by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
Michael’s Winchester 427 is a Diana model 27 by another name. The rifle pictured is my Hy Score 807/Diana 27.
This report covers:
- The fix
- Michael’s rifle
- Then came Carel
- But wait…
- While I’m at it…
- My first 35
- Blue Book
Tuning Michael’s Winchester 427/Diana 27 really ignited a spark in me! That’s why I linked to all the reports. It put me in mind of many things I have experienced over the years. The one that stands out the most is the Diana 45 I tuned for Johnny Hill of Tin Starr Bullets in Weatherford, TX back in 2015. His rifle was bone-dry on the inside and also had a classic Diana bent mainspring. I say classic because when Diana started the velocity race against the FWB 124 in the 1970s, they over-hardened their mainsprings with the result they always bent or broke off at both ends.
I buttoned the piston of Johnny’s 45, which tightened the piston-slap tolerance immensely. I also installed a much tighter spring guide that eliminated more of the vibration. There is a video of me showing just how tight the new guide is in Part 6. Then I lubricated the powerplant.
If you want to see everything I did to that rifle go back and read all the reports. It is one of the best tuneup reports I have ever written, plus there are a couple videos of me assembling the powerplant.
That rifle proved extremely accurate but still buzzed just a bit when I finished. This was in 2015, in the days before I knew about Tune in a Tube, so I used heavy black tar grease, which is mostly open gear lubricant. It quieted the powerplant and only lost a little velocity.
Then I tuned Michael’s rifle. It was even quieter than the 45. He should get it back today and I’m sure he will tell us what he thinks. When it left here it was the smoothest Diana 27 I have ever shot. And doing that tune, with all the challenges, awoke an interest in me. I like the Diana 25/27/35 powerplant and want to do more with it in this historical section.
Then came Carel
Reader Carel from the Netherlands responded to my open wish to tune a Diana 35 someday and told me he had a nice one for sale. We started talking. Many readers actually saw his contact in this blog. Let me share with you what we discussed.
He first told me about his Diana 35. It’s an older one with some things I have never seen, such as “ears” to protect the rear sight. It also has a very European style stock instead of the fatter stock that I knew.
Carel’s Diana 35 is a beautiful old gun.
This old rear sight on the Diana 35 has protective “ears” around it. This is a feature I’ve never seen.
The really nice aspect of this 35 is the stock is slim. Unlike the heavy stocks we saw here in the U.S this is, “… an elegant weapon for a more civilized age,” to quote Obi Wan Kenobe from the Star Wars film, A New Hope. It looks much closer to the Diana 27 stock that I’m familiar with.
My plan both was and still is to tune this rifle (Carel’s 35 that is now mine) for smoothness and not power. I will look into reducing the tolerances of the powerplant, but not at the expense of increasing the cocking effort. I have owned a Diana 35 before and found it too hard to cock and far too harsh to shoot for the minimal power increase it gave over the 27. Well, I don’t need power. Ask reader RidgeRunner — he knows! These older airguns can be a sheer delight to shoot, as long as they are kept within the originally designed performance parameters.
… there is more! Carel also told me he also has a Diana 27S for sale. I had to go to the Blue Book of Airguns for that one! It’s a 27 that has a two-piece articulated cocking link that allows the cocking slot in the stock to be shorter. That makes the stock stiffer and, in turn, reduces vibration. We didn’t see the 27S here in the U.S. that I am aware of, so it is an uncommon airgun. Carel tells me it’s uncommon in the European Union, as well.
The Diana 27S has a blockier forearm for a reason. Note the squared triggerguard. It’s like the guard on the Diana 45.
The Diana 27S cocking link is two-piece which allows the cocking slot to be shorter. The theory is a shorter slot makes a stiffer stock that reduces vibration.
Of course I bought it, too! Carel offered it for a very reasonable price and I wanted to get it to show to you (I think he wants that, too). I have never seen a 27S that I am aware of, so this will be a new experience for me. To paraphrase the limbo song, “How smooth can I go?”
While I’m at it…
So then he tells me about his Diana model 26. WAIT — a Model 26??? I grab the Blue Book and, sure enough, Diana did make a model 26. Of course we know from the Blue Book that FWB also made a model 125 (in 5mm) that went with their 124 and 127. Those few rifles were made as samples for Dr. Beeman who wanted them in his catalog because he was a big proponent of .20 caliber/5mm. Only a handful were ever made. What about the Diana 26?
The Blue Book says the modern ones (there are also older Diana 26s that are nothing like the modern one) were made from 1984 to 1992. I guess they were imported by RWS USA, who imported all Dianas for many years — I just never heard of the 26. I own a 25 and a 27 and I’m aware of the 24 and 28. This 26 seems like the missing link to me. It was for sale so of course I bought it, too. So, there are a raft of old vintage Dianas coming your way this year.
Diana 26. You know as much as I do about this one.
Once the rifles arrive I will try to make sense of them and form a plan of action. I need the chance to hold and shoot each of them before deciding what comes next. But I will test each of them for you in the conventional way — Part 1 a general report, Part 2 velocity and Part 3 accuracy. As long as the guns work, that’s the least I can do.
