Hy Score 816/Diana model 6 pistol: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

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 deal
  • Almost a PCP!
  • Sights
  • Model 6 variations
  • My pistol
  • Hold
  • Size
  • Power
  • Cocking
  • Trigger
  • The real world

It’s Friday and you now know what pistol shot that small group this week. It was a Hy Score 816 that’s actually a Diana model 6 target pistol. I had told you that I won this auction on Gun Broker. In fact, let’s look at what I said.

A seller had listed a Hy Score model 816 pistol for $119.99. Now, if you have listened to reader ChrisUSA, you have purchased your Blue Book of Airguns that has a manufacturer cross-reference table in the back. Hy Score was based in Brooklyn and did manufacture some airguns in the 1940s through the ’60s. They also bought airguns made by other companies that were marked with their name — not unlike business is done today. One company they bought from was Diana. I search Hy Score listings frequently, hoping to stumble across a model 807 rifle which is really — quick, someone tell me! That’s right, it’s a Diana model 27.

Well, there wasn’t one of those, but this model 816 translated to a Diana model 6. That’s the recoilless version of their target pistol. There are several versions of the model 6 that I will cover, but only the Diana model 10 target pistol is worth more. Here is a $350 target air pistol (Blue Book says $325, but experience at airgun shows says different) potentially selling for $120 plus $29 shipping. The seals are probably shot but do you know who replaces them with lifetime seals? Right again — Pyramyd Air! For about $225 I get yet another blog-worthy air pistol that can then be sold for $300 and I’m a good guy for selling it so cheap — after a fresh re-seal!

The deal

This one is an auction, not a Buy it Now item. If I bid the minimum I run the risk of waking someone up who will bid against me. Sometimes they research the listing and realize what it is, but there are also plain old mean people out there who will just run up any bid, to keep you from getting a deal. So, I have to wait until the auction is almost over before submitting my bid. It ends on Sunday (that was yesterday) so by the time this report is published I will know the outcome. See how cagey I am?

Then I posted this in the comments section

Everyone,
By the way, I did win the Hy Score pistol! I guess it was just too hard for everyone to find.

B.B.

This was posted on September 3 and was harder to find than I thought, so you are forgiven if you didn’t know what today’s pistol is. Except for RidgeRunner. He said he wanted the pistol, so I thought he would remember.

Hy Score 816

The Hy Score 816 is a Diana model 6 target pistol. That’s a recoilless target pistol, and it’s also the foundation of the Diana 72 youth target rifle that I reported on in 2014. The model 6 is the recoilless version of their better-known Diana model 5 pistol that I reported in 2017.

The model 6 pistol and its more expensive cousin, the model 10 target pistol, both use the Giss anti-recoil system. The Giss is a double piston arrangement where the regular piston compresses the air and a piston of equal weight moves in the opposite direction to cancel all recoil. Until you shoot one it is impossible to imagine just how calm such an arrangement can be.

Almost a PCP!

I just compared the model 6 (Hy Score 816) to my FWB P44 10-meter pistol. The 6 has ever-so-slightly more of a firing impulse than the P44, and the P44 was made with a recoil-compensation mechanism, so it is one of the calmest air pistols in the world. Diana 6M owners give practically nothing away to a $1,800 target pistol in the recoil department.

Sights

One place the 6 falls short of a world-class target pistol is the sights. The 6 has target sights that were good for their day (1960-1978 — mine was made in March, 1978), but fall short of today’s guns.

The rear sight is a 4-part adjustable notch that adjusts for windage and elevation with click detents. It has indices to tell you where things are. My notch is correctly set on the largest square — the target setting.

Hy Score 816 rear sight
The rear sight was good for the 1960s and ‘70s. Very adjustable with rear notch options.

The front sight can be any of several globes with interchangeable inserts, with one exception. The top-of-the-line model 6M pistol has a real target post taken from the model 10, along with the sliding barrel shroud that protects the hand from the front sight during cocking. The round inserts for the sight on my rifle measure a whopping 0.747-inches (18.9mm) in diameter, with the tabs measuring 1.023-inches ( 25.98mm) across. And the insert that was in the sight when I got it is the worst one possible for target shooting — a tapered post. Shades of the Beverly Hillbillys!

