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Ammo Daisy Number 12 model 29 single shot BB gun: Part 2

Daisy Number 12 model 29 single shot BB gun: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Daisy model 29
Daisy Number 12 model 29 single shot BB gun.

Part 1

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Today’s test
  • BBs
  • Where to get the right BBs?
  • The test
  • Test 1
  • Air Venturi Steel BBs
  • Daisy Match Grade Precision Ground Shot
  • Failure!
  • 4.4+mm lead balls
  • What is it?
  • End of the report

Boy, am I excited about today’s report! I have owned this Daisy Number 12 Model 29 for many years but have never tested it like I am about to. I oiled the plunger/piston about 3 weeks ago, and it is nice and juicy now. The gun has a leather piston seal, so that’s important.

Today’s test

Today is velocity day, but there is more than just running the gun through the chronograph. I will start with the ammunition.


The first BBs were sized 0.180-inches in diameter, nominally, because they were shotgun birdshot, size BB. That lasted until roughly 1905, when Daisy downsized the lead BB shot to 0.175-inches and started calling it Air Rifle Shot. There is always a transition period as the old goes away and the new takes over. That move saved on lead and the BBs went faster because they were lighter.

Please read the rest of the BB history in the report How BBs are made. Anyway, the Number 12 Model 29 was made to shoot Air Rifle Shot, sized 0.175-inches in diameter. That means today’s steel BBs that run 0.171 to 0.173-inches in diameter are all too small. They will work — especially because this is a single shot gun that is loaded through the muzzle — but the BB will be too small for accuracy. Yes — I will test velocity today and also accuracy with steel BBs when we come to it, because this gun is as new to me as it is to all of you.

Where to get the right BBs?

Well, the right sized BBs (0.175-inches in diameter) are still being made, but not in the United States. Or if they are I couldn’t find them. The good news is today’s round lead balls are much more consistent than Air Rifle Shot was in the early 1900s.

I entered 0.175-inches in my conversion program and came up with 4.445 millimeters. Okay, that’s an order of magnitude too precise. You aren’t going to find lead balls of that size. What about 4.45 mm? Enter that in the conversion software and it comes out 0.1751968504-inches. That’s close enough!

Pyramyd AIR used to stock H&N 4.45mm lead balls, but I guess the demand wasn’t great enough, so they are out of stock. I went on Ebay and found a source for them in Canada. I ordered two tins of 500, because the Benjamin 700 I’m testing also needs them. They arrived in less than 10 days. They were not cheap, but since they are the right thing, I will pay the price.

Daisy model 29 lead balls
I bought these lead balls in Canada, especially for this and the Benjamin 700 test.

The test

I will test these 4.45mm lead balls in the gun, and also some other kinds of ammo — meaning steel BBs. I’m not going to test Dust Devils because they are on the smaller side of steel BBs.

I also found one of my .177 steel airgun darts and am happy to report that they do fit in this gun. So they will get a velocity test today, too. Let’s get started.

Test 1

The first test will be the airgun with the correct sized 4.45mm lead ball. This was the right ammo for it when it was new, so what we see today will be representative of the gun after 80+ years.


I must admit to some surprise at how fast these heavy lead balls shot! I wondered if they would even get into the 200s. They averaged 270 (269.7) f.p.s. That’s faster than some modern BB guns shooting steel BBs that are much lighter. Let’s see what they do with a conventional steel BB.

Air Venturi Steel BBs

Next to tried were Air Venturi Steel BBs. These range from 0.1715 to 0.173-inches in diameter and weigh 5.1 grains, nominally. The first shot was very harsh and only went 160 f.p.s. When shot number two went out at 135 f.p.s. I stopped the string. These BBs are obviously too small for this BB gun.

Daisy Match Grade Precision Ground Shot

Next I tried Daisy Match Grade Precision Ground Shot. These range from 0.173 to 0.1735-inches in diameter, and they are more uniform, BB to BB. Does that make a difference? We will never know because they didn’t come out of the gun! At this point I decided to abandon shooting steel BBs altogether.


What I did not know at this point in the test was the gun’s powerplant had failed. So, the results you just read were not correct; they were the result of a failed BB gun powerplant. But I didn’t know that yet, so I moved on to more lead balls.