I just finished doing a conventional lube tune on a 27, and it turned out very well. Now maybe I can try something different. My goal will be to reduce vibration to a minimum while retaining as much velocity as possible. I will not attempt to get higher velocity, because I have learned through experience that these vintage airguns are not right for that. Also, I want the cocking effort to be low because the shooting experience is much better when it is.
My first 35
As I mentioned, I have owned a Diana 35 in the past. Mine was a Hy Score model 809. When I owned that gun I knew far less about Diana springers than I do today, but also that was a different time than today. We were caught up in the unending pursuit of power, which means velocity in pellet guns. And the Diana 35 has a fatal flaw when it comes to velocity. Its piston stroke isn’t long enough to generate much power. The Diana 34 that followed it years later did just one thing — increase the piston stroke, and the rest is history.
Quick — what do people do to try to generate more velocity from a spring gun? That’s right, they install a stiffer mainspring. Doing that to a Diana 35 means you get a breakbarrel that’s hard to cock and one that buzzes like a mason jar full of hornets. But there is not much more power.
My .177 caliber 35 shot 8.2-grain RWS Meisterkugeln pellets at about 590 f.p.s. When I disassembled it I found a rusty piston (Michael, yours wasn’t the only one) and thick lubrication that had caked. The cocking effort was 24 pounds, which doesn’t seem that high until you cock a 27 that’s under 20 pounds. After cleaning all the parts, lubricating with moly grease and black tar, the cocking effort dropped back to 19 pounds and the velocity remained almost the same — just a few f.p.s. less.
What I would like is a 20 pound cocking effort and a dead calm shot cycle. I don’t care what the velocity is (somebody call the velocity police right now!). Because it is a 35 I know it should be at least as fast as a 27 and more than likely a little faster — but as I said, I really don’t care. I want what Michael now has. The early slim stock is a plus I will need to experience to appreciate.
I will leave you with this. The Blue Book of Airguns that I’ve mentioned is being updated this year and I’ve been asked to cover what is new since 2016. Well, it’s too much to cover, so I’m putting my report into categories like compressors and price-point PCPs and so on. You can expect to see a new edition this May or June, so start saving your pennies.
117 thoughts on “In search of the “perfect” tune”
Very popular here in SA and sold as Gecado 25, 27 ,35 and 50.
Wish Diana still made all their springer medium to light air rifles with
metal globe foresight and rear sights. Not a big fan of the fiber
I lived in Erlangen, Germany for 4 years. I believe it is the home of Hermann Wilsker’s Geco company, the exporters of Gecado guns.
Are .22 caliber airguns still considered firearms in South Africa?
I’ve tuned half a dozen springers to date, most of them more than once…the secret ingredient so far is to strip all lubrication and use a light tough of krytox 226.
For example I replaced a HW97k stock spring with a vortek kit went from 17 to 11 fpe, and it was smooth. But then I put all the stock stuff back in with a krytox 226 lube and I’m getting 17 fpe and it’s smoother than the vortek 12 fpe.
Krytox 226, eh? Okay, I’ll check it out.
Krytox 226 is expensive stuff! They want $32 for 1/2 oz. It gets cheaper if I buy more but I only want enough for one gun right now.
Ultimox 226 is the same stuff. A little goes a long way. 1/2 oz will do several guns. Just make sure everything is completely degreased first.
Okay, I’ll look for that.
Here’s 20 grams. It’s a jar a little smailler diameter than a 50 cent piece.
It’s all expensive. I just bought the Krytox 226.
Is krytox 226 thick or thin? Is it tacky or just lays in place?
It stays put. It’s not sticky. If you’ve ever used ptfe thread paste it is similar.
So a little thicker than lithium grease. But lighter than that heavier tacky stuff that everybody use to tune with.
So it allows piston velocity still but dampens the oscillations of the spring.
Is that right?
Sounds like good stuff to me.
I’m not sure it dampens a spring like tar does. At least as little as I’ve been using wouldn’t. That said it has tempered twangy springs. I think mostly because it’s do damn slick. Think of Teflon coating everything, cause thats what it is. My son’s Umarex embark was twangy as heck, and no polishing, just krytox and it shootls smooth as butter (the trigger still sucks) can’t help that.
Ok Teflon. That’s a good idea.
If you were a card player you would have a Diana Straight Flush!
So any Diana models between 35 and 50?
I love your new found enthusiasm for the old girls!
It is not really a new found enthusiasm for him. He is the one who started me down this road. Most of the old gals here at RRHFWA came through his hands. There is just so many new airguns hitting the market all the time that it can be pretty difficult to report on everything that everyone is interested in, most especially these old gals.
This should prove to be an interesting series. Aware of the many things that can be done,… one stands out. That is asking yourself, is something over-sprung?
Huh? GF1 cut the spring on a TX200 to the point of having 1/2″ free play at the start of the cocking stroke,.. and lost no fps. To do this is probably the pinnacle of a tune and also probably the most difficult to do/test. If I were to do so,.. I would get the spring dimensions as they are (all of them) and then have several springs made that are of various lengths. 12″ stock, down to 9″ in 1/2-3/4″ increments (for example). This also allows the ends to be (properly) wound and flat ground.
You are interested in the smooth(est) shot cycle, the least cocking effort and keeping the fps as much as you can.