Hy Score 816 front sight with insert
The front sight globe is huge and so is the insert. Too bad it’s this one, because it doesn’t help 10-meter shooting one bit!

As deep as I am with airguns, I can usually reach into a drawer and find what I need. Not this time. The model 6 front sight globe is much larger than any inserts in my vast array of flotsam and jetsam. However, that insert was the one I used to shoot that target I showed you, so this hunt for the right front sight will be worth the effort. The horrible irony is that somewhere in the world there is the exact insert I need sitting in a drawer unused and unlooked-at!

Model 6 variations

I’d better go through the variations now to keep confusion down. All of the variations came after the basic model 6 ended in 1978. There was a model 6G (1979-2000) that has an alloy frame and a separate plastic grip, similar to the model 5G. Then there is a 6GS (1979-1995) that has a factory scope and a barrel weight. That one has to be rare! Finally there is the 6M (1979-1999) already mentioned that has the rotating barrel sleeve and a choice of plastic grip or true target grip with an adjustable shelf.

My pistol

I thought the seals on my pistol would be shot, because the early Diana piston seals were made from a synthetic that dry-rotted over time. But when the gun arrived I was pleased to see that it shot well. I haven’t chronoed it yet, so it still may need new seals, but right now I’m hoping it doesn’t. If it does, Pyramyd Air can replace them. Replacing seals on a Giss system is not for the casual hobbyist, because the piston(s) need to be timed when the gun goes back together. Unless they are, the anti-recoil won’t work.

The grip on the model 6 is one piece and plastic. It’s sculpted to fit the hand well. It fits my medium-sized hand very well, but there is no way to adjust anything, so you shoot it like it is. It’s got huge diamonds of checkering at key places that help you hold the gun steady.

Hold

All these older target airguns are on the heavy side. When I compare them to my P44, the P44 comes out far ahead. But for informal target practice, the model 6 is light enough for most shooters. It’s not muzzle heavy — just a little heavy overall. It weighs 3 lbs. 3.4 oz. which is 1.457 kilograms.

Size

The pistol is large, at 15-7-8-inches (403.225mm) overall and 6-1/2 (165.1mm) inches high. The barrel is 7-1/4-inches (184.15mm) long.

Power

According to the Blue Book of Airguns, the model 6 should shoot a lead pellet around 420 f.p.s. My model 10 was doing 450+ and my model 5 shoots 8.2-grain target pellets at 406 f.p.s. This one should be in that neighborhood if it’s in okay condition. We shall see.

Cocking

I remember my model 10 pistol being hard to cock. It was also more powerful. This model 6 isn’t as hard, but you do notice the effort. This is something you would face when shooting a 60-shot 10-meter match. I will measure the effort when I do the velocity test.

Trigger

The trigger is another area where the model 6 isn’t up to current standards. It’s mushy! When I received the gun the trigger was set as light as it could be and probably broke at less than a pound. I can’t have that, so I turned the single adjustment in several turns and finally got a two-stage feel. But stage 2 is still too light and not crisp at all. I remember the same thing from my model 72 rifle trigger that had more adjustability.

Hy Score 816 trigger adjustment
The trigger has one adjustment screw.

The real world

Let me get frank. Diana model 5 pistols are common and don’t command much money. A really good one might fetch $100-125 at an airgun show. Maybe it will bring a little more in the box. No big deal. The model 6, in comparison, is not that common and is much more desirable. If a model 10 in the original case is worth $450-500, then a nice model 6 should sell for $300-350. The 6M version would be almost as much as the model 10. I have never seen a 6GS so I can’t say what it might fetch. Subtract $50-75 for guns that need new seals, which will be most of them. It will cost at least that much to get them sealed, but that’s how it goes.

That being said, I’m not sure I will ever want to let go of this pistol. I keep an obsolete IZH 46 around for no special reason, and I might hang onto this one, as well. It’s the kind of thing that doesn’t take up much room and can always be pressed into service for something. So, RidgeRunner, you might have to keep looking. Sorry!

94 thoughts on “Hy Score 816/Diana model 6 pistol: Part 1

  1. You must be very pleased with your score BB One of our local club members
    won a Gecado 5 in its box but I doubt that being not marked Diana 5 will make
    much difference to its value.


