjustment
  • Evaluation

Keep him off his his computer, ladies, because today I’m the Great Enabler! Today I shoot the Diana K98 pellet rifle at 25 yards with open sights. And when he sees the results, he’s going to want one!

Shoot left-handed

Today was accuracy day at 25 yards and I absolutely could not see the bull, when sighting with my right eye — even when wearing my glasses! So I had to switch hands and shoot from the left side.

RWS Superpoints

The first pellet I tried for no particular reason was the RWS Superpoint. One shot confirmed I was on target, then the next 9 went downrange without checking. I walked down to change targets and saw the group for the first time. Ten shots in 2.32-inches! The “group” was very horizontal. Not a good start.

Diana K98 Superpoint group 25 yards
Yuck! Ten RWS Superpoint pellets went into 2.32-inches at 25 yards. Not a good start to the test.

JSB Exact RS

Next, I decided to try 10 JSB Exact RS domes. But I also decided to try resting the rifle on the palm of my off hand, placed just in front of the triggerguard instead of out by the cocking slot. It made the rifle extremely muzzle-heavy, but I was shooting off a sandbag, so that didn’t really matter. This time was different. Ten RS pellets went into 1.402-inches, but 9 of them are in 0.916-inches. That is definitely better and more like what I had hoped for!

Diana K98 RS group 25 yards
This is more like it. Ten JSB Exact RS pellets are in 1.402-inches at 25 yards, with 9 in just 0.916-inches.

Now I was happy. I could see that the K98 can really shoot at distance. Remember, I’m shooting left-handed with open sights today.

RWS Superdomes

The last pellet I tried was the RWS Superdome. I also rested the rifle on the palm of my off hand, just forward of the triggerguard for this pellet. This time 10 pellets went into 1.153-inches. The group is tighter than the RS group you just saw for all 10 shots. However, hold your horses. Something is coming.

Diana K98 Superdome group 25 yards
Ten RWS Superdomes went into 1.153-inches at 25 yards.

Now, for the mind-blower!

After the Superdome group I decided to try shooting the K98 DIRECTLY ON THE SANDBAG. At its power level it shouldn’t do too well, but I wanted to see.

I intended shooting JSB Exact RS pellets, but the tin of Superdomes was still open, so I used them instead. And look at the results! Ten pellets landed 1.049-inches. That’s considerably smaller than when the gun was hand-held. It means the Diana K98 is stable when rested directly on a bag, and that does not happen often. I think this is the most powerful spring air rifle I have tested that allows direct resting.

Diana K98 Superdomes directly on bag
When the rifle was rested directly on the bag 10 RWS Superdomes went into 1.049-inches at 25 yards.

What this means is that when I scope the rifle, I can also rest it directly on the bag, and we should see some remarkable groups. But wait, because the report is not over.

The underlever latch

I looked at the latch that holds the underlever in position. It’s a spring-loaded affair the presses on the underlever when it’s returned home. It doesn’t appear to be adjustable and it looks difficult to modify, but I will continue to look into it.

Diana K98 latch
That little catch (arrow) is spring-loaded to pop up like this and hold the underlever in place when it’s stored. When you pull down on the lever this catch is pressed down and out of the way.

Trigger adjustment

Remember I mentioned in the last report about having some creep in stage two of the trigger pull? The K98 trigger allows for adjustment of the length of stage one and the location of stage two. I adjusted both and got the long first stage travel I prefer, plus I made the stage two release much crisper. So, the trigger adjustments really do work as advertised.

Evaluation

The Diana K98 is one of the best new air rifles to come along in a long time. It has features like smooth power, a light and adjustable trigger, great looks and, as we discovered today, accuracy. There is still a lot more to test, so stay tuned, but I think we have tested it enough that you can safely buy one now.

I know the rifle is large and looks like a military Mauser. But at its heart it is one fine spring-piston air rifle.

59 thoughts on “Diana K98 pellet rifle: Part 4

  1. I’m sorry to hear that your right eye is still giving you trouble, B.B.. On the other hand (literally), I’ve heard that “switch hitting” in various tasks and activities in life is good for the brain–later in life especially.





      • Chris,

        Now I have to admit that I really like the neon green and black color combination. I am seriously thinking of having my Edge redone into a Zombie Apocalypse Mini Sniper.