4.4+mm lead balls

I have a tin of lead balls whose label says they are 4.4mm. But when I measure them they come out 4.44 to 4.46mm. Let’s see what they do.

Well, they did nothing. They also didn’t come out of the barrel. I removed the shot tube to see what was wrong and discovered a bunch of stuff jammed in the breech of the tube. I removed it with a .177 rod and tried again and again to try to get some velocities. Each shot I fired pushed more of this stuff into the breech. Unfortunately I knew what it was and where it was coming from.

Daisy model 29 leather stuff
Those are bunches of leather fibers from a piston seal that is disintegrating.

What is it?


That dark gunk is the oil-soaked fibers of leather from the plunger seal. The seal has deteriorated and is coming up from the compression chamber to get into the breech of the shot tube. I have only seen this happen to leather a few times in my life. Most of the 80- to 130 year-old leather seals I see can still be revived with an application of oil. Maybe dry rot has taken its toll in this instance and the oil just softened the whole mess up enough to allow this kind of decomposition.

This is the same thing that happens to FWB, Walther and Diana pellet rifles of a certain age, when their original synthetic seals deteriorate and disintegrate. Instead of fibers you find plugs of what looks like brown wax in the barrel

End of the report

Unfortunately this is as far as I can take this report until I get the gun fixed. I want a real repair — not a parts swap from a modern BB gun with synthetic seals. I doubt that would even be possible. I need a specialist who knows how to work on these oldies. I would do the job myself, but I don’t have the tools (a special BB-gun spring compressor) the knowledge or the time to do the work. If you know of anyone who is a real vintage BB gun repairman, please let me know.

Sorry to end it that way but sometimes the bear eats you! Feel free to talk among yourselves.

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.

74 thoughts on “Daisy Number 12 model 29 single shot BB gun: Part 2”

  1. B.B.,

    Certainly is intriguing with the velocities you were getting. Many “I wonder if….?” going through my head right now. Would have been wonderful to see how accurate this would perform with modern consistent ammunition. I sure hope that there is somebody out there who can repair it at reasonable cost.


  2. B.B.,

    Todays report was good timing. I stoped by an old high school friends house today and started talking about pellet guns and he showed me his grandfathers Daisy. I need to go back and check but I think it is a Model H. He cocked it with significant effort and pulled the trigger while I cringed waiting for it to break. It fired but I doubt it has ben oiled for many decades.

    He also has a Crosman model 700 that is in very good shape.

    Just have to love these old airguns.


  3. BB ,

    Too bad that happened. Very rare a leather seal goes that way. I have seen a couple that were so far gone they turned into dust !! , Obviously they never saw a drop of oil in there lifetime. I am glad You show these things , people need to understand the value of preventative maintenance.

  4. BB,

    I was really surprised when you didn’t comment on the sudden falloff at the end of your first string for velocity. I just knew the next segment of the report would be your musings on what may be going on, but it wasn’t. Was the falloff less significant than it seemed to me or did you just not notice? Also did you actually measure the H&N balls to verify their diameter. I have been finding that some of their pellets are not sized as marked.


  5. It’s a moot point now, but I wonder how the Marksman BBs would do in this gun. They seem to be the largest BBs around— they always jam up my CO2 pistols, but this might be a place where they would work well.

  6. B.B.,

    I wonder if anyone here has tried out the Daisy Red Ryder Shooting Gallery pyramydair.com/product/daisy-red-ryder-shooting-gallery?a=8343

    I had no interest in it until I happened to read that it has a foam back inside and is reusable with airguns up to 350 fps. It looks fun and is very inexpensive.


  7. B.B.,

    Sorry to hear the 12/29 is down. I see that you have received many good suggestions on repair sources from the readers. Best wishes on getting it fixed.


  8. .25 Red Wolf update:

    Shot some Thurs.. Testing was for, 1) Off weight pellets, 2) Purposeful canting, 3) 100 yards

    1) Off weight pellets,…. The pellet head was 6.36mm per Pelletgage for both groups at 40 yards. The weight was 25.1 grains. On the 5th shot, I introduced a (known) off weight pellet.

    Group 1,… 3/8″ C to C, off pellet went 3/8″ from the group, low and right. The off pellet weighed 26.0 grain, .9 from the other 4.

