by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
This report covers:
- The deal
- Diana peep sight
- Cheap peep
- Same idea — more elegant
- The best
- BIG teaching point
- On with the Diana peep
- So, what?
- My 27
- RWS Superpoints
- Air Arms Falcons
- Sad news
Today’s report isn’t quite what the title says. I am going to tune my Hy Score 807/Diana 27 for you, because, after the success I had with Michael’s rifle, I felt it was time to strike while the iron is hot. But reader comments entered the picture as I was extolling the virtues of Tune in a Tube. One reader said he had his best luck with a lubrication product called Krytox, and then several more readers piled on, saying similar things. So, the subtitle of this report could be “The Great Krytox Experiment, or Krytox versus Tune in a Tube.” Because that’s what I plan to do — tune my Diana 27/Hy Score 807 with Krytox to compare it to a Tune in a Tube tune.
I’ll say this up front — I am biased towards TIAT. I will do my very best with Krytox to get the smoothest tune I can possibly get, but if it isn’t as smooth as a TIAT tune, I plan to shout that from the rooftops! You see, people have been recommending Krytox to me for a long time.
And, here is the deal. I don’t care about velocity. I have plenty of airguns with more velocity than a Diana 27 could ever have. I care about smoothness. Smoothiosity is what I am after — smoothishousness! You can keep your velocity (and your “Ho there!”). I want an air rifle that’s as smooth as Michael’s. If I get it with Krytox — so be it. I will become a Krytox cheerleader. I just have to find my white Go Go boots with the tassels and dust off my pom-poms.
Krytox is a performance lubricant that is essentially a grease. It was invented by DuPont and is a registered trademark of The Chemours Company, a 2015 spin-off from DuPont. It is not a single product but a range of similar products that are fluorocarbon ether polymers of polyhexafluoropropylene oxide. Yes — I got that off Wiki and no — it doesn’t mean anything to me. If you wake up a chemist rapidly, they won’t know what it means, either — or should I say ether? For us who are the Great Unwashed, it’s Teflon grease. And it is frightfully expensive! A 14-gram tube (about a half-ounce) that is half the size of a travel tube of toothpaste costs $22, plus shipping.
There it is — $22 of Krytox grease. I hope it’s worth it!
Diana peep sight
More on the tune in a bit. Now let’s look at something I just received for the Diana 27 — a Diana peep sight! When I was finishing Michael’s rifle, the subject of peep sights arose and reader Kevin mentioned the Diana peep sight. There are actually several different Diana peeps, so let me explain.
The Diana 72 youth target rifle is actually a Diana model 6 target pistol that has been transformed into a small target rifle. Well, Diana modified the pistol’s rear sight to accept a peep over the conventional open notch and the cheap peep was born!
That’s a target pistol rear sight that has had a peep slipped over the rear notch — a cheap peep!
Same idea — more elegant
Diana didn’t stop there. They also created a more elegant rear sight that is both an open notch and a peep in the same way as the 72 rear sight. Only this one predates the 72 by many years and is more elegant. I have one on my Diana model 50 underlever, but until reader Mike Driskill told me, I was unaware that the peep came off to reveal a regular open notch sight.
The rear sight on my Diana model 50 underlever is a peep. It’s more elegant than the model 72 peep. Look at that horizontal wheel in the front of the mount. I’ll say more about that in a bit.
Mike Driskill told me how to remove the peep to reveal a sporting rear sight.
Diana didn’t stop there. They competed with FWB, Walther and Anschutz in the 1960s for supremacy in target air rifles. Their models 60, 65 and 66 breakbarrels were recoilless target rifles that all had the Giss system built in, and their model 75 was a sidelever that was the absolute high watermark for the company. On each of these sat a dedicated target aperture rear sight that does not convert to an open sight. This is the Diana peep sight we have been talking about.
