Diana Stormrider precharged pneumatic air rifle: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana Stormrider
Diana Stormrider precharged pneumatic air rifle.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

This report covers:

  • Rear sight comes off
  • The test
  • Crosman Premiers
  • Next up — JSB Exact Jumbos!
  • One more pellet
  • Conclusion

Let’s get right to it. Today we learn just how accurate is the .22-caliber Diana Stormrider I’m testing. In Part 3 I probably had difficulty seeing the open sights, but today I have scoped the rifle with a UTG SWAT 3-12X44 sidewheel scope. I have mounted it in BKL 30mm high rings. These are the thin rings with two screws per cap, because the Stormrider receiver doesn’t accept rings with a long base.

Rear sight comes off

The rear sight had to be removed for the bell of the scope to clear. The sight base, which is also the barrel band, remained on the rifle — just the adjustable rear notch had to come off.

The test

I shot from 25 yards with the rifle rested directly on the sandbag. The sight-in took more shots than usual, but after 8 rounds I was close enough to begin.

I have established that this Stormrider I am testing gets 20 good shots on a fill to around 2800 psi. That was where I filled it and I shot just 20 rounds before recharging.

Since it took 8 shots to sight in there was air for just one group. After this next group the rifle was refilled.

Crosman Premiers

The first pellet I tested was the Crosman Premier that tantalized us with five shots under two tenths of an inch last time. You may remember that the other five shots were strung out vertically.

This time 10 Premiers went into 0.818-inches at 25 yards. That’s pretty good, but not as tight as I had hoped. However, the vertical component is gone.

Diana Stormrider Premier group
Ten Crosman Premiers made this 0.819-inch group at 25 yards.

Next up — JSB Exact Jumbos!

The next pellet I tried was the 15.89-grain JSB Exact Jumbo. I was shocked to see it fly all over the target — landing nowhere near the aim point. Two lessons were learned. First, the Stormrider changes POI with each new pellet and second — this is not the pellet for the rifle!

That almost put me off the next pellet — the 18.1-grain JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy. If Tyler Patner hadn’t told me this was a good one, I don’t think I would have tried it. Once more the point of impact shifted, and ten pellets went into 0.804-inches at 25 yards.

Diana Stormrider JSB Heavy group 1
Ten JSB Exact Jumbo Heavys went into 0.804-inches at 25 yards. This group shows promise!

That group was much nicer and rounder than the first, so I shot a second one with the same pellet, but before I did I adjusted the scope to the left a couple clicks. This time 10 JSB Exact Jumbo Heavys went into 0.595-inches at 25 yards. Now, that is a group! A five-shot group with the same pellet would be around 0.35-inches, on average.

Diana Stormrider JSB Heavy group 2
Ten JSB Exact Jumbo Heavys landed in 0.595-inches at 25 yards!

One more pellet

You readers are always after me to try H&N Field Target Trophy pellets. I tried the ones with the 5.53mm heads next, but like the RWS Superdomes I tried in the last test, a couple of them got stuck before they entered the breech. The two that did produced fliers. Ten pellets made a 1.704-inch group, with the 8 that did enter the breech okay landing in 0.742-inches

Diana Stormrider Field Target Trophy group
Ten H&N Field Target Trophy pellets landed in 1.704-inches, with 8 in 0.742-inches.

Conclusion

The Diana Stromrider is an accurate air rifle. It has a nice trigger and comes with open sights. You get 20 shots per fill and the rifle is as loud as other PCPs of similar power.

The rifle comes with both a single shot tray and a magazine. I found the mag very fiddly to load, but the single shot tray worked like a champ.

You get a lot of airgun for your $200. You will have to decide if this is the one for you, but I have tested it very thoroughly, so the decision should be an easy one.

54 thoughts on “Diana Stormrider precharged pneumatic air rifle: Part 4


  1. Nice test. It is a bargain and on par with the Maximus. Being wood and a repeater, this wins. I think I will give the accuracy to the Maximus though. With uber short scope rail in front, it is almost like they never really thought of scoping this,… rather just to use it with open sites.

    Lots of rail and lots of tube fore and aft of the scope turret are something that is (real nice) for getting the eye relief right. Not to mention working around the magazine. It is something that you don’t realize how nice until you try to make a combo work and it won’t.

    All in all,.. well worth every penny in my opinion.

