Diana Chaser air pistol: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana Chaser air pistol
The Diana Chaser is a new CO2 pistol.

This report covers:

  • Chaser rifle
  • Crosman challenge!
  • The pistol
  • Grip is off
  • The bolt
  • CO2 chamber
  • More CO2
  • HOWEVER
  • Sights
  • Composition
  • Trigger
  • Bag
  • Evaluation
  • Summary

Okay, Bob, this one’s for you! Several readers have asked me to test the new Diana Chaser air pistol, but my brother-in-law, Bob, has been the most vocal. Not that he wants to buy a pistol — he is interested in the Diana Chaser air rifle that is built on the same frame. Today I’m starting the test of a .177-caliber Diana Chaser air pistol. Both the rifle and pistol come in .177 or .22 caliber.

Chaser rifle

The Chaser rifle comes with everything you need to convert it into a Chaser pistol. The owner’s manual describes how that is done. At this time I think that is the only way you can go. I don’t see the parts needed to convert the pistol into the rifle. So, the rifle and pistol combination together seems like the better deal than just the pistol by itself. Unless price is an issue. Give that some thought before you buy either gun.

Crosman challenge!

I normally don’t make comparisons between different brands of airguns, but the Chaser is so blatant that I’m going to make an exception. It’s obviously going after the same market that is now served by the Crosman 2240 and all the airguns that are associated with that platform. Umarex uses names, like the Gauntlet and the Hammer, to let the world know they are challenging other manufacturers, but Diana has copied the look and feel of their competitor. And they have copied an icon, so I cannot look away.

The pistol

The Chaser (as in chasing Crosman?) is a CO2 pistol that comes from the box as a single shot. But the action is cut to accept a 9-shot circular pellet magazine (7 in .22) like the one that’s used in the Stormrider and the Seneca Dragonfly. So, quick — where is the Chaser made? That’s right — China. See how this works?

Grip is off

The first thing I did was hold the pistol in my hand as if shooting. Right away I could tell that they missed on the ergonomics. The bottom rear of the grip has a plastic flange that sticks back and gets in the way of the heel of your hand when you hold the pistol. The pistol is mostly ambidextrous, so all shooters are equally inconvenienced. I’m right-handed and this flange pushes the barrel way to the right. Left-handers will find that it pushes their barrel to the left. I normally would not dwell on this, but Diana has copied the Crosman 2240 that fits most hands very well, so this fault is noticeable.

One saving grace for shooters with small hands is the fact that you can get the heel of your hand up on top of the flange and enjoy a neutral hold. But it only works for very small hands.

Diana Chaser grip
The flange at the bottom rear of the grip pushes against the heel of the hand, pushing the barrel away from the target.

The bolt

On the other hand, the Diana gun does something shooters have asked Crosman to do for years. The bolt is on the left side of the action, which makes it easier for right-handed shooters to cock and load the gun. Shooters have historically spent more than the cost of their pistol to correct this one design element and Diana is giving it to them up front. Unfortunately, the bolt cannot be changed to the opposite side, so southpaws have to use it as it comes. But that is also true of the 2240.

The bolt handle is made of metal (probably aluminum) and is longer and easier to grip than the brass 2240 bolt handle. And the receiver is aluminum, not plastic! That is a huge step in the right direction.

CO2 chamber

Okay — here is where the story gets strange. The Chaser uses a single 12-gram CO2 cartridge that’s housed in the tube under the barrel. Nothing strange there, other than there is a hole in the tube! It allows you to see that the CO2 cartridge is installed, which is a handy thing. Many times I’ve looked at a CO2 pistol and wondered whether there was a CO2 cartridge inside.

Diana Chaser hole
The hole in the CO2 tube under the barrel (arrow) lets you see if there is a cartridge in the gun.

The CO2 tube cap has a hole straight through its side. If you try to remove the cap and find it difficult, unscrew the “strengthening rod” in the end of the cap and push it through the hole for added turning leverage. It’s a wonderful solution to a nonexistent problem. If there is no gas inside the tube — and there can’t be because of the other hole I just mentioned — then there is no need for an o-ring in the end cap. And, indeed, there is no o-ring in the Chaser end cap. It was that o-ring, under residual gas pressure at the end of the CO2 cartridge’s life, that made the end cap hard to unscrew. This rod would be a blessing on a vintage Crosman 150 that has a pressurized CO2 tube. On the Chaser that seals at the tip of the cartridge, it is superfluous. The cap will never bind up that way.

Diana Chaser cap
The CO2 tube end cap has a hole straight through the side.