Do I expect you to consider/do this? No. But after doing everything else that you are going to do,….. what if?
At the least,… it would be a fun test and with a few calls, the springs would not be that expensive.
Good Day to you and to all,…….. Chris
Interesting thoughts Chris.
My TX200 came with a couple of 12 FPE kits so I may cut/grind one of those extra springs the way GF1 did to try it out.
Being a perfectionist,… I would have to do as I suggested and get springs made. I did cut one and did the best I could do on squaring it up,… but not the same as a factory wound and properly ground flat. I really do think that perfecting spring length to a minimum would be the final step to a “perfect” tune. I also used the Torrington bearing in the piston, if you recall. I “might” even have one, or two, laying around for a TX200. 😉 I did send GF1 one, but I think that he never used it. It was a (perfect) fit, with the purpose of eliminating spring rotation. The Vortek kits have a rather “mushy” rubber washer the lays in the bottom of the 2 tubes. I would say that it is more of a form fitting, spring vibration dampener.
The Vortek kits use a heavier spring to offset the drag from the plastic tubes. I measured (all) dimensions of the stock and kit springs.
Keep us posted,……… Chris
Right now the TX200 is in default factory configuration. I want to do a bunch of shooting with it like that and take some notes. Next would be to try the different kits (there is four that came with the rifle) and take more notes. After that I would try the spring-trim thing. Curious about the Torringtons and where they would fit in.
Before anything else I need some nice (above freezing) weather so I can shoot outdoors. I was out in the sun shooting today but it got real chilly, real fast when the sun went down. Still ’twas fun beating on the spinners.
Have a great weekend.
The Torrington (hardened washer, needle bearing, hardened washer) is a 3 pc. set. It sits (inside) the back of the piston and the spring then sits on the that. The latch rod is an integral/cast part of the piston and runs up the middle of the piston. The bearing OD fits the piston ID perfect (and) the bearing ID fits the latch rod OD perfectly.
I do believe that I tried it with the Vortek HO kit. It did not work as the outer tube goes all the way into the back of the piston and must have full travel for the gun to latch.
4 kits ehh? Wow! I wonder what they are and what the differences are? As I recall, Vortek offered a std. power kit, a 12 fpe kit and the “high power” (not really) HO kit for the TX200.
By the way, I used 2 bearing sets (1 at each end) of a spring,.. over 3/8″ all thread and then compressed the spring by running a nut down so that I ended up with the cocked/compressed length. I then went past that. All of that to test the theory of spring twist/torsional force. 5/8 of a turn as I recall.
Have a good weekend,…… Chris
I did just find my spring rotation/twist notes from my test. Stock spring, stock length was 8 3/4″.
Compressed to 4 3/4″ and total rotation was 35 degrees. So, a little over 1/10th of a turn. Of course, that is with both ends free to do as they will. In a gun, one or both ends are locked in to a degree, with the exception of lube and maybe a washer. They might rotate/slip some,.. but not to the degree that a proper bearing would allow.
Coil diameter went from .825″ to .833″ when compressed to 4 3/4″. In some cases, that expansion can cause issues.
All in all, I thought that is was a cool and informative test. The topic was hot at the time and while there was much speculation,… I wanted to put some actual #’s to the topic. I had all the stuff to do it proper at the time,… so I did it. That was on 6-27-2015 by the way.
Thanks for the details – good stuff that I will squirrel away with my notes.
I found a way (on the net) to make custom springs on the lathe so I have lots of opportunity to tweak things by rolling my own.
My trade for the TX200 netted me all kinds of extra bits and pieces. The previous owner spared no expense to fully dress it up – the rosewood field-target stock is a beauty and I am looking forward to refinishing it.
Don’t know why there were so many kits. The guy was into competitive FT shooting so maybe he had very refined tastes and was looking for something specific. When he showed me the rifle he seemed reluctant to part with it but I could see the discomfort he had in cocking it (even at 12 fpe) due to the back injury he had form a car accident. Anyway, he wanted the AR20 and me the TX200 so we were both happy with the trade.
I think it was one of the best experiments I did.
I also did it to a Hatsan magnum spring gun and a Tech Force M8. Maybe a couple other springers too. Oh yeah one of the FWB 300’s I had.
Definitely a worthwhile way to tune a springer.
But I will have to say the TX 200 was the easiest to get apart and back together.
I think that the biggest benefit to an airgun manufacturer would be that they could advertise the same fps as another competitor,….. yet be able to post a lighter cocking effort. That tips the scales in their favor.
But,.. that ALSO requires them to experiment with different spring lengths,.. until they find the drop off point. Well worth it, I think.
Agree with the lighter cocking and same fps.
I’m sure there’s probably a dozen reasons they don’t. But yep I think it would be smart on their part. Heck it would probably knock down on warrenty work they would have to do. Less stress on components.
I did try the Torrington bearing in the .177 Tx I had. Never tried them in the .22 caliber Tx.
And to say I didn’t really see any difference in how the gun shot with the Torrington bearings. With the Tx anyway.
I never tryed the Torrington bearings in a magnum springer though. That’s where they may start to show thierself. Those are the guns you get the heavy bump and twist that slaps your cheek when you shoot.