    Group 2,… 7/16″ C to C, off pellet went 7/16″ low and left. The off pellet weighed 25.9 grain. .8 from the other 4.

    2) Next up was purposeful canting with known weight and head pellets. Approx. 15 degrees cant. 3 shots at 40 yards. I have never done it on purpose and just wanted to try it. Yes, 15 degrees is extreme and not something that anybody would do.

    – Scope level, on target
    – Scope leaned left,.. 1/2″ left and 1/4″ low from level shot
    – Scoped leaned right,.. 1/2″ right and 1/4″ low from level shot

    3) Last was 100 yards with known weight and head pellets, 10 shots each.

    Group 1,.. 2 7/8″
    Group 2,.. 2 3/8″

    Both groups were pretty well evenly spread and deny me any sub-group “bragging” rights. 🙁 Grrrrrr!!!!

    Also,… after sighting in (dead-on) the other day at 20, 30, 40 and 50 yards,…. my groups were now low and right by about 1/2″ from the bull. Weather difference? It was dead calm wind both days. Oh well. I will have to look at that further and was something that GF1 and I were talking about the other day.

    I wonder if adjusting the scope each day, at say 40 yards, to be dead-on,… would get me dead-on at all other distances for the day? Maybe the pro’s do something similar?

    All in all,… a good outing. Summary?,…. Weight difference of .8-.9 grains does seem to make a difference. I will test further. Canting for sure does. Finally,… I was hoping for better than sub-3″ at 100. 24 scope magnification for all shots, benched and rested fore and aft. Sat. and Sun. looking iffy on weather. 🙁

    That is all for now,… Chris

    • Chris U,

      Sounds like you are doing great with the Red Wolf. That is very good for 100 yards. Have you exhausted all the different .25 pellets?

      From what I remember you also have quite a few knobs on that Wolf to twist and tune for long range. That is the hobby/vice of airguns.

      I am still waiting to make a call on my bench rest airgun. I won’t go over .25 caliber though. Still waiting for B.B. to review the RAW gun.


      • Don,

        Yes, overall, I am very happy. As for “knobs”,… as you say,… ;),… it does have a low, medium and high setting that is electronic. Other than that,.. nothing. The “vice” is the adj. butt, adj. trigger position, adj. cheek riser and power.

        As for pellets, I have tried all I have and the JSB 25.39’s have done the best. I will re-try the others again as the gun may be breaking in and may have changed it’s preference/taste. ?

        The RAW is interesting. Now that Air Force has it, maybe it will really be something? It already is. My choice was dictated by ambi. and left bolt/lever mainly. Riser, butt pad and trigger adj. were a very close second consideration. Really,… all were a must. 😉

        I asked B.B. awhile back on long range and he thought that the .25 was about ideal,… for now. Good fps, good fpe and still a (fairly) good selection of pellets. I do like the .25’s.


      • Don,

        The RAW is nothing but absolute top shelf. I have the HM1000X in .357 with a grey laminate sporter stock. Very shortly after I had gotten it I shot a five shot group at 100 yards that measured a hair over 1 inch.

        If you are thinking of shooting real long ranges you might want to think of a larger caliber.

        • RR
          Does your gun shoot pellets or bullets?

          If I go big bore I still want to shoot a pellet. Not a bullet.

          Even though a air gun can shoot a bullet. I want a pellet shooting air gun. If I go big bore I will shoot pellets.

          Speaking of that. There are some big, big bore pellets available now.


          • GF1,

            It shoots both though mostly I have only shot pellets. It comes from the factory tuned for the JSB pellet. I have been using the 81 grain almost exclusively in it. I see the new ones are labeled as being under 78 grains.


            With the weather starting to cool I have had the urge to do some testing with it, adjusting the striker spring tension and regulator. I have some 105 grain semi-wadcutters and a tin of these I want to play with.


            I have also found a new source for some bullets in the 75 grain range I have been wanting to try out.

            If I can up the power that would be great as long as I can retain this rifle’s accuracy.

            • RR
              I like what I see. Almost.

              Only thing is that with big bore the price of pellets get expensive. That’s the reason I haven’t went there yet. Who knows maybe sooner than later though.