Diana Chaser rod out
Stick the rod through the hole in the end cap for extra leverage turning the cap.

More CO2

But that’s not all. You can also insert a 12-gram CO2 cartridge in the base of the grip! Or at least that is what the manual says to do every 500 shots, then hold the gun with the grip up and shoot it until the gas is exhausted. It’s a maintenance procedure! In all my time with airguns this is the first time I have seen something like this.

HOWEVER

And this is a big however. The designers might have thought about doing that and they might have put the instructions of how to do it in their manual, but the test pistol has no way of piercing the CO2 cartridge that’s put into the grip. There is nothing there — as in zero, zip, nada! Just an empty hole. It’s a good place to store an extra cartridge and that’s it. I wish I could claim to be the smarty who figured this out, but the truth is, I got it from Stacey Hrabak in the Pyramyd Air tech department!

Diana Chaser grip
What is under that thumbscrew? Nothing but an empty hole! This is where the rifle stock attaches.

Sights

On with the description. The front sight is a tall shark-fin that’s square at the top and perfect for fine shooting. The rear sight is a square notch that adjusts in both directions without detents via a screw. And, if the rear sight is removed there is a short 2-piece 11mm dovetail on which an optical sight can be mounted.

Composition

The pistol is comprised of metal parts sitting in a synthetic grip. The sights are mostly synthetic, as well. The triggerguard is part of the grip/forearm, but the trigger blade is metal.

Trigger

Now, here is something very strange. The Diana manual goes into detail describing a procedure that cannot be done (the maintenance CO2 cartridge in the grip) and then they leave out any mention of an adjustable trigger! Pyramyd Air does mention it in their description and I had to try it to see if the one screw does anything. Indeed it does! I took the pistol from a light single-stage trigger all the way to a long first stage pull followed by a heavy second stage. I just twisted the screw both ways and watched what happened. I now have the trigger breaking crisply on a light second stage that follows a definite first stage. I’ll measure it for you in Part 2.

Diana Chaser trigger
Yes, there is an adjustable trigger. Despite the manual saying nothing, I adjusted the trigger to a short first stage and a light, crisp second stage.

Bag

The Chaser comes with a canvas gun bag packed in the box. It has handles and the Diana logo and is a nice addition to the pistol. You might have to buy a magazine, but the gun bag is free.

Evaluation

After examination I must observe that the Diana Chaser is quite a bit different than the Crosman 2240. The 2240 may have provided the inspiration, but this pistol was designed from a clean sheet of paper.

Summary

Now there is a choice for air pistol buyers. Yes, the prices are a little different, but the guns themselves are more different. It will be interesting to see how this test turns out!

92 thoughts on “Diana Chaser air pistol: Part 1


  1. BB
    Not that it matters because you would never know until you took the stock off. But the 1077 has a hole in the tube down by where the head of the Co2 cartridge is loaded. It would of been nice if they had a hole in the stock just because if you know what I mean.


  2. B.B.
    Its so sad to see another great name also going the Wang po way big time. The new products have absurd names & gimmicks. And now its copycat!! Quality also seems to be not doing justice to a great name. I knew this was happening after the change of ownership. Are ANY of their products made in Germany anymore? Why compromise legendary and trusted quality for generations? Is it to stay in business? Then how come great names like Air Arms, FX & Air Force DO NOT, & are doing fine? I don’t get it. Maybe some clarification on this Sir?

    Errol


    • Errol,

      Fortunately, most of the Diana line is still made in Germany. I cannot remember the product line names, but you can use those to distinguish between the German and Wang Po Industries models.

      These named here and the new Skyhawk are made by Wang Po Industries (Snowpeak actually).

      The new owners are looking for a larger market share and hoping the Diana name will sell the product. As most of those making these decisions will not be there more than a few short years, once they pull the cord on their golden parachutes they could care less.

      Another thing to consider. In the past Diana was not considered that great. Over the years the name has become one of quality, though it is still considered an entry level German air rifle. This product line can be easily dropped if things do not work well, though it will still cause product name problems.


    • Errol,

      Diana still makes their spring-piston airguns in Germany.

      Their view is by going to the Chinese they are able to offer more features at a better price. Because price is still the leading factor when it comes to airgun sales.

      B.B.


      • BB & RR

        Thanks for the enlightenment. Much appreciated. I went with Hatsan a while back & so did my friend. He has a BT 65 & I have a Striker and 125. We had a caliber restriction here then, so they are all 177. But they are solidly built guns & original designs produced in house. All of they are very powerful & very accurate. The only problem I had was the trigger on the 125 which broke. I managed to get a complete Quattro unit & also an extra trigger blade from Bulgaria & eBay respectively. So no issues up to now. The only problem is the rarity of Hatsan spares. Absolutely no problems with the bt65. I plan to convert my 125 to .22 & install gas springs in both.

