Hy Score 816/Diana model 6 pistol: Part 3

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.

46 thoughts on “Hy Score 816/Diana model 6 pistol: Part 3

  1. B.B.,

    Everybody has their off day. Maybe you have been away from shooting iron sights for too long. That is one accurate pistol. Would your current accuracy improve with the wider sight and concentration on the front sight blade? How was the sight picture of the ten meter target in relation to the front hood?

    Siraniko


    • Siraniko,

      My accuracy might improve a bit, because it is very difficult to see where the top of the front and rear sights align. I think that is why many of the groups are vertical. But I don’t think the groups will shrink by half.

      B.B.


      • B.B.,

        How was the sight picture of the ten meter target in relation to the front hood? I theorized they settled on that larger size to match the size of the ten meter target when the pistol is aimed.

        Siraniko



          • B.B.,

            That is odd. You would think they could have saved the manufacturing cost by using a standard size hood. Then again this was this was manufactured when price was not much of a factor and the engineer thought that the extra comfort from the outside hood would be appreciated in a match string.

            Thanks for trying at the 10 meter target.

            Siraniko


      • Hello BB,
        I found this article on the Original mod 6 very interesting.
        I am a fan of match grade air pistols and knowing this a fellow at our club bought in a mod 6 he had been given, for me to try. This was some weeks ago.
        I was very impressed and managed to get 9 out of 10 in the black, (88mm dia.) at 20 yards.
        I should point out we normally shot Light Sporting Rifle (LSR). LSR replaced pistol shooting after the handgun ban.
        Back to the mod 6. The shot that missed the black was how I discovered that if the trigger has been pulled to the end of the first stage it stays there, so releasing the trigger after taking up the first stage meant that upon reapplying pressure only the second stage was available. I do not recall seeing this feature mentioned in any write ups I have read in the past. Did yours have this feature? Or was mine just a malfunctioning trigger? I got to like it.
        I also noticed the holes in the target. Using JSB match pellets. They were a bit ragged, like the ones in your photos. Shots fired from my air rifle into a different card, but the same material were more like they had been produced by a stationery hole punch. This is presumably a result of velocity. It made me think, there is obviously a critical velocity for match pellets, but can any conclusions be drawn from these ragged holes, such as, for optimum performance, should it ideally shot faster? I appreciate it physically can’t, (well not a lot) just theorising.
        My other observation was sweaty palms, I don’t normally suffer from this malady, but gripping the plastic, sweat soon developed, meaning, shooting this pistol seriously would necessitate wearing a glove.
        Keep up the good work, I ritually read your blog every morning, as indeed do probably thousands of other people.
        BrummieMick



  2. B.B.,

    Most vintage air gun aficionados know the Walther LP53 target pistol is the most famous air gun to stand in for a firearm in cinema — it’s the pistol Sean Connery holds upright along the side of his face in the movie poster for “From Russia With Love.” It happened to belong to the photographer, and a PPK was unavailable at the moment and not klong ago fetched £277,250 at auction.

    I made a discovery this week while preparing for a film class I teach. In the iconic British art-house film “Blow-up” (directed by Michelangelo Antonioni), the “blown-up” photo of an assassin’s pistol is below. See what it was? The star of this report, a Diana model 6. :^)

    Michael



      • B.B.,

        It’s been a few years since I’ve watched the film, but that image is supposed to be a blow-up of a blow-up of a blow-up of a blow-up of a blow-up of a blow-up of a blow-up of a 35mm photograph taken from 100 yards away with a medium lens.

        “Blow-up” is about a photog capturing in the deep background something he wasn’t supposed to capture at all. At first he sees nothing. Then he makes a poster size print and studies it and sees two specs. One of the specs is the above image.

        “Blow-up” is a mystery that is not just a whodunit, but a “what-was-done” and even a “was-something-done” movie. Fully half the movie could have been left out to make it more taught narratively, but it is a great and important film nonetheless.

        It was remade into the forgettable “Blow-out” with John Travolta and inspired the superb Francis Ford Coppola “The Conversation.”

        Michael


        • Michael,

          I’ll bet that the Original was shot by an ARRI, perhaps a ARRIFLEX 35II with the Panaflex lens.

          You also need to tighten you Spellchecker’s focus to keep it giving you taut instead of taught…which you have done and continue to do.

          shootski


          • Shootski,

            Touche! “A touch, a palpable touch!” :^)

            I forget whether I “typoed” and chose from the options drop down carelessly or simply chose the wrong word. I am appropriately humbled. Nevertheless, as long as I would have caught (caut? ;^) the error in a student’s paper, I guess I can live with the error.