    Good Day to one and all,…. Chris


  2. BB,

    This is certainly a superb contender for the entry level PCP. Yes, you will have to pump a little longer to fill it up, but you have a choice of single shot or magazine.


  3. B.B.,

    This may sound nuts,.. and for sure unconventional, but is there any chance that the rear site mount is also an 11mm and (also) on the same plain with the scope rail? If so, that would at least open up one other position to place the front ring.

    Chris



    • It looks like the actual sight can be removed from the barrel support ring and mounted on another 11mm location (i.e. closer to the eye). I haven’t proven it yet by doing it. But it sure looks possible.

      Note that the barrel support ring is separate from the sight, and the sight appears to be mounted on a short 11mm rail on top of that ring. So you would not have to move the barrel support.


  4. B.B.,

    Well now. This ups the ante for the Beeman QB Chief, doesn’t it? The Beeman is single-shot, but it also claims 50 shots in .177 and takes 2000 psi fills and might have the nice adjustable Crosman 160 2nd variant trigger.

    Good times for the consumer, especially if compressors keep appearing with ever-lower prices.

    Michael


  5. Hello.

    I have been using Artemis/SPA 900w/Stormrider in both .177 and .22 extensively over the last year and a half for both target practice and hunting.

    As suggested the rear site mount is indeed a short 11 mm rail, allowing a scope mount to be placed there.
    I have been using it to support the front mount of my scopes with no problem at all, so it is very easy to mount even larger scopes on the rifle.

    Both .177 and .22 have proven precise and cosistent out to at least 60 meters, if you know your power curve and limit your shots per fill to 25-30 shots (2-3 magazines).
    Filling to 190 bar and running it to 150 bar gets it done.
    Huma air even makes a regulator to fit the rifle to even out the power curve, if you should so desire.
    I have had the best results with 16 grain JSB Beast 16 grains in .177 and with JSB Jumbo Heavy 18.13 grain in the .22.

    The rifle is very easy indeed to service and even to modify.

    Always using the magazine, I have not found them fiddly at all.
    It loads like some FX magazines with the first pellet skirt first from the back and the rest from the front.

    One thing to improve/be aware of, that I have seen…
    The cocking arm has worked loose. Fixed by screwing it back on with blue Loctite.
    Should be done preventively, before the threads are damaged.

    Being so very light and maneuverable, it is for PCP airguns what the rimfire is for powderburners, except it has the power of many of the much larger PCPs, eg. the Hatsan AT44 at almost hafl the size and weight.
    the size of it makes a joy to bring on small game hunts.
    Extreme value for maney.
    Very satisfied and will definitely recomend it.

    Sincerely



    • Krasi,

      Nice thumbnail review ! PA will, hopefully, be shipping me a Stormrider in about a week, so I’m excited to get my hands on it. I,too had posed the question about the rear sight mount in an earlier comment section, so thanks for that. Does that scope position give you good distance to your eye or would you call it an acceptable compromise? What is your impression of the trigger out of the box and now after some wear in? And finally, if you are willing, does the gun carry well with the sling attached as you have it? Thank for your help.


      • Halfstep.

        Glad you could use it…:o)

        1. The scope, mounted on my .22, is a Nikko Sterling Mountmaster 6×40.
        Mounted with the front mount of the scope, attached to the rear sight mount, the scope fits perfectly for my eye with approximately 7cm eye relief and plenty of room to move the scope further foward if needed.

        2. The trigger is very sweet for a one stage trigger.
        Whether the trigger has actually worn in or physically changed/improved during the couple of thousand shots, that I have put through the rifle during the last 18 months or so, is hard to tell, but I have definitely tuned in to the trigger, and find it very predictable and good.

        3. Regarding the sling, it may be a bit unusual, but it is mounted after many tests with the dual purpose of allowing me to carry the rifle over the shoulder and without any changes to also use the sling as support for shooting, inspired by slings like the three point sling or the Ching sling.
        The result is that I can (almost) shoot the rifle one handed, as 95 -or so- percent of the weight is taken by the lower neck through the sling.
        Mounting the sling like this, allows the left hand to basically be there to steady (not hold) the rifle when hunting.
        I could of course have mounted sling studs in the wooden stock the standard way, but that would make it almost impossible to use the sling as support during shooting, as the rifle would be constantly ”wanting” to twist upside down.
        For me this setup works very well for hunting, and several of my rifles are succesfully mounted with the slings in a similar way, sometimes with studs mounted on the side of the stock, sometimes with an arrangement similar to what you can see on the picture.