        Errol


  3. B.B.

    The pistol grip probably was designed by looks alone and not from actual use. It might feel better with a stick attached. I think something was lost in translation with the CO2 bulb in the grip. I think it is just storage to allow you to make the equivalent of 500 shots.

    Siraniko


  4. BB
    I would imagine the pistol grip was designed to accept and securely stabilize the rife stock first because it has a section that is inserted into the back of the pistol grip. In the pistol mode the cap probably just followed the existing contour more for esthetics than practicality. An awkward design in any event. How does your middle finger feel resting between the trigger guard and grip? Not pinching, is it?
    Is the spare CO2 cartridge snug in there or loose. In other words does the screw secure it as well as the end cap with a spring or something when tightened up?


    • One more thing …
      What is the diameter of the barrel? I am going to assume the rifle kit package barrel would be the same diameter and if it’s about 5/16″ It might work in the HellBoy and improve its performance, even if it is rifled.



  5. B.B.,

    I like it. I just plain like it. I would for sure go the rifle route with several magazines. I think that I would have to go a peep in the rear and live with the post upfront. (That would work,… yes?)

    This looks to be a strong competitor to the Crosman Custom Shop option. Plus, it is magazine ready. The left bolt would work well for a lefty shooter in rifle configuration.

    Looking forwards to the review. I could see me getting one of these in rifle for indoor Winter plinking. In fact, maybe with the next pellet order. I like.

    Chris


  6. BB,

    Identical parts for multiple models does make for more efficient manufacturing and cost savings. That also is likely how they have been able to keep the price ranges low. Very likely because of the common parts it would not take much effort to convert this to HPA, although the shot count would drop off drastically. I would not be surprised to see a multi-pump pistol in the future.

    Although this is not my cup of tea, I am quite interested in this review as it helps to provide an insight into how far Chinese airgun manufacturing has come. Also, who knows. Quite a few orphans have passed through RidgeRunner’s Home For Wayward Airguns. Some have even taken up permanent residence.




      • B.B.,

        🙂 Well,. with my interest/pursuit of the 2240/Custom Shop/Hiveseeker blog series/common mods.,… has me now familiar with some aspects of the overall platform/concept. I do like this one. Hopefully it is accurate.

        So,… a rear peep with that front post would work?

        Chris


        • Chris,

          First, are you talking about the rifle? Because peeps don’t work on pistols.

          Next — who makes a peep for this gun? Are you hoping to find a generic one you can install? I would wait and see if there are problems before spending any money. At least ask the PA tech team if a peep will work and which one to get.

          B.B.


          • BB

            Not to be contrary but peeps do work on pistols, but only for some people’s eyes. The front post gets in focus for me only if I look through the peep. If anyone reading this is wondering if it might work for them try this; take a one handed pistol stance and hold a small washer to the rear sight of any pistol and look through it. You will know in an instant if the front sight is in sharper focus.

            I too look forward to the rest of this report and happy birthday!

            Decksniper


            • Decksniper
              Very good way for a person to test.

              I still got the Williams peep on my HW30s with the Gahmenn adjustable aperture. It’s the stuff. Way good set up for that gun for how I’m using that gun.

              And I really should try it out on a 1377 or such. I do know I have tryed the peep rear sight that comes with the factory 1377 and 2240 by flipping the rear notch sight around. From what I see the pistol and the rifle version BB is testing don’t have that option from the factory.

              It would not of took much for them to chase that feature either. But guess they didn’t look close enough to copy that. But at least they tryed.


          • Chris,
            I have seen offered an aftermarket peep site for a 1911 pistol, the powder burner type of course. I have no clue how well they would work but if a person wanted to try a pistol peep it is available.
            Gerald


            • Participant,

              I would only get the rifle. I have a new 2240 that I was going to convert to a rifle, but decided not to. The Custom Shop would be cheaper. This gun (rifle) may even beat the Custom Shop and I do like repeaters. P.A. has several 11mm mount peeps that should work for the rifle. I open sight a pistol pretty poorly.

              Thanks,…. Chris


              • Chris,
                We are on the same page as far as this platform. I would have the rifle version and the extra parts would go in the drawer with other extra parts. I had started modding a 2240 before I read the custom shop reports.
                Gerald



  7. BB
    I see your point about storing a CO2 cartridge in the pistol grip. Odd they singled it out for that purpose. Other stuff, like a conversion tool, single shot tray? pellets or even an extra mag may fit the storage space. Things you would want to keep with the pistol / rifle kit.