The Tx shoot pretty well as is. So that’s probably why I didn’t see any difference shooting. The Torrington bearings is a good idea. And they just might work better for certain guns than others.
What the Torrington bearings might help also is to reduce cocking effort. Now that is something I did not do with the Tx when I tryed the Torrington bearings.
I think that something like that would be a good adder. It was pure luck though that I had access to something that worked perfectly.
Yes,… while compressing,… if at the same time you are fighting spring rotation,…..that then adds to cocking effort,….. then yes, reducing that would reduce cocking effort.
The biggest thing I see is to keep spring length/rate to a minimum and thus reduce cocking effort. Whatever springer maker “hops on that train” will have an advantage over the over-springer bunch. More power? Fine. But, do not do more than what is required and make it harder to do/cock when less spring (will) accomplish the same thing.
I think you mean air gun manufacturer. Not spring manufacturer.
And there is more things to factor in to get the perfect spring length. One is how well of a job the piston seal does.
It would take some time to get it right for the different guns out there.
And probably some of the manufacturers don’t even know they are doing wrong putting those long springs in guns. They need to be made aware is the way I see it.
Spring(er) maker, not spring maker,… (as I said). In other words,.. the makers,.. of springers.
And so on.
LOL! I do indeed understand. I am going to be so looking forward to your blog reports.
Don’t forget now, RidgeRunner’s Home For Wayward Airguns always tries to be accommodating to these little old ladies. 😉
BB Here in SA we are allowed airguns of a caliber of less than 5.6mm without a FAC.
Larger calber ie .25 airguns may also be owned but are limited to 8J power level.
From late 1970 to 2000 all airguns had to have a FAC.
I wondered where the Gecado name came from. I have seen the name Geco on pellets.
Thanks for the update on SA airgun laws. I remember when I worked at AirForce we could send Condors there in .177 caliber but not .22. That was a shame because .22 was the best caliber for the Condor.
Ok you brought it up.
Why was .22 caliber best in the AirForce Condor?
What criteria. And why not the .25 caliber. Maybe that was back then. Do you still think that now that the .25 caliber pellet is more established.
Simple — power. In fact, when we produced the Condor in .177 initially we had to adjust the valves to not bleed out all the air on the first shot. They needed heavier return springs. That was rectified, but a .177 Condor is a waste of energy, because it cannot compare to the .22.
Why not .25 is because AirForce wasn’t making .25 caliber rifles at that time. I guess today the .25 is probably even better. But when we were selling them to South Africa there was only the .177 and .22.
Ok I was thinking that way but wanted to here it from you.
Times are a change’n as we speak.
Congratulations on your new acquisitions!!! Toys, toys TOYS!!! LOL!
Looking forward to your reports on these rifles – always like to read about tuning and tweaking.
Happy Friday all!
I am like a little kid. I am that excited about the “The Gaylord” Diana Model 27 on its way to me.
I wrote B.B. that I also have a 1980s Diana 24D and 28. The fellow I bought them from had a same-era 24S as well, which appeared in photos to be a 24D but with a slightly shorter barrel. I had run out of money to spend at that point, so I had to pass on the 24S. All are equipped with the three-ball-bearing trigger mechanism, They also have stocks with squared-off pistol grips. Unfortunately, they also have the flip up automatic safety Diana went to.
Today is the day.
I almost forgot. I did buy one of those Diana aperture sights. I think I will use the open sight that you installed on “The Gaylord” as it is. I believe I will use the aperture on my Diana Model 50 as they often came with those.
That would be the way to go.
It’s funny how things sometimes go. It used to be that everyone wanted to tune-up their springers for more velocity. Today and here, at least, the talk is about de-tuning springers to make them cock easily and shoot smoothly.
I like it.
You got it.
Me thinks PCPs have spoiled everyone.
Read my post far below. The “Gaylord Diana 27” (I’m beginning to really like that name — the tune is like magic, and Tom deserves that it to be named for him.) is PCP smooth. It just has a better trigger than 99.9 percent of PCPs.
Bob and Michael
Yes that’s it. That’s what I try for when I tune a spring gun.
Not that it always happens. But it sure is nice when it does.
I hope to see at least the 27. I plan to be at both the Malvern and Texas shows. Please bring it along with you.
You have my curiosity peaked.
I have not owned a 26 or 35. I owned a 45 and was surprised at what a sweet gun it was. I highly recommend the old 45 with the square trigger guard to anyone wanting a quality vintage springer.
I am adding these little tidbits from a conversation Bob M started yesterday with his query concerning a break barrel bullpup. I posted a picture of a Britannia which had the compression tube built into the stock and used the cocking mechanism as a trigger guard. This was a common design at the time. Lincoln Jeffries and others used a similar arrangement with their pistols which housed the compression tube in the grip and the cocking lever also functioned as the trigger guard.
Over the years there have been several bullpup sproingers, most of them being side lever, such as the QB 57 and the Baikal 60 and 61. I have seen some custom Diana 54 air rifles made into bullpups also.
The main problem with having a break barrel or under lever bullpup is what do you do with the cocking mechanism? It is usually occupying the same space where you are wanting to put the trigger mechanism. It is not insurmountable, but can be difficult. Is there a manufacturer who wants to risk going there? Is there enough of a market?