It’s also the Diana peep sight that is so hard to find! I can find 10 FWB peeps for every one Diana peep that comes along. So, when someone (Kevin?) mentioned that someone on Ebay was selling several, I went there immediately and bought one. The seller is in Bulgaria, which probably puts off a lot of folks, but I have had no problems dealing with overseas sellers. Sometimes their shipping costs are high, but this chap was shipping for free! All he wanted was $89 for a sight that would retail for $100+ at any airgun show. So I bought it and now it’s here. By the way, this guy spent 13.20 Euro to get my sight to me, so free shipping was a real plus for me.
This is my new/old formal Diana peep sight — no conversion to a sporting sight for this one! See the horizontal wheel at the front of the base? Now I will explain.
The horizontal wheel at the front of the base of both this peep and the one on the Diana 50 controls a “foot” that locates and locks the sight to the rifle. The wheel turns and the foot goes up and down. When it goes down, tiny ridges in it interface with the ridges that are on many vintage Diana air rifles. They are on a plate that American airgunners have for years called a scope base. It’s not a scope base; it’s really there to accept these peep sights and lock them in position.
The underside of the peep sight base shows the “foot” that presses down to lock with the ridges on top of the plate on the rifle that American airgunners call the scope base. The horizontal wheel make the foot go up and down.
The underside of these peep sights have jaws that are dovetailed to fit over the base on the rifle. When the foot presses down it lifts the sight up until the sight’s jaws press against the underside of the base, locking it in place.
Those small ridges on the rifle base interface with the ridges on the bottom of the sight’s mounting foot. Not all Diana air rifles have a base like this.
BIG teaching point
In fact — here is a BIG teaching point. The reason Diana never understood our complaints about barrel droop when their rifles are scoped is because they couldn’t envision scoping their rifles. They made them to accept rear peep sights that have oodles more vertical adjustment than any scope. They understand barrel droop today, but they didn’t when those vintage air rifles were being built.
On with the Diana peep
The Diana peep sight is just as serious and formal as the sights of any of its competitors. It has click detent adjustments, scales that show where the adjustment is set and it accepts standard peepholes and all the accessories that go with them.
You’ll find everything on a Diana peep that’s found on all the best peeps. The special thing is that this sight fits on many of their sporting rifles, too!
Why am I showing you this peep sight? A couple reasons. First, I talk about it a lot and I wanted to show you the details. And I wanted you to see how it interfaces with Diana sporting rifles. Do I have plans to mount it on my 27 for an accuracy test? Who knows? I sure don’t. But after the tune I’m about to do I might want to see what the accuracy envelope is. I remember that Michael’s rifle is an extremely accurate 27, so maybe mine will be too?
You will also remember that I have three vintage Diana rifles coming from reader Carel in the Netherlands. Maybe I will try it on one of them? It doesn’t matter. When something this rare comes along I will scoop it up if I can and worry about where to put it later.
I’m going to be tearing into my Diana 27 for this article. Step one will be to test it for velocity as it now stands. I also want to show you the breech seal, because I plan to upgrade it in the tune. Let’s look at velocity first. I will look at the test I did back in 2017 and meld it with the test I did on Michael’s rifle.
RWS Superpoints have been the pellet of choice for my Diana 27 for 2 decades. In 2017 ten of them averaged 468 f.p.s. with a 16 f.p.s. spread from 458 to 474 f.p.s. Today 10 Superpopints average 463 f.p.s. with a 39 f.p.s. spread — 443 to 482 f.p.s. I think the problem is the breech seal.
The leather breech seal (arrow) has become very flat over the years. I will replace it.
Air Arms Falcons
I also tried Air Arms Falcons because they were the most accurate in Michael’s rifle. I’ve never tried them in my own rifle. Falcons averaged 452 f.p.s. with a 53 f.p.s. spread from 422 to 475 f.p.s. Yes, I think the breech seal is definitely the culprit.
I will strip the rifle next, showing you what has been inside for over 20 years. Then I will clean it and lubricate it with Krytex. I have read that tuners advise using very little of this grease so I will be very careful.
Following that I will assemble the rifle and shoot it for both the feel and for velocity. If it is at least as calm as it is now I will also shoot it for accuracy, but if I lose smoothness, the test is over. I will then strip the gun and lube with TIAT.