  2. Nice score! As far as the trigger goes…for 10m shouldn’t the trigger go off on it’s own? That’s prettyuch what i was taught. Maintain aim and apply pressure until the trigger releases and it should be a surprise.


  3. B.B.,

    Nice find. This has the grip more centered on the length of the gun, unlike the Trevox, which seems to make a whole lot more sense for a large, long pistol. I find the GISS system fascinating. That front globe is huge. A 499 front globe is 5/8″ on the tube OD by comparison.

    Good Day to one and all,……. Chris


  4. B.B.,

    A very nice find! The rear sight in the interest of economy seems to share several parts with the Diana rear sight. I am puzzled as to why they would make a front sight with an uncommon size of front sight insert?

    Siraniko


  5. B.B.

    Now you are talking!
    In the 80’s I bought a Diana 6G. Mine has the target grips and palm self. At the same time, my older brother bought a FWB 65. We shot in the basement. 10 years later, he sold his. I still have, and shoot mine. After sitting for 25 years, the first time I shot it-phitzt. Pellet did not leave the barrel. I sent it to a very experienced tuner-expensive too-who resealed it and adjusted the trigger. It shoots better than I do! However, it has ruined me for other pistols.
    Why don’t they all shoot so well? At the time of purchase, I was thinking about getting the Diana 10. The rotating barrel sleeve held me back. I just assumed that it would be a problem area. Is it?
    B.B. get some fancy Rink grips for your Hy Score and Score Hy.
    Great article!

    -Yogi

    PS Did SIG consider an anti-recoil system for their new break barrel? The Giss system works great. I am surprised other companies do not consider designing something similar in their guns.


    • Yogi,

      The Diana 10 had the same seal problem as the rest of them, but the rotating sleeve is bulletproof. I have owned two of them and they are a very fine pistol.

      The rest of your comments — why the old guns shoot so well — is sort of a part of my upcoming blog on why people collect old airguns — I think.

      As for Sig I think the answer is in the Whiscombe rifles. It can be done at that power level but the cost is high.

      B.B.


      • BB,

        You beat me to it. The cost and the weight of a Giss system in a powerful air rifle would be prohibitive.

        As for your upcoming blog, that is exactly why I invite these old gals to live at RRHFWA.


      • I wish I had known that the rotating sleeve was bullet proof. Still love my 6G though.
        Since in Europe you are limited to either 7 or 12 fpe, can you make a effective anti-recoils system for that power level? I would think that with the popularity of Field Target there would be a big demand. If people pay $1000 + for glass………

        -Y


      • BB

        You may want to see if your Netherlands friend you buy from sometimes has an insert.

        When will you do the blog on why people collect old airguns? I love em for shooting, not just collecting. The old match competition guns have many qualities but above all are the triggers compared to nice sporting rifles today in same price category.

        Decksniper


  6. BB,

    LOL! That’s OK. At least I know it has a good home with plenty of good playmates.

    So many people are amazed at how well these old airguns are made and how well they perform. People are surprised that my 1906 BSA shoots so well. What they do not realize is that many of these old airguns were designed to shoot competition. It was taken just as seriously then as it is now.


  7. BB,

    There’s a slim chance the Pyramyd Air has the sight insert you need. They acquired all the inventory from Precision Airgun when the owner retired. He had a lot of 10 meter rifle and pistol sight inserts at one time.


  8. B.B.,

    Very sweet!

    I scored a 72 a while back, and it is smoother than my FWB 300s, I think (hard to tell at that level of smoothness). The 72 shoots like my FWB 601, except it’s about the size of a Daisy Red Ryder.

    About the Whiscombs, didn’t/don’t they redirect the compressed air from the rear piston to the pellet to add power to the shot? If so, I imagine they are incredibly powerful for a springer.

    Michael


  9. I have an 816 pistol just like this one that I bought from Air Rifle Headquarters in the late 70s. I replaced the seals once and now they need to be replaced again. I bought a set of modern seals from ARH along with a couple of springs but just haven’t taken time to do it. I remember the procedure being pretty tricky with the giss system.

    It’s practically recoilless and I have fond memories of hanging soda cans from their tabs at 20 yards on strings, and shooting for the tabs to send the can flying off the string.