We may once again see side lever pups, but I seriously doubt the break barrel will happen except by custom builders.
Back to our regularly scheduled program.
I don’t know. We just might see a break barrel bullpup.
Especially if the manufacturers keep reading this blog. 🙂
Anything is possible, but with as much engineering and special components that would be required it is doubtful. The big bugaboos are going to be production costs and profit margins. As they are presently configured, break barrels are cheap to produce. When you start talking about changing cocking and trigger linkages, they lose it. TCFKAC only changes the stocks to bring out new models. They will not fix their lousy trigger as it is, not to mention adding a bullpup linkage.
I hope you are right, most especially if it is nice.
All it’s going to take is one of the manufacturers to do it.
It might be closer than you think. Look how rapidly the manufacturers are moving now days.
All I know is they got my eyes open.
I too will wait and see. I am pretty sure that TCFKAC will not be leading the way unless they have a house cleaning. Those who thought that way are now working at places like Sig Sauer.
Sig probably ain’t even thinking that way yet. Or other manufacturers at that.
No, probably not. What I meant was that one of giants of innovation in airguns, Ed Shultz, works for Sig Air. When he was at TCFKAC the Discovery and Marauder came to be. Since he left TCFKAC has mostly just repackaged what they had.
Sig Air will probably move slower than others. It sounds as if they are more concerned with getting it right the first time. It is going to be very difficult to not buy the ASP20 in synthetic stock.
Sig Air is more likely to solve the issue of feeding a selective fire HPA.
The owners of Diana is more likely to develop a sproinger bullpup based the 48, 52 and 54. It is not going to happen, but I would like to see someone bring the Britannia design back.
Love to see a factory bullpup based off a 54.
So would I.
I read with interest your series about repairing Michael’s Diana 27, and was reminded about your experience with it just yesterday.
I recently purchased a Hakim air rifle. Velocities were very low, so I printed out your disassembly instructions and installed a new Diana piston seal. Velocities are still low, only about 240fps. What could be wrong? Where was all that compressed air going?
Well, the loading tap is definitely leaking some air, but the surprise was the air leaking from under the rear sight! Removing the rear sight shows an opening into the compression tube along the front of the rear sight’s dovetail. I don’t know if it’s the result of a crack or corrosion
Have you ever seen this before?
How do you suggest fixing it?
Always enjoy your blog and reader’s comments.
Wow! That’s a new one on me! Where you are describing the crack is right where the compression chamber is.
I suppose a precision weld would seal it, but let’s not do that quite yet. Maybe clean the crack thoroughly and try some JB Weld on it. Caterpillar has fixed cracked transmissions in the field that way. Be careful not to get the stuff into the compression chamber and also leave the rear sight off until the weld is dry and hard.
If you have a peep sight or short scope you can put on the rifle for now you can test it that way.
Another thing to do is to seek a different spring tube. Vince — do you still have any parts left?
You know what. Here’s something I thought about with Michael’s gun with the hole in the barrel.
Leading might be the best way to plug that hole or a crack. The lead would swedge down in the hole or crack and fill it.
The lead would be tough enough to keep the hole or cracked sealed. But soft enough if it made it into the bore of the barrel or compression chamber that it probably could be gotten out with the bore brush or some sand paper. Or with the barrel you could just shoot and it would probably confirm the lead or shoot it to size in that little area of the barrel.
Just a thought. Never tried it.
Congratulations on the acquisitions BB. I am looking forward to the upcoming series with great interest. It is nice to learn about how this old guns were made and how they can be restored to like new – sometimes even better than new – condition.
BTW, I have an old 34 that is a bit harsh, even after installing an aftermarket kit. I am learning and collecting ideas.
Wishing a nice weekend to all,
The Diana 34s that were made in the 1990s were a bit rougher than those made in this century. They were made to sell on price, alone. They can be spotted by their plain wood stocks and somewhat matte metal finish. I never tried to tune one of them, but I bet it’s possible.
Thanks! I’ll try JB Weld.
What can I do about air leaking from loading tap?
The loading tap is another problem. As long as the plate that holds it tight to the action is there and doing its job there isn’t much you can do. In 20+ Hakims I have seen just one tap that was abused and undersized.
I’ll check the plate holding the loading tap.
Thank you for your help, and thank you for writing a great blog.
THE DIANA JACKPOT
Always nice to read about someone that gets to enjoy Christmas twice a year.
I had a Winchester 435 (rebadged Diana 35) with the big, clunky stock. Surprisingly anemic for the cocking effort, size and weight. Made me appreciate the late model Diana 27 even more. Nonetheless, I really like that sleek european stock on B.B.’s 35.
Very intrigued by the Diana 26. I’ve only seen one other late model Diana 26. They’re scarce as hens teeth especially in the USA. Supposedly these generate even more fpe than the 27. Can’t tell from the picture but must assume that B.B.’s 26 has the 3 ball trigger. Wonder if it’s .177 or .22.
At one time B.B. was concerned about running out of airgun topics to write about. Still makes me laugh.
Can’t wait for further installments.
You and Carel are making my day, month, and year! Vintage springers are my favorite. Will watch closely for the future installments. Many thanks in advance!
