by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

A history of airguns

Hy Score 816
This Hy Score 816 is a Diana model 6 recoilless target pistol. This is the photo from the auction.

This report covers:

  • RWS Hobby
  • Qiang Yuan Training pellets
  • Trigger improved
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
  • Cocking effort
  • Trigger pull
  • I goofed on the trigger
  • Summary

Today we look at the velocity of my new/old Diana model 6 target pistol. There was a lot of interest in this gun last Friday — more than I expected. I really do feel fortunate to have acquired it. Now that I’ve learned that a reseal could cost over $200 with shipping, I really hope this one is doing okay! Let’s find out together.

RWS Hobby

First up is the lead lightweight, the RWS Hobby wadcutter. These are often the fastest lead pellets in an airgun, though my Diana model 5 actually shot a heavier target pellet faster. Let’s see what this pistol does.

Hobbys average 426 from this pistol. That’s faster than I imagined, and it’s right where the Blue Book of Airguns says it should be. This pistol seems to be in top condition. The spread went from 420 to 431 f.p.s., a difference of 11 f.p.s. At the average velocity the Hobby produced 2.82 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle.

Qiang Yuan Training pellets

Next to be tested was the Chinese Qiang Yuan Training pellet. In my Diana model 5 pistol these pellets averaged 406 f.p.s. In this one they average 413 f.p.s. The spread went from a low of 401 to a high of 422 f.p.s. That’s a 21 f.p.s. separation. At the average velocity this pellet produces 3.11 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle.

Trigger improved

Remember I said the trigger on this pistol was mushy? Well, it has improved with use. In this test I got a definite separation of stage one and two. I can now hold at stage two and wait for the release. The stage 2 release is still vague, but it’s better than it was. I guess the old girl just needed to be used a bit!

Sig Match Ballistic Alloy

The last pellet I tested was the Sig Match Ballistic Alloy target pellet that shot that group I showed you last Friday. These weigh 5.25-grains, so they will be faster than lead. The average was 514 f.p.s. and the spread went from 508 to 526 f.p.s. That’s a difference of 18 f.p.s. We have already seen what this pellet can do at 10 meters, and I am tempted to try them again in the accuracy test.

Cocking effort

The pistol cocks with 29 lbs. of energy. I have tested other target pistols from this era and 29 lbs. is about in the middle. The Walther LP III takes 34 lbs. As I recall the Walther LP 53 requires 23 lbs. but it is not as powerful. As best I can recall, my Diana model 10 cocked at more than 35 lbs. of effort.

Trigger pull

I told you that the trigger was set way too light when I got the gun. I screwed the one trigger adjustment screw in several turns until I got a two-stage pull. That pull has cleared up with shooting. I now can pull through stage one and hold on stage two until the sights are perfectly aligned. That’s the way a 10 meter target pistol trigger is supposed to work.

And how heavy is stage two? Exactly 1.1 pounds. That’s as close to 500 grams (498.95) as I can get. And, if I competed with the pistol, the trigger would be tested before every match.

I goofed on the trigger

When I reported in Part 1 that the pistol had a single trigger adjustment screw I wondered why it wasn’t exactly the same as the screws on a Diana 72 target rifle. The model 72 is just a model 6 pistol in a rifle stock. They share most parts.

Hy Score 816 Diana 72 trigger
On the Diana 72 youth target rifle the trigger mechanism had to be relocated with an extension mechanism to allow for a rifle forearm. The adjustment screws (arrow) are located in the same place as on the pistol — the trigger blade is just located in a different place because the rifle has a trigger extension to compensate for the forearm. I didn’t adjust them any further because I had them where I wanted them.

Hy Score 816 trtrigger adjustment screws
The triggerguard has to be removed to see both trigger adjustment screws on the model 6 pistol. They are the same as on the model 72 target rifle.

Summary

Boy, did I luck out on this one! I got a model 6 pistol in tip-top condition for very little money. I didn’t know it at the time I bought the gun but it looks like a reseal would cost over $200, with shipping both ways.

That’s it for today. I have a fully functional Diana model 6 pistol that’s performing at the top of its rating. It will be a pleasure to test the accuracy.