by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana 50
Diana model 50 underlever.

Part 1
Part 2

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Before we begin…
  • Rear sight conversion
  • Accuracy — the test
  • RWS Superdomes
  • H&N Finale Match Light
  • RWS Superpoint
  • RWS Hobby
  • Things I did wrong
  • Summary

We start looking at the accuracy of the .177-caliber Diana model 50 underlever today. I say start because I want to shoot this rifle a lot more. I will look for interesting ways to do that.

Before we begin…

However, before I jump into the accuracy there are a couple things I need to clear up. Reader Halfstep asked about the loading tap. It was shown in the closed position in Part 2 and he asked if I could show it open. He also wondered how far into the tap the pellet falls, so I’ll show that, too.

Diana 50 tap open
The tap is open.

Diana 50 pellet in tap
An RWS Superpoint has been dropped into the tap. See how deep it is?

Rear sight conversion

Reader Siraniko asked to see how the rear sight converts from a peep to a sporting open sight. Here that is.

Diana 50 rear sight
To remove the peep sight disc, loosen the screw on the left (arrow).

Diana 50 peep off
The peep just lifts off.

Accuracy — the test

Now let’s look at accuracy. I shot at 10 meters for all of today’s test. I forgot that the front sight has 4 different posts, so I suffered through the whole test with a post and bead. That’s the worst front post to use with a peep sight because it has the least precision, when used with the peep. It’s difficult to center that sight (the bead is not centered — the top of the bead is)

RWS Superdomes

I started the test shooting with the rifle rested directly on the sandbag. Since RWS Superdomes were recommended so highly by several readers, I sighted-in with them.

On the first shot my head was so close to the peep that my eyebrow touched the rubber cup. When the rifle fired I got a heavy hit in the eyebrow that stopped that immediately! It was like getting hit in the eye with a scope and was very unexpected.

The first shot landed high, so I adjusted the rear sight 8 clicks down for the first group. Someone asked whether the rear sight has clicks or is indefinite, and this is the answer.

Then 5 more shots went into 0.738-inches at 10 meters. The group is open and horizontal, so I reckoned I would try it with the artillery hold next. I also adjusted the rear sight to the left to move the group over to the bull.

Diana 50 sight in
First shot went high, then after adjustment the first group landed about centered and to the right. Group measures 0.738-inches between centers.

The group of Superdomes shot with the artillery hold was well-centered. It measures 0.575-inches between centers for 10 shots at 10 meters. The artillery hold is definitely the way to go with this rifle!

Diana 50 Superdome group
Ten RWS Superdomes in 0.575-inches at 10 meters. The Superdome seems to be a very good pellet, and now we know that the Diana 50 can shoot!

H&N Finale Match Light

Next to be tested were 10 H&N Finale Match Light pellets. The Diana 50 is a sort of target rifle and a wadcutter pellet like this one is appropriate. Ten Finale Match Lights landed in a 0.626-inch group at 10 meters. This group is also well-centered.

Diana 50 Finale Match group
Ten H&N Finale Match Light pellets made this 0.626-inch group at 10 meters.

The rifle was shooting well at this point. I find the trigger light and relatively crisp, though if I could adjust it to be crisper I would. When the rifle fires it torques sideways a little. The softer I hold it the less I notice this.

RWS Superpoint

Now it was time to shoot the RWS Superpoint pellets that I felt were best for this rifle. They landed lower on the target than all the others. One time the gun fired as I was settling-in for my next shot. I called that shot to the left, but I wasn’t ready for it, so my call could have been wrong.

When I saw the group I thought I had gotten lucky and the called shot had not strayed, but as I was sitting at the computer writing this report and measuring the groups I noticed something on the target that proved to be the stray shot. Nine shots are in 0.549-inches and that wild one opens the group to 1.064-inches. A shame!

Diana 50 Superpoint group
Ten RWS Superpoint pellets made this 1.064-inch group at 10 meters. Nine are in 0.549-inches but the shot that got away from me opened up the group. I didn’t notice the hole when taking the pictures but look where the arrow indicates.

RWS Hobby

The last pellet I tested was the lighweight RWS Hobby. Hobbys are sometimes very accurate — especially in Diana airguns! Ten Hobbys made a 0.556-inch group at 10 meters — the smallest of the test! Truthfully, though, all of these groups are so close that it’s difficult to say which is better — the Superdomes or the Hobbys. Without precision measuring equipment these group sizes are only approximate.

Diana 50 Hobby group
Ten RWS Hobbys made this 0.556-inch group at 10 meters. This is the best group of the test, though it’s arguably the same size as the Superdome group.

Things I did wrong

Next time I will select a fat squared-off post for the front sight. I think my accuracy may have suffered from guessing where the center of the bead actually is.

I will also pay more attention to that trigger. It’s really light!

Where I place my off hand doesn’t seem too critical, but it was about 8-10 inches up from the triggerguard. I say that just to remember for next time.

Summary

From today’s test I think the Diana 50 is an all-around accurate airgun! I think no matter what pellet I choose within reason (weight-to-power ratio), it’s going to work. That isn’t common with air rifles.