        I feel certain, that you will enjoy your SPA 900W/Stormrider and hope that you will enjoy it as much as I do…:o)

        Sincerely


        • Krasi,

          I think I’m going to want to try that sling arrangement at some point. You mentioned that you were in Europe. Is the energy level of your guns restricted in any way and were there any issues with barrel droop or such when you mounted and adjusted your two rifles? Thanks again for all the helpful info.

          ,Half


          • Halfstep.

            You’re right. I’m in Europe, living in Denmark and doing most of my hunting in Sweden (neighboring countries).
            In Sweden airguns are restricted to 10J for free purchase and use (above 18 years of age).
            In Denmark airguns are resticted to .177 (and below ??) for free purchase and use.
            As a registered hunter, that has no bearing on me or my airguns, as long as the guns are registered.

            Regarding the SPA 900W/Stormriders in .177 and .22, they are both completely unrestricted.

            Changing from having both scope mounts attached to the block itself to having the front scope mount attached to the rear sight mount required just a little bit of shimming on the aft mount (on the block itself) on both rifles.
            After having done that, there has been no issues.

            Regarding the sling, it constantly amazes me to meet even experienced and seasoned hunters who have never heard of, let alone used the three point/ Ching sling method of attaching the sling, allowing it to be used as an active support whilst shooting.
            It is my experince, that you have to try out this method of steadying your shot whilst hunting to believe and not least understand the huge difference, it can make.

            It would be great to hear of your experiences with this method…:o)

            Sincerely.


  6. Krasi,

    Your message linked to another airgun dealer. That’s a no-no on this blog. That’s why I removed it.

    I understand you are trying to communicate your ideas by showing examples, but we must respect Pyramyd Air who pays for the hosting of this blog.

    B.B.


    • OK. I understand.
      Forgot, that this is a sponsored block. Sorry.

      I just tried to mention a couple of other quality air rifles (bullpups) from the same manufacturer, the P10 and P15.
      They are both…:
      – very lightweight (the P15 being just 2 kg unscoped),
      – repeaters with self-indexing magazines,
      – regulated,
      – having a titanium airtube,
      – having wooden stocks,
      – having adjustable power spring without removing the stock
      – the P10 having a bolt- and the P15 a lever arm cocking system.
      They are selling at very reasonable prices and readily available, at least here in Europe…

      Being small, maneuverable, powerful and not least accurate, they are both great hunting air rifles…
      Been using the P15 quite a lot lately.

      Maybe Diana will be labeling those or at least one of them in the near future…?
      Anyway. It would be great to see your review on ie the P15.


  7. BB
    I think I see something else with the rear sight mount.

    It’s of course a barrel support band. And from what I see in the picture of the gun it looks like that band can be slid forward or backwards.

    And what I’m thinking is about is not only a way to mount the front scope ring. But also a way to slide the barrel band to help tune the barrel like me and others have done on Discovery’s and the Maximus. Just a thought that is if it will truly slide.


    • Gunfun.
      It might be possible to move the rear sight mount and accordingly the band with the 11 mm. scoperail, but it would require modifying the stock accordingly, as it is presently residing in an indent, carved in the stock.

      By the way.
      The P10 and the P15 bullpups from the same manufacturer, that I mentioned earlier, fills to 250 bars, which is great with the regulator, giving more shots (approximately 40-50 good shots (5-6 magazines)) in the .22.


      • Krasi,

        Oh — 250 bar? I see that as a detractor. Yes you get more shots because of a regulator, but regs have reliability problems and filling to 250 bar is much more restrictive than filling to 206 bar. If you have the equipment to handle the fill it’s no problem, but for the person who doesn’t it means buying more support equipment. If the reg is removable without disassembling the reservoir then it might be a selling point. Otherwise, it’s a detractor.

        B.B.


        • BB.

          It is true, that regulators can have reliability issues, but I have had none so far with the P10 and P15.
          Also Huma Air supplies a replacement regulator for the P10 and P15, presumably in a better quality.
          Furhtermore, it can be easily removed from the airtank, if one should wish to.
          The only issue, that I have had with the P10 was, that it slowly started leaking air from the fill valve, but in my experience, that is a common problem with most PCP air rifles in time, and the problem was fixed in just minutes.
          Also, they both come with a generous supply of O-rings.