I’m not putting in a new piston seal or mainspring because the ones in my 27 are doing just fine. I’ll show them to you.
Remember — I’m after a dead-smooth air rifle. I thought I had that until I tested Michael’s rifle. Now I know what I’m looking for.
If I have to tune the rifle a second time I will retest for velocity, because we do want to know. But it’s the feel of the shot that I’m going for.
I will show you what I’m doing every step of the way, like I did with Michael’s rifle. And I won’t run these segments concurrently because not everybody is interested as I am.
Now I have some sad news about Cecil Bays of Hatsan. I received the following email from Blaine Manifold, the CEO of Hatsan USA.
Dear Hatsan Family,
Two years ago, we were fortunate to have Cecil (Bays) accept a position with HatsanUSA and he soon moved his family from Havasu City, AZ to Northwest Arkansas. During this time, you all have worked with and have had a chance to get to know Cecil. Cecil is the guy that would drop everything to help someone in need. He is also the guy, that would never ask for help if he was in need.
On Sunday morning, March 10, 2019, Cecil’s wife Jennifer and son Ryan were traveling back to visit family in Havasu City. Jennifer and Ryan were involved in a car accident on Interstate 40 as they crossed over into AZ from NM. The Ford Expedition rolled several times. Jennifer was airlifted to a hospital in Flagstaff and is currently still in ICU. She suffered a severely dislocated elbow (2 surgeries so far), severely broken ribs (which will require surgery), a punctured lung, and a severely dislocated toe which required surgery. The good news is, doctors feel that she will recover physically. Unfortunately, Ryan passed away at the scene. In addition to the physical challenges, the emotional suffering from experiencing the loss of a child is unimaginable – and will never be fully overcome.
Cecil immediately flew to Flagstaff to be at Jennifer’s side early Monday morning. They have no family or contact in Flagstaff and he is staying in a hotel and renting a car. The arrangements for Ryan’s funeral are on hold for now until Jennifer is capable to provide input.
I humbly ask for your help to ease the burden for Cecil’s family during this time. Firstly, prayers and thoughts are most important. Secondly, the unexpected financial burden on the family is overwhelming and, understandably, not planned for. If you can and feel compelled to help Cecil financially in this very difficult time, please use one of the below options to contribute:
Option #1 – Non-Tax Deductible – This is the quickest way to deposit into Cecil’s account (No Fee or Processing Charge)
Make Checks Payable to Cecil Bays
Send Check To:
C/O Cecil Bays Fund
P.O. Box 576
Bentonville, AR 72712
Option #2 – Qualified Tax-Deductible Account (No Fee or Processing Charge)
Make Checks Payable to Ryan Harvey Funeral Fund
Send Check To:
C/O Ryan Harvey Funeral Fund
P.O. Box 576
Bentonville, AR 72712
101 thoughts on “Tuning BB’s Diana 27: Part1”
Sorry to hear about Ryan. The loss of a child is a very personal issue. Been there. It’s the worst.
As far as Krytox, I think I was the latest one to egg you on. Remember it’s all or nothing with it, use only krytox for all lube. It should be good for a leather seal, but nobody is using it for that afaik.
The loss of Ryan, the terrorist attack in NZ, I have had a depressing hour. My sympathy to all the injured and bereaved.
Very sad. Can’t comprehend what they are going through. Loosing my daughter’s would be devastating. Praying for them.
Will be interesting to see what the Krytex does. And if it works. Than I suppose it’s worth it.
The question is. How many guns will that tube of Krytex do?
I understand that for Krytox to be effective and long lasting every last vestige of petroleum based lubricants need to be removed. Usually either with lots of brake cleaner or acetone. How can you remove this from a leather piston seal? New leather seal, synthetic seal? Clean, clean, clean.
Life is great except when it sucks!
PS don’t forget behind your ears.
At last year’s Texas Airgun Show I had the pleasure of meeting Cecil Bays, and shooting the field target match in his squad. I’m sad to read this. There is also a gofundme account to help with expenses. https://www.gofundme.com/cecil-bays039-family-recovery-fund/thankyou?d=fQqs5tPajXFl7t6afQO%2F6jeeFtRIr%2BP%2BIeBjgjUlhWM%3D
Jerry, I didn’t have any checks on me, but I was able to donate there, so thank you for that link.