            I do not know what camera took the actual photograph, but in the film the photographer is in that scene using a . . . I’ll get back to you. Either the Internet or my wife will inform me. Cameras are not one of my wheelhouses.

            Michael


          • Shootski,

            I’m back. The photographer uses a variety of cameras in his studio, but at the park he takes the photo with a Nikon F with a 50mm, 1.4f lens with a hood.

            His process for enlarging the images troubles poster “Actor” on thephotoforum.com, who comments/asks, “He starts with what appears to be a 20×30 print. Then he makes a 20×30 that has been cropped. . . . He isolates a part of the cropped print and takes a picture of this part of the print with a 4×5 camera, then blows that up, getting a very grainy picture of what appears to be a hand holding a gun. But why do that? If the print made from the 35mm neg is considered a 1st generation copy, then the 4×5 neg would be a 2nd generation copy and the print from that would be 3rd generation. Would not a 3rd generation copy have less information than a 1st generation. Instead of making a 4×5 copy would not more detail be observed in an equally big print made straight from the 35mm neg? …Making a really big print requires a lot of distance from the enlarge lens to the paper and maybe his darkroom was not big enough.”

            Poster “Derrel” responded, “Logic and motion picture directing and screen writing do not go hand in hand. My guess is that the use of the larger-format camera in the late 1960’s was to show yet another aspect of the “professional photographer” persona; the show made prominent use of the Nikon F and its iconic design in the early parts of the film, but the use of a 4×5 or 5×4 as the Brits call it, was probably done as a way to connote “high-technology photographic analysis”. He’s made a big enlargement….so when he wants to look at it even BIGGER, he goes to a “bigger camera”…like the venerable 5×4.

            At least that’s what I think the director was going for. A way to show the general public that this guy was going all-out, with the “big camera”, to get right down to the minute details. A blowup of a blowup. [But] common folks of the late 60’s would … realize that a 5×4 camera would be regarded as a “professional’s camera” almost exclusively; 35mm was still considered a small film format, and many amateur snappers were using 120 or 620 rollfilm cameras, and “Press” photographers were using things like the Koni-Omega Rapid, ie “big cameras”. In 1966-67, I think the reputation of a Rolleiflex would outshine that of the Nikon F, at least among the general movie-going public; … the generation … of movie-going age in 1967-68 would have been weaned on the image of the Press Photographer using the 4×5 hand cameras (Graphics, Bush Pressman, Linhof Technika,etc) since in 1966-67 when the movie was being made, the Nikon F system was only six or seven years into its rise from its origin in 1959. I think the audience of that era would naturally have a lot of connection,mentally, with the 4×5 sheet film camera as the “professional tool” of that era.”

            The internet is a great thing, mostly.

            Michael


            • Michael,

              Inzwischen I had gotten back to you sooner and saved you the potential of carpel tunnel syndrome hunt and pecking that Blow-up study!
              I was referring to the film camera used to shoot the Motion Picture.
              Actually the number of generations from the Original shooting media could have been even greater depending on IF the use of Internegatives were made from the pulled Masters!
              Motion Picture Film process is much worse then most still photography which can go straight to paper, film, glass/metal plate as you probably know.

              I did however, enjoy the motion Picture even with some technical flaws introduced to make the concept and script work.

              shootski


              • Shootskl,

                Duh! I should have read more carefully, as “Arri” would have got me thinking differently. “Blow-up” is the most iconic and revered movie about still photography, so I assumed a question about the camera used meant the still camera used.

                Antonioni was actively involved in the camerawork of all his earlier films (“Blow-up” was only his second in color), but the DP on that film was Carlo di Palma. I know it was shot and printed in 35mm. It’s aspect ratio is 1.85:1.

                The Arriflex 35 II series was long the professional film industry’s standard camera by 1966, and given the year, it was probably a 35 IIB or IIC.

                Lenses? No idea.

                Michael


                • I’ve watched Blow Up many times… and never noticed that the gun on the photo was an airgun! I also only discovered fairly recently why the guitar Jeff Beck plays (and smashes) is unlike any other guitar I’ve ever seen him with – a different band was originally going to be in that scene and they had a prop-guitar made for the smashing but at the last minute they were replaced by the Yardbirds. Wish I could remember the name of the originally scheduled band but it escapes me at the moment.


