Diana model 30 gallery gun: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana model 30 gallery gun
Diana model 30 gallery gun.

Part 1

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Cocks hard!
  • Description
  • Trigger
  • Safety
  • Sights
  • Potential accuracy
  • Why was this airgun so hard to get in the U.S.?
  • The end — or maybe not!

You’ve had a weekend to contemplate this gallery gun and today I will finish describing it and talking about its basics.

Cocks hard!

All of these bolt-action repeaters cock really hard, and the Diana model 30 is no exception. The piston can only move a short distance, so the mainspring has to be stiff enough to give the ball a good push. Even so I wouldn’t look for much velocity. My experience with a Haenel 310 tells me this one will shoot 350 f.p.s. or less. We will see in the next report and I will also measure the cocking effort.

Description

The rifle is 42-3/4-inches long, overall. The barrel is 16.9-inches of that. The pull measures 13-1/2 inches. The rifle weighs 7 lbs. 6 oz.

The stock is beech, finished matte. The forearm is thin and the rifle holds well. The stock tapers both up and also narrower as it approaches the tip. The pistol grip is plain and there is no checkering anywhere on the stock. Except for the bolt action the rifle would be ambidextrous.

Trigger

The two-stage trigger has two adjustment screws that control the length of the first stage and the pull weight. That would be the way Diana would do it. The trigger blade is plastic and is on the straight side.

 Diana model 30 trigger
The trigger has two adjustment screws. The front one adjusts the pull weight and the rear the length of first stage travel.

Safety

The safety is automatic and sets each time the rifle is cocked. A large black plastic knob in the rear of the receiver slides back about a half inch and the safety is set. To fire the gun the knob is pushed straight back into the receiver. The safety cannot be set when the rifle is not cocked.

 Diana model 30 safety
When the rifle is cocked the safety knob moves back automatically, setting the safety.

Sights

The front sight is a tapered post, or what the Germans call a Perlkorn. The rear sight adjusts for both windage and elevation and the adjustment is somewhat odd. The sight slides left and right in a dovetailed notch. It’s something you set and them leave it. The elevation adjustment is via a wheel and there are detent stops in the adjustment. But the elevation is held by a single locking screw that must be loosened to adjust. It’s obvious this sight is meant to be zeroed and then left alone. For a gallery gun that shoots just one kind of ammunition, this works.

Diana model 30 rear sight
The rear sight adjusts for elevation via a wheel, but that locking screw must first be loosened. For windage the entire assembly is drifted sideways in the dovetail.

Potential accuracy

Y’all (that’s a Texas contraction of you all, written in dialect) think that a gallery gun must be accurate. Well, they are — to a point. Gallery guns are not target guns, so don’t expect that level of accuracy from them. I did a test of the Haenel 310 bolt-action trainer a few years ago and I pitted it against the Daisy 499. The 499 beat the 310 handily at 5 meters, despite the 310 being rifled and the 499 being smoothbore. Now if the distance was increased to 10 meters I suspect the 310 might pass the 499. Might have to test that someday.

So, a gallery gun is accurate to the level of hitting a close target of some size, but not to the level of putting shot after shot through the same hole.

Those Winchester pump (slide action) .22s you encountered in shooting galleries are accurate, too. Just don’t pit one against a Winchester model 52 target rifle and expect to win.

Why was this airgun so hard to get in the U.S.?

I mentioned in Part 1 that the Diana model 30 was fairly common in Europe and the UK but quite rare here in the U.S. Why? I think those running RWS USA, who imported Diana during the time the model 30 was being made, didn’t want to bother with it. Not only was it an odd airgun, it also required odd ammunition, and despite the fact that RWS made those lead balls, it was too much to fool with. They probably felt there would be some people shooting steel BBs in their guns and others jamming 4.5MM lead balls in their guns, since some shooters don’t pay attention to the details.

So, they put it in their catalog at $1,000. That may have satisfied Diana (at least they could say they tried) and also kept sales to a bare minimum. It should have sold for $250-350, depending on the year, for it wasn’t an exclusive item with Diana. I wanted to review one for The Airgun Letter but I usually bought the guns I reviewed and there was no way I was going to spend that kind of money. At the end of production RWS USA lowered the price to around $300 to blow the few they had out the door, and that’s how the one I am reviewing was purchased.

The end — or maybe not!

Sadly the rifle stopped shooting all of a sudden. Apparently a ball jammed in the breech. I took it back to the owner who managed to get the ball out, but now there are complications with the mechanism. Something simple went wrong but it will take some complex work to repair it. So this report is either suspended or over.

However, new reader Jurgen told us of the model 30 returning to the Diana lineup. This time it will be called the Oktoberfestgewehr. I plan to do everything in my power to get one. And, by the way, the new rifle is 4.4mm and shoots 360 f.p.s. How’s that for a calculated guess?