    • Chris
      I thought when you put that bi-pod that swivels on your Mrod you messed with it canting. Remember I mentioned you should check it out. Then you ended up locking it up so it wouldn’t swivel. That way you could repeat the leg placement and hold of the gun. With it swiveling one leg or the other can be placed more forward than the other when you set the gun down. Depending on how that swivel is located it could very easily cause the gun to cant.

      And yep with the poi changing on different days at sight in and other distances. That’s why I use to have targets out at my other house at 10 yards to at least 50 yards at 10 yard increments. I always made sure I shot 3-5 shots at each target distance to verify poi for that shooting session. And yes I’m sure that’s what feild target shooters do before the match. They go to the sight in range.

      And hoping for better than sub 3″ groups at 100 yards? You did do better than 3 inches. Or do you mean sub 2″ or even 1″ groups at 100 yards.

      And yep with weight. And did you try 5 shots with all weighing the same. Then make the 5 shot a different head size than the other 4 shots? Maybe smaller head size on one group with the 5th shot and the other group use a larger head size on the 5th shot. Then you can see what makes more difference. Head size or wright.

      And I had to work tonight. So when I get home got to sleep then get up and cut grass. Then it will be shooting time for me. Going to blow up some more soda bottles this weekend with the big blast caps. And it’s suppose to be hot again. Has been in the upper 70’s to mid 80’s this week. But now we are suppose to get a spell of low 90’s starting Saturday. After all it is still August.

      • GF1,

        Yes, rotating the legs did cant the rifle. They are fixed to not rotate now.

        In the future, I will take a (paper) target and verify my POI each session. I will the adjust the windage and elevation as needed to get POI exact. A can or spinner will (not) tell you if you are 3/8″ low and 3/8″ right. Since the rifle is sighted in at 39 yards, I will just do that. That is another thing that I have not done and look forwards to trying it. With the Sportsmatch rings, the elevation is still factory zero and the windage is only 3 clicks in from factory zero, so plenty of very safe range to play with. I would guess that less than 5 clicks with either should more than address any day to day variances.

        As for the 4+1 (or) 5 and then 5,… my goal is to nail the cause of fliers with regards to weight and head. I reduced my group size to 5 because as we know, 10 will usually produce a larger group the 5 shots. My outing before this last one, I did 10 and the off pellet went (into) the 10 group, or at the very edge of it and the data was not conclusive. The 4 (known) + 1 (known, but off) worked well and I will be sticking to that for now.

        Getting much that is off on head is going to be tough. JSB 25.39’s are falling heavily into 2 groups, 6.36 and 6.37 mm per Pelletgage with near a 50/50 split. Out of approx.100 pellets, I may only get 1 or 2 that are 6.35 or 6.38. So, not much to work with on investigating head difference impact there. 🙁

        The weights seem to be the biggest variable. (Without) counting %, the majority falls into 25.3 and 25.4. The least seems to be 25.1 and the “normal” highest might go to 25.7, with very few ever above. So, it is fairly easy to get at least a few pellets that will be at an extreme in weight.

        Right now, all testing has been done with pellets that all have the same head size,… even the “off” pellet. The weight has been the only variable.

        On 100, yes, I was hoping for sub 2″ or sub 1″. Maybe I should have said that I was hoping for better than the sub 3″,… that I got.

        Weather too iffy today. Will do some cooking. Tomorrow looks better. Hopefully get some more 4+1 head test in and try the 100 again,…. AFTER checking my zero (for the day) sight in. 😉

        • Chris
          Just for the heck of it. Next time you sort use calipers and check the depth of the hole of the skirt. That will tell you if the head weight is the same. In other words the front to back balancing of the pellet. If that varies that will make your pellet not fly right either.

          And right now as usual. It looks like the JSB pellets are consistent in head size. So that’s probably why your not seeing much difference with accuracy on the head sizes. Try some other brand pellets on head size and you’ll see what I mean.

          And just curious are you going to repeat the head sorting and weighing test on your .25 Mrod. Have you done it already. If so how does it compare to your Daystate?

          • GF1,

            Measuring the skirt depth is an interesting take on sorting. I know that in the past you have mentioned going WAY over the usual weigh and head sort. I will give a few a try. What is your opinion from your experience? Is it worth it? Did you find wide variances there too? The whole sorting bit is time consuming enough as it is, let alone adding another step.