Great stuff. Among others, I have a 26 and a 27S. They are both good rifles and interesting rifles. You will like them, I predict.
So tell us about the 26. Three ball trigger?
I just read about a new multi link break barrel design that has a much smaller opening in the bottom of the stock.
Unfortunately it fell into the ‘ spacial avoidall ‘ area in my head between my eyes and brain and never entered my memory.
OK …. What about a barrel that has a ratcheting action to cock it ? The lid on my box was left open so I was able to think outside of it today. A CO2 powered cocking action on a fixed barrel !
And how would that Co2 cocking work.
By using the same ingenuity that put a magazine on a break barrel airgun. I’m only throwing out off the wall ideas, thinking out of the box, to support a possible bullpup break barrel design.
It may be entirely possible but turn out to be totally impractical …. and probably is.
It still amazes me how a single stroke of a hand pump can develop over 3,000 PSI. Leverage and the rules of force.
What hand pump can produce 3000 psi from a single pump?
I think you worded it wrong and I think I know what you mean.
I can see what you mean. Meant to say can put out over 3,000 psi with a hand pump stroke. The hand pump on the Aspen Seneca for example will fill its reservoir above the 3000 psi that’s already in it with one stroke. It is capable of developing and putting out more than 3000 psi pressure with a single stroke … not much air coming out but the pressure build up can be reached and overcome.
Now if you had a very little, teeny, tiny reservoir, one pump might do.
I think maintaining is the key word.
Attached to and airgun it is exactly the word.
I thought you said a hand pump.
And same as I said for something like the Aspen.
To maintain a given pressure. Not mak a given pressure in one pump
I’m glad you and Carel were able to work something out.
Now, we have much to which we can look forward in the way of cool future reports. =>
And that reminds me, back on 22FEB, 1stblue said,
“This is not a book club, but ‘Shop Class as Soulcraft,’ an inquiry into the value of work, by Mathew B. Crawford,
not specifically shooting related, but explores why we enjoy so much what you are doing.”
I picked up a copy of the book, in which the author is saddened by the current push of educators
to prepare students to become “knowledge workers,” divorced from the common tools of our granddads.
A couple of lines from the introduction are telling:
“In this book I would like to speak up for an ideal that is timeless but finds little accommodation today:
manual competence, and the stance it entails toward the built, material world.”
“This book is concerned less with economics than it is with the ‘experience’ of making and fixing things.”
And I believe it is that to which 1stblue was referring:
through these blogs you are striving to increase the manual competence of all who read them;
you are trying to get us to enjoy the experience of fixing our own airguns,
perhaps even to the level of making a special tool for a particular repair job.
Yes, in your case, this book will be “preachin’ to the choir,”
but that’s OK; we, your readership, appreciate that which you are trying to accomplish. Thank you!
take care & God bless,
If you haven’t already done so you need to watch the British Shooting Show videos on HAM. We are in for some outstanding airguns.
Thanks for the follow up on that Britannia. I failed to see the relationship with a bullpup but should have done a search on it.
More thoughts, a hinged or fixed articulated lower forearm that closes off the cocking linkage space after cocking.
Went there,. watched it. Giles is a gem! Yes,… (lots) of new stuff coming about. So much so,…. my head will not stop spinning! 😉
My airgun spending spree might meet some serious challenges this year. And the thought of what may lay beyond is making me nervous.
In an entry above I mentioned a new multi link break barrel design, but could not remember where I read about. Well I found it …. At the top of this blog! The ‘new’ly discovered Diana 27S. Too much late night reading? Bob M
Thank you; I had not seen them, but just watch the British Shooting Show 2019 video on youtube.
That HW100 bullpup PCP looks pretty interesting.
Thanks for sharing the information on that show,
and have a great weekend,
The videos on HAM were YouTube links so it is probably the same ones.
Most likely; thanks again. =>
B.B.’s Diana Model 26 has a different looking stock from this 1992 production Diana Model 26:
Maybe B.B. is getting an earlier version?
Here’s another Diana 26 with a very different stock. Reminds me of a guppy style stock on the early FWB 124’s:
Curious er and curious er
Like I said… You know as much as I.
I wish I did.
The stock of the first one resembles those my 24D and 28 have. The second one looks like a Milbro-made (Scotland) Diana, with the sheet steel and clunky forearm.
Could be a Milbro made 26 but seems unlikely since the auction house describes it as a RWS Diana 26. Might be an older Diana model 26 that predates the one that B.B. is receiving because by all accounts that Diana model 26 began production in 1984 and I think Milbro went belly up in 1982. Maybe a custom/homemade stock on that auction piece? Head scratcher.
Not only does the blue book state that the newer Diana model 26 started production in 1984 but the list below that was compiled by Kurt, a long time employee of Mayer & Grammelspacher, confirms this too. If you scroll down to “Diana’s 1892 To Present” you’ll see the list I’m referring to:
Glad to read that you’re enjoying your resurrected model 27.
Carel sent me a picture of the 26’s model number. It says Diana on this gun.
Sorry, I though the photo was attached.
WOW is that stunning and encouraging. The first rate bluing in that photo certainly verifies it’s a Diana. As you well know many “Diana” models from Mibro, Gecado, etc., used the name and cheapened production. The first giveaway was the lack of decent bluing. A dull haze of blue is how I described it in the guns I sold.