      • Indeed, B.B. Rolex has an outstanding advertising and PR firm. But they are not the best watch, by far.
        Many equal and exceed their quality. As Wikipedia says, a “Prestige” brand.
        This M98 replica air rifle is an outstanding airgun ! Thank you again, for a great Blog !
        Pedro Zapata ( pen name….)
        Orcutt, California


        • PZ1,

          Rolexes are well made, but you are right. A $39 quartz Casio watch keeps slightly better time. The “value” of a Rolex is that people see you are wearing a Rolex. However, a friend of mine ended up selling his Rolex (given to him as a gift) because no one ever believed it was a real Rolex, despite how strongly he would attest to its authenticity.

          Anyway, if I were very rich, the watch I would indulge in would be a slim Patek Philippe. I already have two modest looking vintage Omegas, and on special occasions I wear them. Otherwise, it is the Casio I am wearing right now. :^)

          Michael


          • Michael,

            You know — there is a blog in this. At one time (1930s through the 1960s) Rolex watches were one of the finest watches you could buy — not because of the name but because of the reliability and ruggedness. People whose lives depended on knowing the time (explorers, divers, pilots etc.) were justified in using a Rolex.

            I wear a Citizen Evo 200 that is as rugged as a Rolex and accurate to the billionth of a second, if it links with WWV, the U.S. time standard. But put me in Antarctica and that precision goes away. Does the ruggedness remain? I don’t really know. What I do know is that a Rolex comes into its own in places like that. Casios probably don’t keep up there, either. What about Seikos? I don’t know.

            What does that say about airguns?

            B.B.


            • B.B.,

              There are no doubt parallels in airguns. There certainly are in firearms, so much so that even a novice like me is aware of them. Is a hand made, engraved Belgian shotgun of any more utility than a top of the line mass-produced American one? Is a Land Rover of greater utility than a Toyota four wheel drive? (The answer there is a decisive no.)

              My Casio (quartz, sporty, plastic case) and Omegas (casual automatics, not sport or military watches) do just fine in northern Illinois, LOL. The other night when I was outside shoveling, and it was 6 below, the Casio did just fine. And it is waterproof down to one meter at least :^).

              Rolexes are still probably the standard in overall ruggedness for a wristwatch, although the very best Seiko diver watches are considered by many to be among the best for that purpose, and they cost perhaps a third as much as a Rolex Diver. These do cost a LOT more than just any old Seiko, however.

              incidentally, “Rolex” was a name made up by its two founders because it was something almost anyone would pronounce about the same regardless of native language. Also, the “ex” suffix was already associated with timepieces as Timex preceded Rolex by a half century of so.

              The earliest wristwatches were “trench” watches worn by military officers in combat during The Great War (WWI to youngsters). They were fashioned from ladies pocket watches with steel wire loops soldered on them for wrist straps.

              Michael


              • Michael,

                You are a watch guy? Me, too! I don’t own any Rolexes or Omegas for that matter, but I do appreciate them.

                I love the Omega Moon Watch, except it doesn’t have a calendar. I once owned a Heuer Regatta Timer that was the finest watch I have had. Found it on the street after I ran over it with my car!

                B.B.



                  • Matt,

                    “Tempes fugit.” Time flies? Tick tock.

                    Captain Hook in Peter Pan, haunted by the ticking in a croc’s gullet?

                    Captain Ahab hunting the Great White Whale over the loss of his leg. Captain Hook hunting the crocodile over the loss of his hand. Quint hunting sharks to eventually kill the one who bit in half his friend, Herbie Robinson from Cleveland, baseball player, Bosun’s Mate a fellow seaman on the U.S.S. Indianapolis.

                    Michael


                    • Yes, that is the translation. But I’m not sure how we go from Captain Hook to Ahab. Is the ticking sound in the crocodile from a watch that was on the hand that was bitten off? I had forgotten that part of the story. I also didn’t know that background about Quint trying to avenge the death of a friend. He should have armed himself with an M1. Incidentally, where did Brody (was that the hero) get the one that he used? Did he bring it along himself.

                      The shark obsession actually sounds like the real life story of Roy Boehm who was one of the founders of the Navy SEALS. As a naval gunner at the Battle of Guadalcanal, he survived the sinking of his ship only to see his friend devoured by a shark in front of his eyes as they were awaiting rescue. From this time, he harbored and fear and hatred of sharks. His way of expunging this was to attack a shark with a knife while diving which he finally succeeded in killing although he admitted later that the shark was probably sick.