            M-rod?,… yes, I did all that too. In the end, I could not get consistent results day in and day out,… for whatever reason. How do they compare? That is tuff to say. Can you compare? Without going back and doing some serious analysis of notes and targets between the two,… what I can tell you is that I have never been able to drop pellet on pellet like I can with the Red Wolf even at 50 yards. The M-rod may have done that on occasion, but not like this. so,.. whatever is better,… something for sure is. The obvious would be a L/W barrel, very light trigger and being regulated. Just those 3 will take you a long ways in a big hurry.

            My main thing at the moment is to get a handle on fliers so that I can put 10/10 into .337″ C to C at 50 yards instead of just 7/10. 😉 I have come close, but have yet to repeat or better that one. The other one that day was .420″ for 7/10 and the other 3 shots blew it up to 1.267″. That is frustrating when you would swear that all 10 shots were primo good shots. It was probably just something that I did and was not aware of doing it.

            • Chris
              Well of course it made a difference sorting skirt depth. Why would I mention it. 😉

              But just like when I talked about sorting multiple brands. JSB pellets seemed to be the most convenient. Check the waist diameter to and see what happens. Oh and overall length of the pellet.

              If your being anal about sorting to get that ultimate group. Why not go all the way. 🙂

              And remember you might not see much variation in those dimensions be with JSB pellets. So try some other brands and measure them and see what you get. You might find out why I use JSB pellets right out of the tins and not other brands. I guess it all boils down to what kind of shooting your doing and what you think that gun should shoot. Sometimes it works out. Sometimes not.

              • GF1,

                And to think that I had the edacity to ask! 😉 Looking forwards to giving it a try. In a way,… I hope it does (not) work as pellet sorting is chore enough! 1) Head 2) Weight 3) Skirt depression depth to ascertain proportional head weight/balance in relationship to skirt weight/balance??? 🙁

                By the way,…. been looking at possible pellet choices and I am not finding much in .25. The only thing that is grabbing my interest is the HN Field Target Trophy. I still need to give the JSB 33.95 reg. and 33.95 MKII (another) go. I am (not) looking to do lead free, pointed, hollow point or steel inserts.

                Thanks,… Chris

                • Chris
                  I hear you on the .25 caliber choice. And feel the same as you on the hollow points and such.

                  But on the other hand the Preditor polymag is kind of interesting. A bit exspensive. Guess it boils down to if they are accurate. Then I guess it’s worth it.

                  I should buy a tin of multiple brand pellets and try them. But what bothers me. On the ones I have tryed. I found from tin to tin some will repeat results. And some won’t repeat from tin to tin. So that kind of gets frustrating.

                  But in reality it’s not as bad as or expensive as changing cams and heads and such when trying to get a race car dailed in.

                  Guess I should really as the saying goes. Bite the bullet. Or in our case the pellet and get a couple tins of several different .25 caliber pellets. Worse case scenario if they don’t work I guess I can use them for plinking.

                  Money, money, money as always. 🙂

                  • GF1,

                    On .22,… I found a steel head of a metal mag. in the hallway that never made it to the target. Remember,… I dissected one? Remember,… I glued in the tips? Regardless, the metal mags did not match the JSB’s. I like gimmick,…. but hey,… gimmick has to work too! 🙂 The steel tip did help the expansion, when it did make it to the target. Electrician putty. Messy stuff, but does work for recovery. I also found some loose tips in the can and pellets missing the tips. Few, but they were there.


                    • Chris
                      Talking gimmick pellets. I do know one that I had good luck with. That’s the Gamo rocket pellets believe it or not. I had only one pellet that I found in the tin that had the ball separated from the pellet.

                      I would get a occasional flyer with them but I made some astounding starling kills with them. That was with my first Discovery out at 70 yards and .177 to boot. Don’t know about .22 caliber. But if I had a .177 Maximus I would like to see what they do.

                      And just another note. I would still like to see a .25 caliber wadcutter also. But here’s the Gamo rocket pellets I’m talking about.

                      And they do make them in .22 caliber.