You may not be able to tell at this point but your incoming Diana 26 has piqued my interest in an Airgun for the first time in quite awhile.
I’ve done business with Carel. I shared this with you many moons ago when you were contemplating your first purchase from him. Nonetheless, I’m thrilled to learn about this trifecta purchase of Diana’s since in my limited experience you’ve bought them all for the right reasons and different reasons and each model exemplifies how a diverse, quality German Airgun manufacturer can meet the needs of very picky, experienced and engaged Airgun consumers. WITH ALL Due RESPECT I’M NOT REFERRING TO THE USA AIRGUN MARKET DURING THESE PRODUCTION PERIODS SINCE IN THE AIRGUN WORLD MOST OF US WERE STILL IN THE NEANDERTHAL PERIOD OF OUR AIRGUN EXPERIENCES.
I’m encouraged by the apparent renewed interest by USA consumers in quality wood and metal springers from a bygone era with good triggers and superior accuracy that have been handed down to generations of shooters vs.the current fantastic plastic 1,200 feet per second offerings.
Your articles on these vintage springers are getting linked to many Airgun blogs on the internet worldwide.
Seems retro is in vogue.
Your current blog on Michaels Diana 27 has showed the world that not only are parts available to rejuvenate these fine classics (and attests to their worthiness for same) but also empowers owners with your detailed instructions on how they can make their vintage guns perform better than they came from the factory as new.
Not sure you realize the buzz that you’ve created.
B.B. and All,
I might write a comment Monday in the A.M. so more blog readers might see it, but the “Gaylord Diana 27” arrived yesterday, and I shot it some today. With the open rear sight B.B. put on it is a tack-driver at 10 meters. It shoots far, far smoother than my TX200, my FWB 124, my HW30s, or practically anything else. It is SMOOOOOOTH.
When I first shot it, I could not really tell if it had fired. It is without any sound at all upon firing, completely silent, at least with my old ears. I’ll have my wife stand next to me when I shoot it next time to see if she can hear anything. No recoil or vibration at all, just a tiny pulse of what I would guess is two, perhaps three, millimeters. Yes, millimeters! That’s it, other than the thud of a 14 grain lead .22 pellet hitting the target backer thick plywood for the moment.
Holdover? I shot it once by putting the sight on the bullseye, closing my eyes, breaking the glass rod of a second stage, opening my eyes, and the sight was still perfectly on the bullseye. I am usually not able to do this.
It is slightly smoother than my Marauder before I toned down its velocity.at the hammer springs. The trigger is much crisper and lighter than a Marauder trigger (and I like Marauder triggers very much).
Incredible, just incredible.
Well,….. it don’t get no better than that,.. does it? 😉
I really doubt there is a smoother break-barrel in the world, including those classic target break-barrels of the last century.
That has to be the world’s smoothest break barrel then.
But if we throw all spring guns in……
Well the FWB 300 has to be the world’s smoothest, easiest to cock and best trigger on a spring gun.
Yes I know ya said break barrel. But.
Sorry. Just say’n. 🙂
Yes the sledge system on the FWB 100, 150 and 300 series is smooth, easy to cock and generally have good triggers. The early guns were handicapped and the RT VERSIONS were single stage. Not a complaint since I had a very accurate RT in a Thumbhole stock.
In my experience giss guns are superior to sledge systems during firing cycles and with few exceptions cocking efforts.
Since this blog is about Diana’s I’ll focus on their models vs, the FWB 300.
The best comparison is the FWB 300 vs. the Diana 75 since they are both fixed barrel side cocking piston guns. The firing cycle, trigger and accuracy goes to the Diana 75. The ease of rebuild and increase in power goes to the FWB 300.
Since the original topic was about break barrels it’s hard to beat a healthy Diana 60, 65 or especially a 66 for ease of cocking, great trigger, accuracy, ease of scoping, no notice of firing cycle, did I mention accuracy?, etc.
If you’re having a conversation about the worlds best springers they have to be included.
Never had a 75. That’s got to be a heck of a smooth gun to beat out a 300.
I would like to shoot a 75. Sounds like a nice gun.
Gunfun1 and Kevin,
I forgot about the 75 and 72. I have a 72, and yes, the GISS system makes it seem entirely inert. There must be some very slight, barely perceptible recoil due to Newton’s Third Law of Motion. So too with my FWB 601. Of course Olympic Target PCPs these days are genuinely recoilless as they have a compensation system (a Heisenberg Compensator? ;^)
Therefore, The Gaylord is the smoothest conventional break-barrel in the world until someone can prove another break-barrel is smoother. Hah! Good luck with that.
Here’s an analogy that only folks from Elgin Illinois will know: The Gaylord Diana 27 is to conventional break-barrels as the Burns Pharmacy malted milkshake was to frozen shakes. There was never one smoother!
Goodie, goodie gumdrops! 🙂
I hoped you would feel the same as I did about it. I tell you — this Krytox stuff had really better be good, because if it isn’t, I’m doing this (what I did to your rifle) from now on!