49 thoughts on “Diana model 30 gallery gun: Part 2

  1. B.B.,

    Pity that there was a jam in the feed causing a sudden halt in the testing of this airgun. Hopefully the repair will not take too long for you to put Part 3 up. Well you did say there was still the revisiting of the Haenel 310 vs the Daisy 499 at 10 meters at some future date.

    Siraniko

    PS: Section Description Second paragraph last sentence: Except for the blot (bolt) action the rifle would be ambidextrous.

    Section Sights fifth sentence: The elevation adjustment is via a wheel and there are detent stoips (stops) in the adjustment.


    • Siraniko,

      The rifle has been cleared of the jam. But the piston seal seems to be non-functional. It may be a long time before we see a part three on this rifle — if we ever do. We are starting our search for parts now.

      B.B.



        • B.B.,

          It’s a shame this malfunctioned. It would be great to hear about the successful repair fo this gun, but if not, you can always pick up on this thread with a review of the new Oktoberfestgewehr once it is available. I think many of us here would enjoy that.

          On another note, related to your proposed 10M test of the 499 and the Haenel 310, if you wanted to consider modifying a 499, as Chris USA has done, with a Red Ryder spring, to add a “higher powered” 499 to the mix, I would be willing to send you the 499 and Red Ryder to let you modify and test. ( See what I did there? I really do avoid tearing into things when possible. )

          Jim M.



            • B.B.,

              I meant that I would send you my 499 and a Red Ryder, so you could modify them for the test, and then return them to me afterward. I don’t even have a 499 yet, but was joking around that this would be a way to get someone else to do that modification for me — thus me avoiding “tinkering” again. It’s a serious offer, if you wanted to write about modifying one of those. I would not expect you to do that to your own.

              Jim M.


  2. B.B.,
    That’s sad about the mechanical issues; I really hope the owner gets it running again.
    I was looking forward to the accuracy report; but, if that doesn’t happen,
    I guess we’ll just look forward to the testing of the Oktoberfestgewher. =>
    take care & God bless,
    dave


  3. B.B.,

    I forgot who posted it, but I think someone posted a You-Tube video link this weekend of tearing one down. It was an hour plus long as I did look at it real quick. No time to look now.

    Good day to you and to all,… Chris




      • Jim,

        Thank you for your vote of confidence. I can not post pictures. Any that I have done are done through GF1 and those were attached to a text on my cheap phone and were pretty poor quality. Sent to him,… he posted.

        Chris


        • Chris,

          As. B.B. posted above, he and I would collaborate on the testing and write the blog — you would do the re-fit of the RR spring on the 499. If you can take pictures at all, and get them in an email, or text them to me, I could post them or get them to B.B.

          Are you “in”? 🙂

          Jim


          • Jim,

            I will pass for now. I do not have enough time to do what I want now.

            But, thank you. I will see what I can dig up for you this weekend. I have posted Cobalt’s links in the past, but maybe you missed them. Really,.. it is not that bad/hard and better than a spring pellet rifle I would say.

            Thanks again,… Chris


        • Chris,

          Don’t you have a digital camera? I don’t use a smartphone so all my pictures are taken with an older digital camera and uploaded to my computer. That makes it very simple to post pictures in the blog.


          • Geo,

            I have one at work, but the pictures are way better off a smart phone which is all anyone at work uses. I will pass for now. I find that I do not have time to do what I want to do now.

            Chris






  4. I if you want a bolt-action BB gun, try putting a BB gun barrel in a airsoft bolt action sniper rifle. I put a Crosman 2100 Barrel in an itg 96. With a scope on the scope rail, I would usually get a 1/4 to 3/8 group with two or three fliers at about 7 to 8 yds with Hornady Black Diamond BBs.

    Brent



  5. Hello BB and all fellow airgunners.
    I was sending an e-mail request to the German Diana Website in Wich I basically asked if they have plans to sell the new Model 30 (now Oktoberfest Gewehr) here in the US, and if so, where it can be aquired, how much it would cost.

    I sended that after I read the blog from BB about the Model 30 the same day after Part 1.

    And here is the answer they send me, I got in my e-mailed this morning.

    Dear Juergen,

    Thanks for your email and interest in our products.

    We are sorry to let you know that we are only deal with authorized distributors.

    For this reason we recommend you to contact the following company:

    Airguns of Arizona

    1970 W Elliot Rd., Ste. 109

    85233 Gilbert, AZ

    United States of America

    http://www.airgunsofarizona.com

    Have a nice day and many greetings from Germany.