  10. BB ,

    We do service the Giss Style pistols here at AirVenturi . They are very labor intensive , usual reseal is 2 hours labor plus seals . Labor is $60.00 per hour and the seals will be about $30.00 . Umarex and Bimrose Precision can also reseal these pistols. I have always liked the 6 over the 6G . I don’t like the grip angle on the 6G and the 5G. Great find .



  11. BB
    Got to love those recoilless spring guns.

    Seems to me that shot cycle does make a difference in group size from what I have seen when you have a smooth shooting gun. Whatever the reason it is that makes the gun shoot smooth.

    I know for one thing I would rather shoot a tuned springer over a untuned one.

    But yep thank goodness for the anti-recoil systems on air guns. I know they add cost. But still something I would like to see more of now days. And I mean good systems like the slide system of the 54 Air King’s and FWB 300’s and the pistol your reporting on and the system it uses. Not the gimmick systems the cheaper springers use that I have found useless when I tryed those gun’s.


  12. Great buy BB! I find this series particularly interesting because I have a 6G that is my favorite air pistol. I bought it new in the box in ’92. As you could expect, I had to send it twice since then for new seals and spring changes. By the way, the first time that it started failing I didn’t have a clue about what was going on – nor a chrono to confirm the problem – but I could tell that something was wrong because it progressively developed a severe vertical stringing. Eventually, it got worse until it was obvious that some shots were weak and it was time to visit the gun doctor.

    I am curious about what performance you will get with your Diana. Mine, with fairly new seals, produced 516 fps with Hobbys and 436 fps with 8.4 gr RWS MKs.

    I will try to post an image – I haven’t done it before so fingers crossed.

    Henry


  13. Great guns.

    I have a wood grip 5, plastic grip 5, 5G, two 6Gs (one in bits), two 6Ms and a 10. Guess that says I like them.

    Two comments. The Gs aren’t, I think, more powerful than the earlier guns – the power plants are identical, it’s the grip that changed. The powerful one is the later “magnum” version of the LP5. And the plastic shrouds on the M and the 10 can crack with lots of use, especially if they are fitted with the fairly rare optional factory weight.


  14. Hello out there in Airgun Land!

    You are being really mean to me showing these pictures and talking about these 6M and 10 pistols. I have wanted a nice Diana 10 since I learned about them several years ago. I have even considered trading my Izzy 46M for one. Either help me out or shut up!


  15. B.B.,
    If you can’t find an insert, you might want to try modifying the one you have.
    You can use super glue so it could always be reversed.
    I used .032″ stock on my HW30S front sight insert, and I was still (just) able to get it into the groove.
    Good luck!
    take care,
    dave


  16. For anyone interested there is an Diana 6m pistol right now for sale on the GTA
    Member Classifieds.
    Here is the link:
    https://www.gatewaytoairguns.org/GTA/index.php?topic=148146.0
    He wants $250 plus 35 S+H.
    Hey BB nice find on that Hyskore, that is a really great deal you got there and also a very nice shooting pistol.
    Hmm, makes me thinking if I would like to get more into pistol shooting more, maybe starting out with a Beeman P27 and see from there.
    And if that works out good maybe to an Air Venturi V10.
    It always fascinated me a lot, and I have a lot of respect for any good pistol target shooter, cause I know it I’d really hard and needs a lot of training to get good with pistols.
    God bless yaa.
    Always have fun, happy plinking and straight shooting.



  17. If I had oodles of money laying around, I would love to get a Giss System Diana Model 66 rifle, but since I don’t and I like to shoot field Target, I have to be more practical and get something like a Huntsman Mark 2 instead. But the good news is, my Benjamin Maximus Euro is a great gun, except for the trigger. I’ll post a picture of a group I shot and a picture of the gun later tonight.

    Brent


    • Hi Brent, I have thought myself about the Macimus Euro.
      Sounds interesting to have it tamed down to 800 fps and get a much higher shotcount and also a threated barrel muzzle for a LDC. The only problem is I haven’t seen the Euro not on any online dealer website available anymore, not even on the Crosman website.
      All you see on the Crosman website is “out of stock” for both .177 and .22 caliber.
      Maybe one day.☺


    • Brent,

      A good thing about the Maximus trigger is it can be improved. There are several modifications you can do. Also there is an aftermarket sear available that turns it into a 2 stage trigger.