Perhaps you will find that Krytox smoothes a springer without reducing velocity? If so, it would be good for magnums. But if hyper velocity is not a goal, it is difficult to imagine something being more effective than TIAT.
Krytox has been recommended to me several times on this blog. I am tempted to tune my own Diana 27 with it, because if it doesn’t work as advertised I can ten do for mine what I did for yours.
If it does work I’ll be interested to see what kind of velocity it gives.
Way off topic
The US Mint just issued the first of a very special Lincoln penny three coin set. Each of the three will be a bonus coin only available with the purchase of one of the three different annual coin sets issued. The proof, silver and uncirculated sets.
One will have a ‘proof’ finish another a ‘reverse proof’ finish and the last a ‘special circulated’ finish. They will be from the West Point Mint with a ‘W’ on the face.
I can’t imagine how rare and valuable this 3 coin set will be in the future if it’s a one time deal. Coin dealers will not be able to purchase these coins in bulk on their own. An ingenious sales tactic for sure.
I complained to the US Mint a while back about allowing coin dealers to buy out the entire inventory of limited production special coins in about 10 seconds leaving none available for individuals. So to get one you had to go through a dealer after it was graded and sonically sealed in a case for twice as much money.
It’s called “Scalping the public” I told them. Well as a result they changed their policy. All rare new limited production coins are limited to one coin at a time for a very short period of time before they get bought out.
It drove all those TV coin shows crazy knowing they were out for sale and all the pre-orders they took would have to wait and their first day of issue sales pitch came into question but they got around that part.
Well this looks like an extension of policy to allow individuals and perhaps only them to get in on limiter production rare coins.
Not into coins,……. but I have heard that similar things happen for tickets to big events and concerts and such. “XYZ” event sold out in 22 minutes!!!!! Really????????? The computer “bots” bought them up. Criminal! Pure criminal in my opinion.
I’m sure the Gaylord Diana 27 rifle will become a prized possession and a valuable collector item in the future. And I thought his signature alone would be great to have on a gun.
If you ask him nicely you may get him provide you with a “Certificate of Authenticity”. There ‘s only one ‘Godfather of Airguns” and I think he underestimates his notoriety.
Yeah, I will do that for Michael. That rifle deserves to be documented.
I know some people think that I know a lot about airguns, but you guys watch me bungle along every day. You know I ain’t so special. If we didn’t have a lot of smart and kind collectors reading this blog and making comments I would have been in the ditch many times!
If I have anything going for me, it’s this blog. It’s as much a blessing to me as it is to anybody. Believe me when I say, this blog has kept me up during a time when things weren’t so easy. Youse guys are as much a part of that as anything. 🙂
We ALL love you Tom 🙂
“Youse”,…. ????? Ok,… I guess. Youse ain’t so bad yourself,………… 😉
“Youse guyss” probably captures the Chicago accent better than any other phrase except, “Da Bearss.”
Do you remember “NYPD Blue”? Everybody had a New York accent except for Dennis Franz. Franz is from Chicago and his accent is pure Chicago. The same with Dennis Farina. (Dennis must have been a popular baby name in Chicago in the 1940s and 1950s.)
Better watch out for those who might sue you for taking advantage of there cultural vernacular. Times are changing,” Dontcha know “. You might be safe as long as you don’t roll up a pack of cigarettes in your T shirt sleeve, wear a garrison belt and roll up your dungaree pant legs. 😉 Notice I left out the thing about a ducktail ! We would need a wig. Avoid saying it when guys with nicknames like Bowser are nearby.
Well BB …. they don’t send any of us airguns to test or ask us to be on TV.
You forgot the Fonze. What the …. !
Student Naval Aviators tended to look up their Instructor Pilots student success rate data; my sucess record’s looked pretty good to them so they thought I was perfect. That belief of perfection can get you killed quick because if you do make a mistake they will not tell you because you are a “god in the cockpit” for them and obviously can’t make mistakes!!!!
I told my flight students that I had an eraser on my mechanical pencil that was replaceable and that I kept replacing them regularly to make people think I never made mistakes; so they needed to watch the erasers on my wooden pencils for wear; I always had one stubby one with 3/4 of the eraser worn away which I always produced to drive home the point that they needed to speak up if they thought I had or was about to make a mistake. Very important for them since they would arrive at the accident first sitting in the front cockpit.
Your Blog Readership helps you correct small and large things that slip through from time to time which you verify and fix, most often with a brief thank you. That makes your blog reports like my mechanical pencil to the casual readers, perfect ; ) A least until you whip out your stubby yellow wooden pencil and point to the eraser! Your post above pointing to your eraser and others you have made from time to time show you to clearly be, The Godfather of Airguns.
I will also say: that by simply having covered airguns for all these decades, with your eyes and mind wide open, has made you a repository of vast amounts of historically and technically factual information. You share it with your Blog Readership and that makes you SPECIAL Sir!
Well said Sir !
He has probably forgotten more then we will ever know.
BB , Thank you for hanging it there with us during those hard times. It’s what you do so well that stands out.
Thanks! Did you write down the serial number? (If you e-mail me, I can get it to you.)
No, I didn’t write it down. Please email it to me.
I love to read about all these old air guns…especially the springers. Can’t wait to see the reports on these newly-acquired Diana’s!
St. Louis, MO