          Furhermore, the P10 and the P15 does not have to fill to 250 bar.
          250 bar is just an option, possible made possible by the titanium air tank. By no means it is a requirement.
          200 is just fine…:o)

          Sincerely


          • BB,

            I guess I should have waited ’til you finished your review, but I wanted to take advantage of PA’s Friday the 13th Sale, so I ordered 4 tins of the 15.89 grain JSB Jumbos on the strength of Tyler’s results in his video review. I’ve read here that they can be very accurate in many guns, so there’s hope I can use them in something else if they don’t work out in my Stormrider. ( which is now shipping on Oct 27, it seems) As always, another great review, but I was left with a couple of minor questions. Were you using the mag or the tray for this test ( and as an aside, do you think it even matters on a gun in this price range [ maybe a compare at a future date ?] ) and did you ever explore whether the transfer port was shaving pellets? ( maybe get that new microscope involved)




        • GF1,

          The barrel band looks like a no-go on movement. With that much barrel hanging free,… I would for sure come up with a way to do a sliding weight. After some thought, a split collar with an elastic band/O-ring would be ideal. Plenty of tension, but free to slide tool free, to optimize barrel oscillations. A standard collar with a screw on each side would work, but the bottom of the collar would have to milled flat a bit I would think to clear the air tube. With a groove to hold the O-ring, no screws would be needed. However, maybe just O-rings would do something? I don’t know, but what I do know is that I would (for sure) be doing something along those lines.


          • Chris
            That was my response to Krasi about the stock needed opening up to allow for the barrel band to be slid forward or backwards. I didn’t give the details in my reply Krasi. So could of sounded like something else. My reply got bumped to the bottom so didn’t fit in place right.

            But if I owned the gun I would probably mill out the stock so the barrel band could be slid to any place along the barrel.

            And what do you mean by that much barrel hanging free. The barrel will still be held in a natural firm location no matter how much barrel is free floating past the band clamp. That’s what is cool about moving the barrel band. The barrel floats in a natural way to the guns shot cycle.



      • Edw
        To bad they didn’t put a little more thought into the gun design before they built it.

        To me that tells me that the people involved in making the gun just might not be seasoned air gun shooters. I believe it does make a difference in the end.

        Not a bad gun. Just wish they gave it a little more thought when they designed it.


        • I would look at it to other way, at least with this element. It locks the stock to the band. I have the pumper version fwiw. The PCP has plenty of room for an additional band.



            • Edw
              I like accuracy. If I know something works then it makes me wish it could be done to the gun.

              My whole point is that if more thought was initiated by knowledgeable individuals a better more accurate gun could be made.

              But thinking more I guess we wouldn’t have a $200 gun anymore. Guess that’s one of those catch 22 things.


  8. BB,

    I guess I should have waited ’til you finished your review, but I wanted to take advantage of PA’s Friday the 13th Sale, so I ordered 4 tins of the 15.89 grain JSB Jumbos on the strength of Tyler’s results in his video review. I’ve read here that they can be very accurate in many guns, so there’s hope I can use them in something else if they don’t work out in my Stormrider. ( which is now shipping on Oct 27, it seems) As always, another great review, but I was left with a couple of minor questions. Were you using the mag or the tray for this test ( and as an aside, do you think it even matters on a gun in this price range [ maybe a compare at a future date ?] ) and did you ever explore whether the transfer port was shaving pellets? ( maybe get that new microscope involved)



  9. I think the shot count for this gun is pretty low for a 2900 PSI fill. I understand the Maximus in .22 gets about the same shot count with a 2000 PSI fill. I got to shoot a Maximus in .177 last weekend for the first time at about 25 yards. Frankly, it was disappointing. The stock screw behind the air gauge would not hold the action right so I got two groups that weren’t bad but about 4 inches apart. Couldn’t tighten it for nothing. There’s really no excuse for that, even in a budget PCP.. If I do go to the dark side, I’ll probably skip the budget guns and go straight to a Marauder. It’s certainly no in creative to give up my detuned R-1.

    Brent


    • Brent
      I just put the synthetic stock back on my .22 Maximus which is actually stupid accurate. But to the point. Yes the stock does not bed nice to the action back by the trigger assembly.

      A part of the reason is they float the air resivoir tube about from the gauge out to the end of the stock by the fill fitting. That way the air resivoir doesn’t contact the stock and possibly cause hormonic problems and other things like the resivoir and stock changing with hear or cold and also fill pressure.