Looking forwards to seeing how this stuff works. A tube of Pellgun Oil has .25 fl. oz., which many of us have. Like you said, not much. I wonder the primary intended use/application of this product? The purported benefits over something that is similar? Yogi’s comment on doing a super clean was interesting. That would indicate more is needed than just a simple, thorough wipe down. Maybe this is an ideal, super low friction type of lube, but how well will it do in dampening spring vibrations that the super sticky TIAT is known for?
In fact, where in the industrial world has grease of any type been used to dampen spring vibrations? Sure, spring movement within/against something,…. but specifically for vibration/buzz dampening?
Prayers for Cecil’s family.
How quickly life can change. I was talking with 2 separate tow truck operators recently and the stories they could/did tell. Another, used to go on runs with his Dad years ago and he said that his father (never) had to preach to him about not drinking and driving after him seeing the aftermath’s up close and personal. That was back when it was very, very common. Thank you to law enforcement for greatly improving that.
Good Day to one and all,….. Chris
Ageed! Waiting to here if the stuff works well with parts that have wider tolerances. Maybe these older guns have really tight tolerances from all the “bedding in”? Still do not know how it will work with leather.
To do a real comparison, when you are done with this you should clean out the gun with TIAT and use Krytox in it and vice versa,
Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Romans 12:15
Nice buy on that peep. I have been wanting to pick up some of these old sights. A peep is most definitely the way to go if you are not using good quality glass, although most of the old gals around here will not even accept these..
As for this Krytox, I do not know. We will have to wait and see. I just bought a lifetime supply of TIAT at Lowe’s for six dollars. I also have access to all of the food grade open gear grease I can possibly use. I do hope it works great as more options are always nice, but I do not see this being used at RidgeRunner’s Home For Wayward Airguns. Who knows?
I know — who really knows? I guess that’s why I’m doing this. I have been cleaning my 27 for three hours now and am getting close to the finish. Acetone really cuts through old grease fast!
I have a lab test this AM that I’m fasting for, so no joy in Mudville this morning, but we shall see. At least I have Hubs peanuts to come home to! 🙂
Please be sure to have good ventilation when using Acetone – it’s pretty nasty stuff to breath.
I would default to using naptha for most of the cleaning and then finish up with acetone if I thought I needed something more aggressive.
What?! Miss out on the buzz?
Know Buzz – he can sneak up on you if you aren’t careful.
Yep, and then there is Lalaland.
That does sound like a good way to end your fast. 😉 I could stand to fast for a few weeks myself. Have you started scraping your face again or are you still on your straight razor sabbatical?
I shave with an electric razor again, and a safety razor and, when I want a close shave, a straight razor. I still trim my next in back with a straight razor only.
Have you tried a pre shave electric razor powder stick?
Prayers for Cecil.
Not every reader will agree with me but I find this report fascinating. I know how amazing TIAT is from first hand experience so bring on the test. I do wonder how you will measure the smoothness unless the difference is obvious. I am into peeps already because they overcome my eye issues. With the right light conditions I can score as well at 25 yards with a quality peep as with a scope. Peeps also eliminate some scope concerns like adjustment spring tension. I should point out it is important to have a hood, cover or even an umbrella over a front sight post for best focus but maybe it is just my eyes. I have never had a Diana peep. You have found a jewel.
I am impatiently waiting on the next report.
I’m up to my elbows in the 27 right now. Have been since 4 a.m. I’m waiting on a new breech seal and shim from Chambers that should be here soon, but I’ll leave the old one in ’til it gets here.
As for how can I tell how smooth it is — no real science. I shot the 27 yesterday, and I still remember Michael’s rifle, so it will be by guess and by golly. If Krytox comes close I won’t be that picky. But if there is any vibration I can detect, then no dice. I’ll strip her and use TIAT. Might even leave the Krytox in there if I do that.