                  • Nowhere,

                    Even though I am a- blues-based guitar player, I had never heard that, thanks. That scene with the Yardbirds is perhaps the most famous scene in the film. (At least that is what people usually mention when they discuss “Blow-up.”)

                    Michael


  3. BB,

    I understand. There are days I should not have bothered to pick up one of my airguns. Then there are times I am in “the zone”.

    These old air rifles and pistols were made in a time when the concern was accuracy, not power. So many today are amazed to see these old gals shoot as well or better than many new ones.

    It is only recently that we have been able to get accuracy and power in one package, most especially with sproingers.

    This is the dawning of a new age. Airgunners unite! We shall rule the world! MUHAHAHAHAHAHA!
    Oh, sorry. I got carried away. Never mind.





    • Shootski,

      Much as I would like to read the articles, it appears that for some reason I cannot access the site from my country (Philippines). I have already written to the webmasters in the hope that I can be granted access to the articles.

      Siraniko


      • Siraniko,

        It is an NRA hosted page titled Shooting Sports USA providing coverage of the topic.. That host organization may be the reason for the difficulty you are experiencing. You really aren’t missing a great deal as it is quite rudimentary in what it covers about pistol shooting and the front sight focus.
        I was mostly just busting B.B.’s chops.

        shootski


        • Shootski,

          I did look at some of the NRA links that you posted and that I saved. Probing further, I was not able to find much on advanced shooting/fundamentals. The Primal Rights site had far better info..

          Maybe I just had to dig a bit more on the NRA site? Not a member.

          I am guessing that the Philippines do (not) support their countrymen from learning firearm/air gun/shooting sport proficiency. Siraniko has mentioned in the past that things are a bit tuff in that regards.

          Chris


  4. Hi BB,

    My personal experience with my 6G confirms your results although I might disagree with your explanation. I find that, once in a while the pistol “bucks” for no apparent reason. Having shot it for many years I can feel the flyer before I see the target. It is really disappointing when it happens on the 10th shot of an otherwise fenomenal string.

    In other words, it was not you, it was the Giss system. 🙂
    Henry



  5. Good day all,
    Troubling times with my Gauntlet today. Shot it once, set it down for a while and when I picked it back up, it had leaked down. Because I have an Air ventury bottle, I put that one on full. Dry fired the Gauntlet a couple of times and set it aside for two hours. It has leaked down again. Bummer.
    Gerald


    • Participant/Gerald,

      Is that a fast leak down or a slow leak down? It might get stopped by placing a few drops of silicone oil at the valve if it were a slow leak down.

      Siraniko


      • Siraniko,
        I would consider loosing 1000psi in an hour a fast leak down. The troubling part is that I cannot hear the air escaping but my hearing is not as good as it used to be.
        Gerald


        • Participant,

          I would do the diluted dish soap/water and an artist brush. Followed by a good blow down with compressed air. Gauge and fill port would be first suspect.

          Best wishes on getting a quick fix,….. Chris


          • Chris,
            I have the gage and fill port tested in a less soapy way. With the bottle off the Gauntlet I put a drop of silicone oil in the fill port and filled it to 100 bar. For two hours now, it has been holding steady. If it holds pressure over night I will screw it to the gun and see how that goes.
            Gerald



    • Gerald
      Try to put the degassing tool in your Gauntlet and turn it like your releasing pressure and then back to it’s normal position then remove the tool. And that’s with a bottle attached. That might blow any debris that has settled in the valve out. If you try let me know if it works.


  6. Of note,…

    I was out shooting the Red Wolf and the Maximus today. The Maximus seemed to require additional hold over while the Red Wolf did not. Verified the regulated fill on the Maximus. Both have different glass,… so maybe? Athlon/UTG. 55 degrees today, while normal shooting this summer was done in 70-80 degrees.

    Also, tried to shoot with the Caldwell shooting bags VS the MTM plastic front/rear rest. I had to drop the seat height 6″ to get aligned with the bags and was much more awkwards. So,…. a word of note,…. if you change up your rest, be prepared to do some shifting in table height or seat height.

    I am trying to maintain NPA (natural point of aim) and trying to have my body at the least stressed condition/position, as well as the rifle. Contorting one’s self into a pretzel to get a sight picture does not fit in with NPA theory/practice.

    Just some personal FYI,…. Chris


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