      But back by the trigger the air tube should contact the stock firmly. So see if that’s what your actually seeing. I would like to know.



      • Sorry, can’t tell you because it’s not my gun, I was just trying it out. You could visibly move the barrel and resevior could be moved back and forth about a half in the stock. You can rout the stock so that the tesivior does not touch the stock without that amount of slop. Just looked like poor qualitycontrol to me. I had it as tight as I could get with a screw driver.


        • Brent
          Definitely sounds like they didn’t get something right on that gun.

          And like you say. It’s hard to say with out having the gun in hand to actually see what’s going on.

          Wish I knew why though. That’s for sure.




  10. For me, it’s still Maximus. Both get around 20 shots. I think the Maximus is a little more accurate, but I’ll call it a draw. I’d say the Maximus has a touch better open sights and it better suited for a scope if one desires. Sure the Stormrider has a magazine, but with BB saying it was fiddly to load, I’ll strike that one off. Now for the trump card for the Max is it only takes 2000 psi to fill. Therefore I could use it with a hand pump (important to me but not for all).

    Doc


    • Doc
      I wasn’t going to say it. But I for sure would pick my Maximus over the gun BB is reviewing.

      First reason is it would blow the review gun away BB is testing in accuracy at 25 yards. And no doubt in my mind at 50 yards too.


      • Gunfun1
        Here’s a better pic of the moose skull that I shared yesterday.
        When I found it 25 years ago it was buried in the duff in the bush on the west end of my property. It was stained dark brown to black in colour and you can see where critters were munching on it. Shortly afterwards it was hung over the gate where 20 years of sun and weather bleached it to the way it looks now!
        It really sets off the old fireplace now.
        Dave



        • Redrafter
          Oh I knew it was big. I could tell by the eye sockets compared to the irregular antler hanging off the right side.

          And your fire place reminds me of the last house I lived in. The wall I’m talking about. They actually used lava rock that was shaped in pieces just like yours. And it had a 6″×6″ oak mantel hanging above it. It was probably about 60 inches long. But no cool moose head hanging above it. 🙂


  11. BB

    I have this gun in .22 from another vendor, and find that the FTT in 5.53 are very accurate. Zero is at 25 yards with a 170 bar fill, and I get three magazines of good shots down to 100 bar. With 1/2 mil holdover, at 50 yards, I’m grouping 1-1/2”. At 25-35 yards, I’m getting 1”groups with my bench rest.

    I’ve tried all that you have tried, and the closest to the FTT pellets are the JSB 15.89, with slightly over 1-1/2” groups at 25 yards.

    I’ve had this gun since early September, and haven’t missed a single squirrel out to 40yards. Since we only have a six squirrel limit, I don’t find the 21 shot count to be an issue, and have yet to go to the second magazine on any of my weekly hunts. For the money, I find this gun difficult to beat.

    Here’s a three magazine pattern in my 12 yard basement range. The next time I get to my friends property, I’ll take some pics at distances of 25-50 yards. Today I was hitting the 2” spinner target at 50 yards with an entire magazine.


  12. Is the brake a noise suppressor? If it is, is it integral or removable? If it is removable, has the suppressor been evaluated by BATF to determine that it doesn’t qualify as a firearm? I’ve been looking at the Stormrider as a first PCP, but the last thing I want to do is enter the grey area of the law or worse. Sorry if this opens a can of beans, but I can’t afford to play it loosey goosey with this issue.



      • Thanks for the reply, BB, and thanks for everything you do. I think the way I phrased my question was not the clearest. Is the thing at the end of the barrel on the Stormrider a noise suppressor, and if so, is it integral or removable? From there my question about legality follows. If it’s just a gas brake, then no concern other than increased noise.

        It would be helpful if some construction standard could be set by BATF for removable airgun noise suppressors, such as all plastic/carbon fiber construction other than mounting hardware, so we could avoid concerns about unintentional violations, and the spirit of the law could be applied for its intended purpose instead of inconveniencing small game hunters.

        Thanks again, good sir.


        • Pete,

          I just looked at the Stormrider I tested. There does seem to be one baffle in the muzzle piece of the rifle, but it is entirely legal. Pyramyd Air would never risk their company on something that was questionable.

          You are wise to be concerned, but in this case the “silencer” is permanently attached and made of synthetic material. While it could be put on a firearm with some effort, it would be easier to use a 2-liter pop bottle that would also work better.

          B.B.


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