The recommended solvent for krytox is more expensive than the krytox. The bright side is it shouldn’t really interfere with other lubrication.
Have been looking forward to part three of the Diana Stormrider gen.2.
Maybe I have missed it, but if not, when are you planning for it?
BTW. Are you also planning on testing the Diana Skyhawk?
Looking forward to hearing from you.
Looks like I forgot Part 3. Thanks for the reminder.
I am saddened to hear of the loss Cecil and his family are suffering now. It is said that the loss of a child is the most painful of losses. Indeed, my thoughts and prayers are with them.
I received my Diana peep from the seller in Bulgaria earlier this week. It arrived about five or six days before I thought it would. The sight has a very small aperture, and I was worried when I saw that. My eyes are so old. But it works beautifully with my eyes, and it must have a tiny glass element in it. In the middle of the sight image is a centered circle of sharp magnification! Well, perhaps it isn’t actually magnification. The light around it is slightly blurred, but the center is in a kind of “ultra-sharpness” at any distance.
The foot on the bottom is like a file! Like chains on a snow tire. This will not budge a micron once it’s tightened to a Diana grooved mount strip. The Diana 27 you tuned for me, which I christened “The Gaylord,” will continue to sport the open sight you put on it. It is simply too accurate to mess with. I will install this peep sight on my Diana Model 50. Almost every photo of a 50 has it with a peep, so mine ought to have one, too.
I am interested in the Krytox. As you pointed out, nobody shoots a Diana Model 27 for power. A 27 should be made into a smoooooth customer. But perhaps the Krytox will have no effect on the velocity, which would bode well for its use on magnum springers.
Gosh Darnnit! Will you quit going on about those Dianas of yours. I am trying real hard not to have any more older gals move into RidgeRunner’s Home For Wayward Airguns right now. I am trying to prepare a room for a petite, young PCP right now and need to focus on her.
Well then, it sounds like I need to tell you about my Diana Model 50! :^)
First, there are two kinds, the later, more powerful ones (avoid these), and the low-powered older ones everybody wants and likes. They are very common in Europe but somewhat rare in the United States. Those that did make it to the U.S. are usually branded Winchester 450 and imported by Daisy. Mine is in .177, but they are usually in .22. Worldwide they are branded like many Dianas: Diana, Winchester, Original, Gecado, Hy-Score, and so on.
They are low-powered, quite long, under-lever tap-loaders, ideal for bench rest at 10 meters to 25 yards. All steel and wood and built like tanks. Mine has the three-ball-bearing trigger. The forearms range from quite plain to having very fancy contours.
They are famously smooth-shooting, probably due to their low power, under-lever cocking, and weight, which is more than most springers at that power level. With this peep sight on it, the sight radius will be tremendous. I can’t wait for the weather to clear up so I can install it, go out, get it on-target, and see how tight the groups will be.
No PCP could ever be as nice as a good-shooting Diana Model 50. The 50 is a classic. They aren’t making them anymore. Airguns like it aren’t made at all anymore. Old-World craftsmenship from the good old days. Put one of these next on the list and push that PCP to the back of the line. ;^)
“No PCP could ever be as nice as a good-shooting Diana Model 50.”
I would like to see for myself one day. Pretty heavy stuff there.
There are other springers that are as nice as or nicer than a Diana 50, but any PCP? Naw.
So what is imperfect about the 50? Well, they are a bit on the heavy side. .Also, because the cocking arm is quite short, they cock a bit harder than most air rifles in their power range.
I do like tap-loaders. Easy and safe to load. A no-brainer is a good thing for me, because I often forget to bring my brain along for the ride. ;^)
More explanation needed.
How can the Diana 50 be better than a pcp?
What pcp’s have you shot? And how come you can’t shoot a PCP as good as a 50? Or should I say what makes the 50 better.
I have shot a lot of pcp’s and a lot of springers. I can say that some springers equal pcp’s. But are not better than pcp’s. Well what I have had anyway.
Perhaps the problem is in the word I initially used, “nice.” “Better” is also problematic. Both beg the question, “As in what?” (By the way, the PCPs I have shot are two Benjamin Marauders and an Alfa Proj pistol.)