  8. What I was saying to Errol and BB also pointed out is the price factor. With lower priced products they can increase their market share.

    The companies that Errol mentioned have been doing much the same. FX brought out the Streamline and soon will have the Dreamline. Daystate brought out the Regal and also bought Compatto. Weihrauch came out with the HW95. Air Arms has been selling Czech air rifles for some time now. Webley quit manufacturing and has Hatsan building their line. Gamo actually took a step up and bought BSA.

    Like it or not, it is all about the money. The company has to make a profit. If you do not like Wang Po Industries airguns, do not buy them. I likely will not. The option for some though is either buy from Wang Po Industries or do not own an airgun.


  9. B.B.,

    I think that with the shoulder stock installed one’s palm could sit more or less flat against the grip and the non-trigger fingers could pull the butt tight against one’s shoulder for stability. And as a rifle, the Chaser’s extra CO2 compartment would probably go unused regardless.

    I agree with Chris USA that while the bolt isn’t ideal for lefties when the Chaser is configured as a pistol, with it set up as a rifle it would be excellent for lefties.

    Regarding the bolt, it is nice and long and has a good-looking gripping surface, but the stem looks awfully thin. Unless it is steel, I could see it bending over time and use.

    Finally, a peep would be nice on the rifle version, but remove the barrel band and its top-mounted open sight, and you will lose the accessory groove!

    Michael


  10. B.B.,

    Any idea if the 17.5 inch barrel for the rifle version of the Chaser will fit the Diana Bandit?

    Also, if the beech grip on the Bandit and shoulder-stocked Chaser grip are interchangeable, one could buy a Chaser rifle and a Bandit pistol, and end up with a Chaser pistol with a beech grip and a Bandit rifle both. :8^D

    Michael


  11. B.B.,

    Sorry about three posts in a row, but will that rear sight be usable with a magazine installed? The Bandit photos suggest that would be a problem. All of these might really require a red dot.

    Michael



  12. B.B.

    Could the pistol grip be modified with sand paper or a file to fit average and above hands better? Assuming you had no interest in attaching the butt stock…
    Thanks,
    -Yogi



      • B.B.,

        Have hacksaw, will travel. ;^)

        I wonder if any of the young-uns will get that reference. That Palladin was a class act. I remember watching it with my grandpa and my dad.

        Michael


        • Michael,

          Not a young-un,… but had to look that one up. Apparently,… the definition of what qualifies as “young-in” must be a variable with one’s own current age? If correct, I was 2 at the time that the show ended. I am not sure,… but did TV even exist back then? 😉

          Chris


          • Chris,

            Hey, hey, hey. I am the opposite of a young-un, an old fogey. Whatever I might lack in years, I more than make up in (lovable) curmudgeonliness.

            Pallidin was great. Style-wise, he was like James Bond in the Old West. In his character, he was like Peter Gunn in the Old West.

            Michael


            • Michael,

              The best thing about Pallidin was the stories, there was always right and wrong and a moral to be found at the end of the story. Something sadly missing from modern TV.

              Mike


            • Michael,

              Caught a few repeat showings of Grumpy Old Men and Grumpier Old Men recently,…. so I am pretty well polished up on my “grump game”. 😉 2 fine and funny movies, not to mention Sophia and Ann looking fine as ever. A fine match up of four fine classic actor’s/actress’.

              Fishing pole “sword” fight/dual anyone? 🙂

              Chris


        • I remember the TV series well. It was one of my favorite shows back then. My wife never liked him, she thought he was too arrogant. He passed at the early age of 63 in 1981.

          Paladin, Paladin
          Where do you roam?
          Paladin, Paladin,
          Far, far from home.


  13. BB

    For what it’s worth, I read the manual with much confusion regarding the extra CO2 slot in the grip. Then I decided it was there simply to hold a spare CO2 cartridge to have on hand, so that is how I used it. It’s just storage space, nothing more. Which is actually a pretty handy thing, because normally when I go out to shoot, my pockets are full of other stuff and CO2 would add to that clutter.

    Looking forward to seeing how yours shoots and what you think.

    Tyler


  14. Just wanted to make sure people are aware of this.

    Since this gun and it’s sibling has the hole in the tube where the Co2 cartridge goes will make it not work with something like a hi-pac conversion.