    • Brent,

      The trigger can be fixed. To the point,… that it is dangerous light. It is a simple set up for a trigger assy. and you can (see all/access all) just by removing the side plate. Hit me up this weekend if you are interested or do some searches.

      Chris


      • I got the gun from Dave Slade and he is the triggermeister (he just bought one to try it out) He set it light (turned.out to be too light). In Dave’s words, it is a pretty “wonky” trigger






          • 1st shot to the right is a sight-in. The shot to the left is a powder burner(I sometimes use left. behind targets if they’re not shotup too bad 🙂 5 shots in 5/8 ” @ 47 yards


          • Brent,

            I have one too. No matter where I set the inner sleeve, I could not get descent groups. When I got it, I ordered this as well,…

            https://www.pyramydair.com/s/a/Crosman_NP214_001_Trail_Baffle/7784

            …… and it worked better than just the cap or the Hatsan stripper. Go figure.

            So, did you get the trigger to your liking or did you just live with it “too light”?

            Hunter Field Target ehh? 🙂 How well do you do? and, Are you going up against much more expensive guns?

            Chris


            • Chris,
              No, it was too dangerous when it was light. It’s at about 4 pounds now, which is really too heavy for field Target.And yes, I’m shooting against 1500 to $3,000 guns. There are about six former national champions in the club that I shoot with, including Brad Troyer, who came up with the Troyer rating system for field Target So you can guess at the course is pretty hard. I usually shoot about a 20 out of 60 and I’m hoping that that will go up to about a 30 out of 60 once I come become more familiar with the gun. Probably going to need a better gun to do better than that.


              • Brent,

                Mine is set at 1# 6oz. now. There is a V-shaped spring that applies pressure to the sear to hold it up. The linkage applies pressure to the bottom of the sear and fights to overcome the spring pressure.

                Pulling the spring and tracing the spring on a sheet of paper and using a protractor, I found it to be 130 degrees (*) and when I went to 121*, it was too light. 124* ended up just right. The main thing is to know what your pull is now and what (*) the spring is now. Measure, bend and remeasure. Reassemble, test, repeat if needed. Once in and familiar with it, you can be in and out in 10 minutes.

                There is also a return spring behind the trigger blade (actually off to the side). A ball point spring will work or shorten the stock one. I moved mine behind the blade instead of to the side. Either works.

                Both mods. are easy. I am no trigger expert by any stretch but the trigger mods. on this are super easy.

                Also, there is 2 pre-drilled holes in the rear of the housing that a 4-40 x 5/8″ screws will work perfect in. One will advance the first stage pull (lessen it) and the second acts as a trigger stop which is super nice.

                I would strongly encourage you to explore these simple mods, especially since you are competing.

                I admire you for going head to head with the “Big Boy’s” and their higher end stuff. One plus for you, I find it to be very accurate, nice and light and points great. I’m sure it is much lighter than some of the more expensive ones. Best wishes.

                Chris


                • Chris,

                  and I forgot to mention the thousand-dollar Sightron Scopes 🙂 They are a great group of guys, though, very encouraging. It’s like any guns sport, if you’re going to compete at the highest levels then you’re going to have to pay the price. A co-worker spent $6,000 for her daughters gear, just to compete at 10 meter high school air rifle.

                  Thanks for the trigger mod information. If that doesn’t work, then I’ll probably get a generation 1 Marauder trigger for it.You are right about the accuracy, as my target above shows. I’m willing to put a modest investment into my Maximus, just to see if it Can’t compete With more expensive guns.



                  • Brent,

                    Thank you for that additional insight. It would be a challenge for one not be intimidated by such opulence. I would guess your score would go up by 10 alone on the trigger mods. It may sound intimidating, but trust me,… this is the one you want to get your feet wet on.

                    I did Huma reg. mine. Very nice, but now,.. I have what a Fortitude cost in it! 🙁 And, no repeater feature. The Fortitude was announced like 4 months after I got the Maximus. Though,… they are just now coming to market too.