                      Anyway, I think you’re right that the obsession with time is attached to a sense of loss and of the irrecoverable which can apply to a lot of different things. My brother and I noticed the parallels when Captain Kirk was fighting Khan played by Ricardo Montalban in the Star Trek movies. Khan says, “I’ll chase him around hell’s flames before I give him up.” These were Ahab’s words about Moby Dick. So, this had us wondering if that made Kirk the White Whale.

                      Matt61


                  • Tempes fugit? O tempora, O mores :)!

                    Disappointing illuminati if he misspells “tempus”…great movies though. I remember watching (carefully) with my son when he was little and at one point he exclaimed that LC had a really nice pair of… binoculars!


                    • That was my misspelling for sure. What does the rest of it mean? O time, O death? Your boy is precocious, and I would not disagree. I watched that film with some older librarian women. At the point where Lara Croft begins her evening workout/ritual of bungee jumping in her living room, one of my friends turned to me and said, “This is a weird movie,” which I think is accurate too.

                      Matt61


                    • Matt,
                      Ran out of reply indents. O tempora, o mores, literally equals “oh, the times, oh the ways(customs)”. Figuratively, expressing disgust at the current situation and the social decay that led to it.

                      Part of the weirdness was that the movies were based on a fairly simple, early 3d video game. I actually thought the movies did very well with the meager back story.



                • B.B.,

                  Me too. My usual is around 50-75$. What gets me is the insane face diameter and thickness that seems to be all the “trend”. A fellow at work wore one in that could have doubled as a dinner plate. Go figure. I have never been a slave to fashion in any sense of the word. I like the ones that show all of the “guts” and you can see things move from the face. Nice linked bands w/clasp. Wally’s has one for 125$ that I always keep telling myself that I will get one day. Armitron are my current 2. I like the day and date as well.

                  I have enough vices,….. so it may be a few. That Maximus is wearing on me anyways.

                  🙂 Chris


                • B.B.,

                  To me watches are where art, craft, engineering, fashion, and practical function all meet together.

                  I have been fascinated by fine watches since I was about nine years old. Part of it was that I grew up in Elgin, Illinois, so I kept hearing stories from all of the old retired watch Company workers, often bemoaning the good old days before the factory closed (right around the time I was born).

                  I have a gold Elgin from the 1950s as well as a large Elgin railroad watch from the 1890s.

                  Of course Elgins were not quite the equal of Hamiltons, and Hamiltons were not the quite equal of a Swiss Bulova, and Bulova were not the equal of the very finest Swiss watches such as Omega, Longines, Rolex, Vacheron Constantin, and of course, the ultimate (for me, at least) Patek Philippe.

                  Michael


            • BB,

              As far as a Seiko, I daily wear a Seiko diver’s watch my wife bought me 27 years ago. All I have done is periodically change the battery and replace the band every few years. I have a Seiko dress watch that seems to be as tough that has been around for almost 10 years now.

              As far as airguns, I have an air rifle that I shoot regularly that is over 110 years old.

              What all this means is if it is well made, it will last if it is taken care of.


          • Twenty years ago, I found out that Rolex made 600,000 watches per year. I do not know how many now. Patek make 10,000 per year. All hand made where as only the Rolex Cellini is hand made, the rest are modular assembly. But Rolex signs at Formula 1 races, Golf tournaments, etc and charging $7,000 for a Submariner ( A Prestige watch..)…And, you have to send it to Rolex for a periodic cleaning……Omega, is only one of many that equal and in most cases exceed Rolex movements. A Gold and Diamond case is decor;, not a watch.
            Merry Christmas, everyone.

            PZ


            • PZ,

              I agree with you. The cheap quartz watch changed the very nature of what a fine nechanical movement watch is all about. It is jewelry that has a function as well. But still, the function part is superseded by the psychological element.

              Furthermore, to me Rolexes are big, thick, clunky, and slightly ostentatious to me. Just my personal feeling.