  9. New Pellet Sorting Method:

    GF1 suggested that I measure the depth of the depression (cavity) at the skirt end of my pellets,… in addition to 1) Head sorting with a Pelletgage 2) Weight sorting with digital grain scale. This is purported to somewhat ascertain the balance of the pellet or,… how much weight is forward and how much is at the rear. While measuring the depth determines neither how much is forward/rearward,.. or assign a weight to each end,.. it does allow a measurement to be taken rather easily.

    The idea is that if the cavity is deeper (but the pellet weighs the same),.. by reason then more of the (known) overall weight is up front. This balance is critical for arrows for stabile flight. GF1 says that it does make a difference and we shall see. For now,.. this is the results of checking cavity depth:

    30 pellets, JSB 25.39’s, all 6.36 mm head, all 25.3 grain weight,..
    .113″ = 1
    .115″ = 3
    .116″ = 3
    .117″ = 1
    .118″ = 7
    .119″ = 8
    .120″ = 3
    .121″ = 3
    .122″ = 1

    As for testing,.. I shall shoot 5 shot groups at 40 yards, 4 of one depth and 1 at another depth that is extreme to the 4. Since the weight and head is known, the (only) thing being tested will be this cavity depth theory.

    I would love to tell ya’ all how it turned out but is still dripping wet from AM rain, high humidity and no wind to dry things. 🙁

    Till the next time,…. Chris

    • Chris
      Well that’s .009″ difference.

      And you say it’s calm out. You should shoot as long as you don’t have trees over you dropping water on you.

      And I’ll wait to say more till after you shoot. But will say that there will probably be two different pellet groups out of them all that will show a difference in where the pellets poi.

      Like say the .113″-.117″ pellets will poi in a different location than the .118″-.122″ pellets.

      And just for the heck of it take your calipers and measure over all legnth of the pellets you just did the skirt depth on and write that measurement next to the skirt measurement for that particular pellet. That should give a idea where the head weight is if I’m thinking right.

      • GF1,

        Not today. Just went out and is still wet. I (do) shoot under trees,.. that is where the bench is. One breeze and I would be drenched with drops.

        For anyone pondering doing this, the tail/stick end of my caliper measures .081″ wide and the flat bottom in the pellet measures .107″ wide. So,… if doing .177 or .22 pellets, some modification (thinning) to the stick end may be in order.

          • GF1,

            Maybe later. Your killing me with this high end, fancy, smanchy, high tech, pellet sort stuff man!!!! 🙂

            It had better be worth it. The test will be only your idea/theory as the other variables of weight and head have been removed. I think that the test instrument will suffice. Me on the other hand,…. 😉

            I am not sure how you would establish a front weight, rear weight, balance center ratio for a pellet. With arrow building all of that can be figured out with some simple math by weighing each component and taking into account the build length and checking the balance point.

              • GF1,

                Yes,… I did ask. 🙂 I do hope to find some correlation to fliers after all this is done. At my rate, it will take a year to determine much. 🙁

                B.B. kicked it around but have not heard any further thoughts on the matter. It is not a light undertaking by any means. Definitive information may be out there on some?, one?, all? of the variables, but I have yet to find it. At least I am aware of most of the variables.

                No doubt that more than a few of the pro’s dabble with sorting from mild to extreme degrees.

  10. B.B.,

    I just tried out a Winchester Model 427 (Yep!), and it is an absolute delight. It is a tack-driver with open sights and big box store pellets at 25 (well, 23 or so) yards, cocks like butter, and is exceptionally smooth-shooting. Not a hint of twang or vibration, just a light “thump.” It has the three ball bearing trigger, but I have not messed with it so far.

    The unusual thing is that the trigger is crisp and light, but it is almost single-stage. There is no long first stage as you described is the norm for these.

    Any thoughts?


  11. B.B.,

    First, a question: if you tighten the locking screw (next to trigger guard) all the way, is it still possible to turn the adjustment screw? After doing all of the below first, I accidentally discovered the adjustment screw can be turned with the locking one in.

    Below is what I did, following your instructions scrupulously.:

    I loosened the locking screw and tightened the adjustment screw (next to trigger) all the way in. Then I backed it out 2 full turns and tightened the locking screw. The trigger had a smooth but short and slightly heavy first stage followed by a crisp but slightly heavy second stage.