                    I am reminded of the saying of,.. “Beware of the man who has only one rifle and knows how to use it well. As opposed to the man who has many rifles.”

                    The very best of wishes going forwards. Please keep us posted on how things progress and if you do any upgrades on your current set-up or get into something else gun-wise. Feel free to ask if you decide to do any trigger mods.. There is a bunch on the net with the videos and all, so you should at least get a good idea ahead of what the insides look like.

                    Chris



  18. B.B.,

    Thank you for the shout out on the Blue Book reference. Yes,… it is nice. Very nice. For one,… you do not have to search through endless sites/posts/articles on the net. If you can use a dictionary and know the alphabet,… you can use the Blue Book. Within 1 minute,… you will have an answer. From there,… go further on the net if you want.

    As you know,… it goes WAY beyond that. Mine is always within arms reach. Just flipping through the ((hundreds)) of pictures is well worth the price of The Blue Book alone.

    Just get one ya’ all. You think you know what is “out there” and what “has been”,……?,…… you have NO clue.

    Chris


    • Chris
      But keep in mind that BB also said the blue book doesn’t represent the price of the gun he got.

      Kind of looks like Chair gun. The blue book is a reference. Not actual results of what can happen.

      And ok yes it’s a source to look something up. But I bet if you pick a gun out of the blue book and tell me the name of it. I’ll find it on my phone and post a link.

      Let’s try and see what happens.


  19. Just for reference, I have the following:

    Diana Model 5 – mfd in late 1950’s – rebuilt in 2018 – 484 FPS
    Hy-Score 815 (Diana Model 5) – mfd in 1970’s – not rebuilt – 447 FPS
    Diana Model 5G – mfd in 1980’s – not rebuilt – 498 FPS
    Diana Model 6 – mfd in 1970 – rebuilt in 2017 – 403 FPS
    Diana P5 Magnum – mfd in 2000’s – 585 FPS

    Here’s a picture of them (first time I’ve uploaded a photo, so here goes!)…

    Motorman
    St. Louis, MO



  20. Opps, posted on old blog,… 🙁

    B.B.,

    While researching a reply to Ldallgood and the 300SL, I noted the inward turned butt pad on the 300. It was set up to be a right handed shooter, so it is (clear) that the butt pad was meant to the lay to the chest side of the shoulder socket.

    The Red Wolf has an adjustable pad and I had it turned inward, but later switched it to outward or towards the shoulder/arm side. It is full ambi with the exception of the lever, which also will switch sides.

    Question: When setting one of these,…. are they ((always)) set up to point to the chest side of the shoulder socket?

    Thanks,…. Chris


    • Hey Chris,
      Not B.B. but,

      The angle of the buttplate depends on the shooter’s anatomy.
      Specifically whether or not the shooter is barrel chested, flatchested, male or female. The shooting position definitely has an effect on buttplate position. Also, what type of shooting jacket or absence of one can all effect the buttplate position required. In the end it all depends on what gives the shooter the most stable position.
      No shortcuts when we build our shooting position that I know of!

      shootski


      • Shootski,

        Thank you. I turned it inward, for now. It was windy Sun. when I got around to shooting and focused on hand position, trigger finger angle and position and breathing. Also NPA (natural point of aim). By the 4th 5 shot group at 50, I was near to stacking them. 🙂 It was too windy for any precision assessment, but it all seems to be working. I was benching, as is usually the norm.

        Overall hand position/placement and breathing were the 2 things that showed up as needing work.

        Thanks, Chris


  21. A humorous occurrence to share,…..

    Shooting the Red Wolf (the more red one) and using the MTM front and rear rest (also red) last weekend,….. I was shooting 50 yards on 34 magnification, settled in, first stage pulled through, resting on the very light second, highly focused,…. when all of the sudden I hear great BUZZ,…… like,.. right at my scope!

    I tensed and rose up slowly, not knowing what I was about to face. It was gone, whatever it was. It was then I realized that it must have been a Humming Bird, attracted to the copious amounts of red on my shooting table! 🙂 They have flown onward now for the most part as it is getting late in the year, so this one must have been a bit delayed on departure.

    Next year however I shall be looking forward to such encounters. Perhaps I will just be setting there resting and very still and get to actually see the encounter,.. next time?

    Chris


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