by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

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:

  • The test
  • Sig Ballistic Match
  • RWS Super Mag
  • Qiang Yuan Trining pellets
  • H&N Finale Match Light pellets
  • RWS R10
  • RWS Meisterkugeln
  • Why is this happening?
  • Proof
  • Summary

Today we see the accuracy potential of the Hy Score 816/Diana model 6 target air pistol I recently acquired. We had a good indication from the first group it shot.

target
This group of 5 Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellets measured 0.338-inches. Shot at 10 meters.

The test

I shot off a sandbag rest from 10 meters. The Giss counter-recoil system allows for resting the pistol directly on the bag. Despite all my complaining, I shot with the pointed sight insert I showed you in Part 1. I did have a problem with it, but it wasn’t the sight’s fault and I will explain when I get to it.

Sig Ballistic Match

First up was the Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellet that did so well in the first group. This time the group landed low and to the left of the bull, and I wondered why it had shifted so far, when the last time it was pretty well centered in the bull. Then I remembered — I had to remove the sight insert to photograph it for Part 1 and they never go back exactly where they were. I should have anticipated the shift, but too much time had passed since shooting that first group and writing Part 1 of this report. Today’s group measures a rather large 0.867-inches between centers, but as I noted on the target, shot number three went off early, before I was completely settled in. There was one other problem that I will discuss when we get to it. Those other tight 4 shots are in 0.461-inches, which is a lot more like that first group I shot with this pellet.

Sig Match group
Five Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellets went into 0.867-inches at 10 meters. But shot number three went off before I was ready, as indicated on the target. The other 4 pellets are in 0.461-inches.

RWS Super Mag

The second pellet I tested was the RWS Super Mag wadcutter. It wasn’t intentional. I thought I grabbed the RWS Hobby tin, as both my tins are the same color, but after I had shot the group I looked at the tin more carefully and saw it was the Super Mag. These pellets weight 9.3 grains and I would never intentionally choose them for a pistol — not even one this powerful.

Still, five of them managed to go into a nice 0.574-inch group at 10 meters. And this group was about the right height but still left of center. So after this group I adjust the sights for the first time. It put in 5 clicks of right adjustment, which was just about perfect.

RWS Super Mag group
Five RWS Super Mag pellets grouped in 0.574-inches at 10 meters.

I don’t want to hear your lectures about trying every pellet — okay? I used to tell you that stuff and I sure don’t want to hear it coming back at me. Sometimes you just have to relearn all the stuff you used to know so well. Besides, more of it is coming!

Yes, the Super Mag result was a surprise. I would never have tried them on purpose.

Qiang Yuan Trining pellets

Next up were five Qiang Yuan Training pellets. I expected them to do well before the test began, but when I saw how loose they loaded into the breech I began to wonder. And it wasn’t long before I got the answer. Five went into 0.961-inches at 10 meters. But once again, 4 pellets were together and one was apart. This time I saw no reason for it, though the reason would soon emerge. The 4 pellets are in 0.492-inches. Okay all you sleuths — you now have enough information to figure out what I had not figured out by this point in the test. Have at it. But if you read much farther, I’m going to tell you.

Qiang Yuan group
Five Qiang Yuan Training pellets went into 0.961-inches at 10 meters, with 4 in 0.492-inches.

H&N Finale Match Light pellets

Now it was time to drag out the big guns and see what this pistol can really do. I tried H&N Finale Match Light pellets next. They also loaded loose and gave a very vertical group that measures 1.294-inches between centers. These pellets are clearly not suited to this pistol.

Finale Match Light group
This vertical group os Finale Match Light pellets shot at 10 meters measures 1.294-inches between centers. Not the pellet for the Diana model 6 pistol.

RWS R10

Next I tried 5 RWS R10 Match Pistol pellets — my other “big gun” pellet. They went into 0.857-inches at 10 meters. The group looks like only 4 pellets and I can’t tell where pellet five landed, so I can’t say for sure this group has a smaller group of 4 inside it. But as you will soon see, it doesn’t matter.

R10 Match Pistol group
Five RWS R10 pellets made a 0.857-inch group at 10 meters.

RWS Meisterkugeln

The last pellet I tried was the RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle pellet. I tried them out of desperation, because I had gotten so many good 4-shot groups in this test, only to have one of the shots fly outside the main group. I hoped Meisters would solve that. When I loaded the first pellet it fit the breech very well — not too loose but also not too tight. We will call this one the “Baby Bear” pellet.

But when I looked at the group of five — Oh, no! Another 4 tight shots with a lone flyer. The five are in 1.334-inches, with 4 in just 0.428-inches What is going on? The five are the largest group of the test, while the 4 are the smallest of any 4 shots with the other pellets.

Meisterkugeln Rifle group 1
Five RWS Meisterkugeln are in 1.334-inches, with 4 in 0.428-inches.

Why is this happening?

At this point I took all the targets and laid them out in front of me. Except for the Finale Match Light and R10 Pistol groups — okay, and the Super Mag group — all the other groups were 4 tight shots and one clear flyer. Why, that’s almost like…

…and that’s when it hit me. I had been concentrating on the bullseye and not on the front sight all this time! That is exactly what will happen when you do that! What a rookie mistake! Have I been out of competition so long that I forgot that? Only one way to find out.

Proof

I adjusted the rear sight 5 clicks up to bring the group into the center of the bull and fired one more group of 5 Meisterkugeln pellets. This time I remembered to focus my eyes on the front sight blade and let the bullseye get fuzzy in the sight picture. And what was my reward? Five shots grouped tightly in 0.537-inches at 10 meters. No more fliers! The score was a 49 out of 50, which is good, but not good enough for competition today.

Meisterkugeln Rifle Group 2
Five RWS Meisterkugeln are in 0.537-inches, with no fliers. This is what a target pistol should do when you shoot it right!

Summary

Well this entire report has been a special excursion. First I got the gun for a great price and then it didn’t need to be resealed like I had anticipated. Finally — it shoots tight like it should.

The Diana model 6 was a great target air pistol in its day and it can still hold its own in informal matches. My gun lacks the target grips that would put it over the top, but it’s nearly there everywhere else. All I can say at this point is the Diana target pistols with the Giss counter-recoil system are airguns you should try. I think they don’t change hands very often because they are the kind of airguns nobody wants to let go.