              Michael

              Michael


              • Michael,

                You left out “Chunky” A person wearing a newish Rolex would be on my “suspect” list..
                Now, an Old Rolex, a lttle beat up and a dial different than the current one may be of interest.
                You see that Antique Road show where a person had an old “Submarier Type” Rolex he paid $175 at his PX.? Only had it serviced by a local watchmaker as needed. If he had sent it to Rolex, they would have updated the dial, everything. He did not, and it was worth like $17K today….maybe it was $12K..I forget sometimes at 87..

                Pete….. aka:PZ

                Oh , just had a new appliance instaled. It is called a Pace Maker..testing showed my heart would rest sometime for over 3 seconds..Smart Heart, rest is good sometimes..


                • Pete,

                  A pleasure to meet you.

                  Your image of the weathered Rolex does conjure up one great Rolex image for me: an old worn, scratched Rolex Explorer on a plain Zulu strap.

                  Michael


                  • Explorer Rolex , the old ones, are terrific. The bracelt on watches bother me, I much prefer a strap. Maybe woven nylon for outdoors and weather….Yes, Omega Moon Watch is very neat. as is the SpeedMaster. A cocktail Patek for a party is outstanding. ’cause only person that knows is your lady and you. Plus it is something you pass on in your estate..My son-in- law bought a New Omega Constellation (quartz) from an authorized dealer at a huge discount because the dealer said it was a window display watch. ( it was not ) Every Omega or Rolex, etc. at an authorized dealer has that watch recorded at that company, and he better obtain full retail price ( MSRP ) or he may loose his “franchise..”

                    PZ


          • Michael,
            I have an Omega that I bought in 1970. It came with a lifetime repair and service warranty.The catch? I have to pay the shipping to and from Switzerland. It had a flaw where the stem keeps popping off so it became too expensive after a while. Now I just buy $10-$15 Watches and throw them out when they stop working.

            Pete


            • Pete,

              Find a friendly and information rich blog like this one, except one for vintage Omega owners. Through it, find a local watch repair person who knows Omegas well, take it in, get it repaired, cleaned, and adjusted, and you should be good to go for quite sometime. It is nice to be able to wear a few times a year.

              Michael




          • BB,

            I understand how business IS done. I also understand that this move likely opens up more retailers to carry Crosman products, which is their primary goal.

            My issue is I do not own any Crosman products except for a couple of tins of pellets that are hoping an airgun will eventually come along that likes them. Crosman could have my business if they were to spend less on marketing and more on quality. I just spent a big chunk of change on an air rifle that could have been built by Crosman, but wasn’t.

            It is their desire to supply all of the big box stores of the world with their product line. So be it. I don’t buy my stuff there. I learned my lesson a long time ago.


  2. B.B.,

    I thought that I was in an Info-mercial for awhile there. “But wait,… as if this deal is not totally awesome enough,…. order in the next 3 minutes and we are going to double this offer”! 😉

    Way to go on the switch hitting. Get this puppy scoped to let it really shine.

    Chris


  3. B.B.,

    We lefties learn to do many tasks ambidextrously, but I envy you your ability to shoot (and quite well, obviously) rifle lefty. I shoot pistol with equal ineptitude with either hand, but if I try to shoulder an air rifle right-handed, it feels more wrong than ketchup on a PB&J sandwich.

    Michael


  4. B.B.,

    Pardon my stating the obvious — although I’m so practiced at it — but it will be interesting for some owners to discover how simple (or not) replacing the spring under the cocking lever retaining tab will be.

    Michael



  5. B.B.,

    Mauser K98 and Mosin-Nagant now, but what could/should be around the bend? M1 Garand? M1 Carbine with paratrooper folding stock? Springfield 1903? Kalashnikov with wood furniture?

    Michael


  6. BB, how did you shoot so well with left hand? I tried today after reading the blog, but not only was I unable to hit anything, it felt clumpsy and awkward. Can I learn to shoot with the left hand or are some people born ambidextrous?


  7. Gene Peppin,

    I do not respond to direct emails. I have to handle hundreds of messages a day, and do not have time to answer individually. So I posted your question here and will answer it here.

    B.B.

    I own a S/W model 79G that’s leaking compressed air from the breach. At this point I’ve been unable to find anyone that can do the repairs. Would you happen to know anyone that works on these pistols?