    Mit freundlichen Grüßen
    Best regards

    Info DIA Ense

    eMail: info@diana-airguns.de

    Mayer & Grammelspacher GmbH & Co.KG
    Oesterweg 21
    59469 Ense

    Kommanditgesellschaft-Sitz Rastatt AG Mannheim – HRA 520206
    Persönlich haftende Gesellschafterin: DIANA Verwaltungs-GmbH
    Sitz Rastatt-AG Mannheim – HRB 520829
    Geschäftsführer: Michael Swoboda
    Steuer-Nr. 39462/24509

    That is all they wrote me, so that was not very inviting and very friendly, so I stick with that what BB can come up with.
    He has got much much better connections, than I do.
    But in anyway I will still share everything I can find out about this little gem.☺

    And sorry, if there will be some typos or other errors in the posts I write, but I can only go online via a smart phone and this keyboard and autocorrect is killing me. LOL.
    But it is all good, as long as that will not bother you to much.

    I’m so sorry to hear that this happened to the borrowed Model 30 you got from this very generous airgunners for this blog.
    I hope it can be fixed easy and not too costly.
    I really appreciate that second part of the report, except the part that the rifle broke.
    Still again sorry BB that it happened, and high five for all the effort and time you putting into articles like this one, and all the other ones you worked or working on.
    Sincerely Juergen.


  6. Hard cocking need not be a deterrent. My first ever airgun was an airsoft rifle with a bolt action, and I got more joy out of working the bolt action than I did out of shooting.

    I’m back from my Russian martial arts camp, and it was a trip. It wasn’t about shooting directly, but there was a great deal to be learned by going beneath the surface. For instance, how would you really learn about classic Russian firearms like the Mosin infantry rifle and the AK series but by going inside them just like the old movie Tron where the character is shrunk down and inserted into a video game? You can’t do that literally with a gun, so the next best thing is to go inside the culture that produced it. The result is that I came out of the camp all black and blue as if I was living with chimpanzees for a week. No wonder those guns are so reliable. The Russians are all about simple and durable things subject to immediate verification. There was a method to it as well. The head commando teacher said that when he first opened a martial arts school in North America, he was really impressed with the number of black belts who showed up because in Russia they indicate very high status. But when he hit them, they went rolling on the ground because they hadn’t trained to take an impact. The man’s got a point.

    I also got the opportunity to stare down the barrel of a Makarov pistol. In one of the drills, the teacher would walk around a forest where people were doing drills and suddenly pull the Makarov and dry fire it to test your awareness. You were supposed to instantly hit the deck in response. Firearms safety went out the window. But I trusted the commando, and I wasn’t about to confront him either. On one occasion, he was aiming at me from an interesting kneeling stance which I haven’t seen with a handgun.

    I also had the opportunity to try out my various camouflage outfits. I just about collapsed from heatstroke. And this was on a sunny day in the outdoors. It’s not like I was in the equatorial temperatures of the South Pacific where I wouldn’t have lasted for five minutes. The worst was the Russian camouflage. The pattern was great, but the cuffs for the shirt and trousers had an elastic that shut off all air. The best turned out to be my WWII sage green fatigues which were incredibly durable and cool. 1234 United States Marine Corps! Unfortunately, I washed and dried them when I got back, not realizing that a dryer bakes in grass stains. And this particular brand of uniform has been discontinued by my supplier!?! You just can’t think of everything. But anyway, I also built on my thesis about the superiority of primitive man. If I rapidly overheated in modern clothing, how in the world did the Crusaders operate in the desert wearing a gambeson (a padded garment like a winter parka) under armor with a helmet and no water available. It seems inhuman.

    I’ve also progressed in the further adventures of Lyudmila Pavlichenko who has become a sergeant. Let’s say her targets correspond to the size of a quarter at 200 yards. She also makes a regular practice of disabling machine guns by firing an armor-piercing bullet into their breech at that distance. As a sergeant, she is also given command of other soldiers. Some things never change as the soldiers scoffed at her being a woman. She writes that she did not have to resort to unprintable language. In other words, no R. Lee Ermy in Full-Metal Jacket. But she says that she used “very severe methods” with the weight of the army to bring them into line. Perhaps that means, “Congratulations, you just volunteered for mine-clearing duty for the next month.”

    Matt61


    • Matt61,

      I’m jealous. Any Sambo training? That always looked like fun to me in videos.

      Over the years, in my youth, I trained in boxing, Western wrestling, catch-as-catch-can (catch wrestling), Judo, Aikido (much too soft to be practical), Jiu-jutsu, Isshin-Ryu, Kempo (not Kenpo), even a little bit of Kendo and European fencing. I had a few lessons in Chin-nah techniques, which is where a lot of police “come-along” moves originated (well, at least are similar to).

      I regret never having an opportunity to try my hand at Muay Thai.

      My philosophy is that the R. Lee Ermy approach works well with only some people — remember how his character ended up! =8^0

      Michael






    • Brent
      You know there is a five star pellet firing version of the K98 sniper rifle (1250 FPM ) called the Valken Infiltrator. Only it’s a break barrel. Less than $100. with scope and bi-pod. Along the lines of the Black Ops Sniper, heavy weight with light felt recoil.
      Bob M


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