    So, I continued the process, loosening the adjustment screw a 1/4 turn at a time, eventually stopping with the adjustment screw out 3 1/2 turns. It became a one-stage trigger again, but heavy.

    It was then that I inadvertently discovered that the adjustment screw can turn with the locking screw tight.

    I started from scratch several times but to no avail. I gave up with the adjustment screw loosened 2 1/2 turns and locking screw tight. Now the trigger is about 5 pounds (but smooth) with a single, long stage.

    So, is my 27 a lemon?


    • Michael,

      It’s not a lemon, but no, I don’t think the adjustment screw is supposed to turn with the locking screw in tight. There may be some wear in your screws that allows it.

      The way I describe to adjustment gives a glass crisp break of the second stage.

      What you are doing is adjusting where the cage that holds the three balls stops. The balls are under tension from the mainspring and want to spring out, releasing the piston. That cage keeps them in place. This report shows it:



      • B.B.,

        I did it again. I’ve been on the internet since long before the WWW, but I still keep responding in the wrong spot. Once again, my response is below.


  12. B.B.,

    Hmmm. So if I take the locking screw out to see if I can find an exact replacement machine screw, might that take care of it? Or, would removing that screw make it all fall apart? I doubt I could find someone who specializes in rebuilding the Diana 3 ball-bearing trigger and sear mechanism as they are rocket surgery.

    Ugh. I’ve been looking for one these air rifles for six or seven years, I finally get one, and it’s damaged goods. This is the biggest letdown I’ve experienced in this hobby, profoundly depressing.

    At the start at least I had a light and crisp single stage trigger, but now I can’t find that again as I try different adjustments and the trigger is very poor, one long, moderately heavy stage with no distinct break. If I can get it back to a decent single stage, then I could unload it to someone else without feeling guilty.

    I will try to put it back as it was when I received it, with the locking screw almost all the way out and adjusting screw about 1/3 out from fully tight. I will try that and report back.


      • B.B.,

        I finally got it! Thank you for your calming advice.

        I started from scratch one last time, but this time I loosened the adjustment screw only one full turn and from there loosened it just 1/8 turn at a time. Gradually a first stage started to come in, followed by a smooth but long 2nd stage. I kept going just 1/8th at a time until the first stage was reasonably long and the 2nd was pretty crisp. I then continued at less than an 1/8 at a time until I went past the best setting. Then of course I backed it up a skosh, tightened the locking screw one last time, and I’m there.

        I believe the trigger is the best (for my taste) that it can be. I did not try it, but I’d bet the adjustment screw would still move if I tried to do so. Every time I shoot it, I will need to take mental note of where it is and periodically check to see it hasn’t shifted.

        Thanks very much, B.B.


          • Siraniko,

            That is probably a good idea, provided I could apply the Loctite without having to back out the screw more than a quarter turn. I have it exactly where I want it at the moment, but it was tedious and frustrating getting it there.

            Also, I do not want any Loctite to come into contact with the ball bearings.

            Is Loctite 243 thin in consistency?


            • Michael,

              If the screw is deep, the application will be tough. If it has to travel a long ways, most of the Loctite will be wiped off. Blue is thin (which is what you want) but shaking and squishing the tube for about 1 minute will usually provide a thicker consistency. On a deep set screw, I have used a tooth pick to apply a spot to the female threads at the correct depth. (Not removing the screw will not provide much.)

              For me,… as long as I count the turns, down to the 1/8 turn,… I have been able to remove screws all the way, apply Loctite to female threads and replace the screw. Why would that not work? Ideally, the male and female threads should be grease free, but that is not always easy to do.

              On non-cleaned threads,… I have still had good luck as witnessed by later moving the screw. It moves with some pretty good resistance, but still very do-able. Hope that helps.


              • Chris,

                I’ve looked at parts diagrams and see that the locking screw is pretty short, but the adjustment screw has some length to it. It might be that only about 1/2 of it (head end) is threaded.

                My concern is the Loctite might gradually migrate into the fine workings of the trigger unit and literally gum up the works.

                I could back out the adjustment screw 1/2 turn, apply a tiny amount of Loctite 243 to the lower-most threads with a toothpick, and tighten it 1/2 turn.


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