  8. B.B.,

    I do not know how practical it would be,…. but it would be nice for you to publish the resources for getting repairs done. The bigger ones with good websites (might) be easy to find but the smaller and more specialized ones might be a lot harder. Categorize it under repair sources or something and list their basic specialty. Give it it’s category though. You are doing a lot of this for posterity and record and I think that would fit in well. Just an idea.

    Chris


  9. Nice to see the classic design do so well. Good shooting, B.B. This is a great tool for re-enactment. While checking the targets of my Lee-Enfield over the weekend, I noticed that the ground had turned into a gray mud very reminiscent of Flanders fields in Belgium that saw a lot of trench fighting in WWI. Walking around it was unpleasant. Rolling around in it with a Lee-Enfield is hard to imagine.

    Slinging Lead, you make a powerful case for the multi-pump Ace target rifle. I, too, love the engineering of airguns although I don’t tinker with them. I can understand paying a lot of money as a means towards an end of performance but not as a goal in its own right. I am fascinated by a genuine B-17 instrument panel from WWII, but I wouldn’t like it any more by paying $5000 to own one. On the other hand, having no recoil is definitely a plus for multi-pumps.

    Gunfun1, you’re right that the secret for getting around recoil is handloading. I did relatively well with my Lee-Enfield using 150gr. bullets instead of the standard 174 gr, although even the 150s had a considerable pop in a rested position. As a Canadian, do you see Lee-Enfields around? The Sharps rifle is a good gun for handing down over the generations. I’m very possessive of my guns, so, initially, I had not thought of selling them. Instead, I had planned to bury them with me to have forever. But, now, it seems like the better way is to ultimately sell them to someone else to enjoy. The exception might be my IZH 61.

    233kosta, no question the AR is capable of shooting extremely well. Getting this realized is the challenge. I also continue to wonder about the reliability of the AR. The rule seems to be that the gun will shoot well if maintained properly, but what is properly? Whenever I see someone swinging a mallet on the range to unjam a gun, it is an AR. I will admit that even my Lee-Enfield which is famous for reliability and operating in the mud of the trenches gave me a few rim jams over the weekend. Any mechanism is fallible. But when I keep seeing the mallets paired with the ARs, I have to wonder.

    Matt61


    • Matt61

      Canadian? Nope I’m Illinoisian. Thought you knew that.

      But speaking of selling guns and handing them down. What ever happened with that girl you got started in air guns some time back. Does she still shoot?


      • Gunfun1, sorry, I meant to address that comment to CowBoyStar Dad who is a Canadian. I’m a fellow Illinoisian myself having spent 10 years at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign trying to decide what direction to go in. By the end of that time, whenever I would mention my plans for a next step, a granduncle of mine asked if that was a threat or a promise. However, I was learning all the time and have good memories of the place. Once I was talking to a local girl who was amazed that I grew up in Hawaii and asked how I ended up in Illinois. I told her that, as a matter of fact, since I was a young child, I was always drawn to the state of Illinois because I liked its shape and the way the name sounded. This made her dissolve in laughter.

        My airgun friend has gone onto a new and interesting phase. It was her lifetime’s ambition to enter the Foreign Service. After multiple attempts at their rigorous selection process, she succeeded and she just started her first posting in Bulgaria as a proud representative of the Foreign Service. The local paper even quoted her as a U.S. diplomat. It’s like having my own foreign correspondent on the spot, and she said that Bulgaria is very picturesque in winter. When news of her posting came through, I had to ask about the guns, and as I expected, the airguns and other guns are staying in the United States. There is too much hassle associated with having them overseas. As a matter of fact, embassy regulations are tight enough that they prohibit a lot of self-defense gear that we have discussed over the years. But I did direct her towards a tactical pen which I saw demonstrated in a martial arts video. She can carry that around.

        Matt61


        • Matt61
          I don’t recall you ever mentioned living in Illinois. And I do remember you saying you have took some trips to Hawaii. Bet that was fun getting use to the climate change.

          And ok that’s interesting info about your friend. Hope she likes it. Sounds like it’s what she wanted to do though.


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  11. Hello Mr BB, I am a newbie to your comments section but a long time reader and learner for sure!!!

    Have you tried the JSB Diabolo STRATON 15.5g by any chance? They seemed to do very well in my 10 yard test, seemed like a much tighter group than the rest.

    Thank you for your dedication and your contribution to a lovely sport.


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