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Education / Training Diana model 5V pellet pistol: Part 4

Diana model 5V pellet pistol: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana 5V pistol
Diana model 5V pellet pistol.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Update on the Hakim
  • The Diana 5V air pistol
  • The test
  • Sig Sauer Match Ballistic Alloy pellets
  • JSB Exact RS
  • RWS Hobby
  • A different hold
  • Summary

Update on the Hakim

On Friday I took the Hakim to the range to shoot it again. This time I listened to my own advice about adjusting the gas port and was able to begin with the rifle not ejecting the spent cases. It kicks like a 98 Mauser that way, but the cartridges are reloadable.

Then, with the gas port open as small as it would go, the rifle extracted and ejected factory rounds softly enough to be reloadable. I caught them in a cartridge trap I use for a lot of my semiautomatic arms. The cases were still dented, but not so much that they wouldn’t fit in a resizing die, so this fixes the problem I told you about last Friday.

Accuracy was so-so (two inches at 50 yards) but the recoil was reduced to that of a .250 Savage, which I find very mild. If I wanted to I could reload even softer loads and work up one for accuracy. Okay, let’s look at today’s airgun.

The Diana 5V air pistol

Following the trigger fix I was eager to return to the Diana 5V pellet pistol for this accuracy test. I knew that, as light and crisp as the trigger had become, I could do my best.

A reader asked a question about the proper way to hold a spring-piston air pistol. My answer was — there are several ways to hold one. You have to experiment to find the best hold for each pistol. I won’t do that today, but I will show you the difference a hold can make.

The test

I shot from a rest at 10 meters. I rested my right arm in the long channel of a sandbag and held the pistol firm but not tight with both hands for the first three targets. After that, I took what I thought was the best pellet of the three and shot another group, holding it differently.

Sig Sauer Match Ballistic Alloy pellets

First to be tested were Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellets. The first pellet hit high in the 8 ring, even with the center of the bull, and I thought I was on my way to a remarkable group. Unfortunately, this pellet strung 10 in a vertical group that measures 2.334-inches between centers.

Sig Match target
Ten Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellets landed in a vertical 2.334-inch group at 10 meters.

JSB Exact RS

JSB Exact RS pellets were the next to be tested. Ten of these landed in 1.275-inches at 10 meters and looked a lot better than the last group! It’s still vertical, but not nearly as much.

JSB RS target 1
This is more like it! Ten JSB Exact RS pellets are in 1.275-inches at 10 meters. For an air pistol, this is not too bad.

RWS Hobby

Last to be tested were RWS Hobby pellets. Ten went into 1.267-inches at 10 meters, landing in a group that’s well-centered on the bull, left and right. This group appeared to me to be larger than the RS group because the wadcutter pellets cut larger holes in the target.

RWS Hobby group
Ten RWS Hobbys went into 1.267-inches at 10 meters. This is the best group of the test, though it’s too close to the group made by RS pellets to differentiate between the two.

A different hold

I had been resting my right hand and arm in the long groove of the sandbag for the last three targets. Now it was time to try something different. This might be either better or worse, but it would most likely be different.

This time I rested just my forearm on the bag that was lying crossways. My shooting hand was extended past the bag and I still held the pistol with two hands.

I chose the JSB Exact RS pellet because I hadn’t measured the groups and believed it was the best. This time 10 JSB Exact RS pellets went into a very vertical 2.723-inch group that was the worst of the test. Obviously this is not the way this pistol likes to be held.

JSB RS target 2
Ten JSB Exact RS pellets went into a vertical 2.723-inch group at 10 meters as the result of the changed hold.


This was a pleasant pistol to test in all ways. I was able to fix the trigger with very little effort and it turned out fine in the end.

The Diana 5V air pistol is a lot of fun. It’s exactly what an air pistol should be — easy to cock, good trigger and reasonable accuracy without a lot of raw power to contend with.

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.

22 thoughts on “Diana model 5V pellet pistol: Part 4”

  1. B.B.

    Sorry the accuracy is just not there. How about just holding it free hand, one hand or two? Trigger is light and so is the gun.
    Have more Hakim(the dream?) questions. Guess I will have to wait till the next part…


      • B.B.

        If I have this right, with the gas port all the way open, there is the least amount of gas to eject the cartridge.
        So I assume that you would want the port open just enough to eject whatever cartridge is being shot?
        Does the port effect the amount of recoil?
        How about a report on the weapon that killed JFK?


        • Yogi,

          Just the opposite. Gas port open all the way equals violent bolt movement. Use for the weakest cartridges.

          Yes to your second comment. On the question of recoil, I guess it would have to be measured. I think when the gun just extracts and ejects the recoil is the minimum.

          You want a report on a 6.5 Carcano? It’s not a very exciting rifle. Just a run of the mill bolt action with some weaknesses.


    • Codeuce,

      With 2″ accuracy at 50 yards for the Hakim with current load B.B. is going to searching quite a bit to find a load that can reach 100 yards with accuracy. Will/Could the Hakim trainer reach 25 yards with reasonable accuracy?


      • Siraniko,

        My two Hakim air rifles could/can, I am certain, although I am not enough a marksman to do it personally as I have bad eyes. 50 yards would probably expose its low velocity. (It is pretty low-powered.)


        • B.B.,

          I would wait for an opportune time and reason to test it for that range. But if it is just to see how it would do at that range the only reason I can think of would be to see how accurate the airguns of yesteryear are compared to the current offerings.


    • Michael,

      The dent wouldn’t cause a problem there, though it is a weak point that could separate when the cartridge fires.

      But a deep dent swells the side of the cartridge so great that it won’t enter the resizing die. That is a problem.


      • B.B.,

        i suppose it might be possible for a dent to be partially pushed out by the firing of the reloaded round. “Hey, look! I fixed the dent by shooting it!” ;^)


        • Michael
          Like I commented to you last time, fire-forming is an acceptable way of blowing out the brass to conform to the chamber. The biggest problem is being super critical and examining the brass for any potential weakness. Dents can’t be too extreme and a crease in the dent is a no-no. You are not loading up strong loads so bullets you wouldn’t want for accuracy are OK. In fact, if you find a possible load and it leaves the cartridge pretty empty, you may want to include some filler like cream of wheat. Once you’ve blown the brass out, you can start reloading for accuracy with a neck sizer.
          Larry from Algona now in Lowell, AR

        • Michael
          Please accept my apologies. I’ve given you good scoop but not for your current situation. I’ve never had an auto-loading rifle and everything I told you applies to a bolt action. The ballgame changes for an auto-loader. IIRC, since you are not doing the feeding of the shell, you really need to use full forming sizing dies. Just using a neck sizer MAY give you some feeding jams. Of course, you could single load all of your rounds, defeating the purpose of an auto-loader. My excuse for this mental lapse is that I’ve spent the whole day either getting soaked or cooked in the sun.

          • LarryMo,

            No need to apologize for anything. I took no offense.

            I am not a reloader or even a “powder-burner.” I am an air gun enthusiast who also reads a lot about anything interesting and has a lot of curiosity. I view life as one big, long, fun learning experience.


  2. Hello BB,

    I just read the information on your Diana Model 5 pre WWI pistol. I have one that is a 22 caliber of this model that is missing the rear site elevation screw. Are there replacement screws that are similar to this that I may use? I have a set screw in there now and it is not as easy to use as the original round screw.

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