    You would need one of the aftermarket type like this and tether from another bottle to go HPA.
    https://goo.gl/images/EBw7ZF


  15. BB,
    Glad to see you finally got to the CO2 airgun that I would like to purchase for plinking or “ratting” but I wanted your review first. I’m not getting a warm, fuzzy feeling at this time but the reason I looked at this particular item is that it mostly came as a total package in one “box”. Airgun. Rifle stock. Rifle barrel complete with moderator/silencer. All I need to purchase separately is a scope (Bugbuster?) and several magazines. While the Crossman may be a superior airgun, it appears that I would need to purchase and install a lot of components separately. Does the Crossman 2240 have a magazine adapter or is it strictly single shot?

    Thanks for the nice test.

    Bob in Texas


    • Bob,

      The 2240 is strictly single shot. You can buy an aftermarket receiver and probably convert it to be a repeater, I don’t honestly know. But then you are into a lot more money. This is what you need in one package.

      Yes on the Bug Buster, or possible a quality dot sight.

      B.B.


    • Bill
      That’s going to be the question. Can it shoot. In other words will it be accurate. And some guns don’t do well with magazines verses the single shot tray.

      And how well will it stay together. And if it don’t can repair parts be ordered. And I’m talking after the warrenty is up. And how long will they keep producing those parts.

      Alot of things involved with this pistol and rifle. To early to tell right now. It sounds good. But as it goes. Time will tell.




    • Yup, just read through the info on it. The testing is yet to come though. The tested muzzle velocity of 735 to 744 fps seems a bit slow. It would appear they have sacrificed some power for more shot count. Guess we’ll know more with it is tested fully.


  16. BB,
    Add my name to the list of birthday wellwishers. I see you also got a big shoutout from the GTA forum folks. Well deserved and another indication of how much you are valued in the community. Best regards.
    Jim.


  17. I pre-ordered myself the diana rifle kit as soon as pyramydair was taking orders and since I am in Canada, the .22 caliber model was only able to be imported.
    I have been impressed with nearly everything about this elegant little Co2 pellet rifle, especially the suppressed barrel, the magazine and the power!
    I’ve shot countless rounds across my chronograph and this 500 fps AirGun shoots considerably higher than the manufacturers claims.
    Crosman destroyer 14.3 grain lead pellets gave me a 15 shot average of 541 fps just yesterday!
    I still love my pair of Crosman 2240 pistols, and my Hawethorne Montgomery ward M150 Co2 pistol, and will
    not stop shooting them because of this Diana Chaser, because for me, the Chaser will be an air rifle.
    I think it is the most exciting sub 600 fps AirGun of 2018!


  18. BB
    Will say this now. The pistol your testing is a cool gun. Likewise with the rifle version.

    And you bring up the point it’s the chaser.

    How do I say this. Maybe you shouldn’t of compared this to the 2240 and such.

    How about just letting it be it’s own. Heck I amost bought the rifle version. But just couldn’t pull the trigger on it. It just don’t have what I’m looking for compared to other guns in it’s class. They for sure tryed. But nope. Comparing and all.



  19. Did somebody say “takedown rifle”? I’m trying to calm down, especially after the Hellboy deception of yesterday.
    But a rifle/pistol repeater combo that can easily be taken down. What’s not to love? If it has plinking accuracy at 119$ I think I’ll have to find a place for it in the safe!


    • J-F
      It’s kind of a take down rifle. The stock comes off is about it. Barrels can be interchanged from the short pistol barrel to the long rifle barrel. But I thought a take down rifle is where the barrel unscrews from the receiver. Maybe I’m partially wrong. I guess if the stock comes off easy it could be called a take down.


  20. My only issue with the chaser is the bolt is correctly placed for right handed shooter configured as a single shot pistol. If you use a magazine the bolt is too close. The bolt should be on the other side for use as a rifle or use with a magazine. At the very least it needs a longer bolt handle. Since the first i heard about it and the ability to use the magazine, but i never intended to use it as a pistol or without the magazine. So scratch one customer.


  21. I now have both the 22 and 177 pistols. They are quite simply the most accurate, powerful and accurate co2 Pistol value. Here is a photo of my 177 shot at 25 feet, Weaver, 7 gr Meisterkugeln. Two shots through the same hole



    • Michaelr,

      Very nice! I do suppose that you are holding back on posting C to C group size so as not to step on any ones toes? 😉

      Looking forwards to future reports on this one. The rifle version looks like just too much fun,… with the magazine,… of course! 🙂

      Chris



  22. While I do like competition between manufactures, with the Diana name I expected more than a “Chaser”
    Diana “Chaser” just makes me lol

    I just don’t get it, which suprises me, I normally do
    Look forward to your further review Sir BB.


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