I think what I really meant instead of nice was “classic.”
Here are some air guns no one would argue are not true classics: Sheridan Blue Streak, Benjamin 392, Webley Senior, Webley Mark I, Feinwerkbau 124, Feinwerkbau 300s, Diana 27, Diana LP8, Air Arms TX200, Weihrauch HW77, Crosman Mark I, Umarex S&W 586, Daisy 499, Daisy No. 25, Beeman P1, Walther LGR.
Not one mass-produced PCP belongs in the list above. A PCP might be well-made, accurate, well-designed, and ergonomic. But it just isn’t in that powerplant to achieve “Classic” status. Groundbreaking? Of course. The Discovery and Marauder were groundbreaking. But they are not true classics in the sense that the above air guns are. No mass-produced PCP is an heirloom air gun.
Thanks for the explanation. Better understood now.
But still ain’t with you totally.
Some pcp’s can indeed be heirloom’s. Remember pcp’s will be classic’s some day. Their will be people that like what the pcp’s will offer too. Think outside the box. 😉
Makes me remember the conversations we had as kids about the muscle cars we was buying and hot rodding up. Look what they are now days. As it goes. Time Will Tell
Point well taken. There might be some FX and AirForce rifles in particular that do look capable of being classics, now that I think about your argument.
More mind opening here.
What about Daystate. I’ll stop there.
Well maybe not.
Why wouldn’t a Fortitude or a Marauder or Discovery or 1720T be a heirloom?
Heck my Winchester 190 is my most cherished heirloom I have. And they ain’t even worth that much now days.
You see where I’m going here.
Some higher end PCP’s have quite the following, heirloom, collector status. No,.. not as old as springers, but they have been around for more than a few years now. At what age can something be considered a “classic” anyways? Does somewhat limited/lower production hurry that status up any?
Like GF1 said, look at the older muscle cars. Mass produced. But find one in original condition and in good shape and it will bring a real pretty penny. Maybe better than a well performing 401K? Common then, classic now. On cars VS air guns,… look at the new cars and the tech./reliability offered. It does not even begin to compare with older cars. That is where tech./performance wins out. Older is well,.. older. That always wins, hands down. That alone will give them preference in the classic status world.
All in all,……… an interesting debate,.. full of opinion and no real answers. 🙂
It’s pretty simple really.
Surprised nobody said yet.
Personal preference plays a big part of what a person will want/get when it boyles down to buying. But it goes beyond that.
A heirloom can be bought by a person to be one at some point in time. But in reality will most likely be accepted as a gift.
I think what we are after here is that as time goes things will be sought after. Some more than others. And the thing is they all have a chance at being just that. All in their own time.
Oh and by the way Chris. You got a heck of a classic with your Daystate laminated left hand Red Wolf.
Time for a picture inserted here. 🙂
Yup,… it is supposed to “the” pinnacle of all their guns. It is ambi. by the way. Now,.. they have a (new) GCU 2.0 that is also coupled with a new (ART Polygonal barrel). Mine has the std. GCU and a polygonal barrel (offered only in the high power version).
The new GCU is supposed to add 20% (!!!!) in power and the new ART barrel has a straighter twist (I think) for higher FPS projectiles and maybe for bullet shaped projectiles.
Pics? Still have not figured that one out with my dumb flipper,… but will see if I can’t compose one for you to post. Maybe tomorrow. Note made.
Time? Yup,… that (does) have a way of sorting everything out! 😉
Ok you get a picture together and I’ll post it.
It will be a pleasure to see it. Love those laminated stocks. And what better than as we called it with muscle cars. Resale red.
If you don’t know what I’m talking about I’ll let you know.
“Some higher end PCP’s have quite the following, heirloom, collector status. No,.. not as old as springers, but they have been around for more than a few years now. At what age can something be considered a “classic” anyways? Does somewhat limited/lower production hurry that status up any?”
Chris, you must remember this PCP are far older than mere spring piston guns!
see my post above to Michael!
Now we are getting very subjective. There are many on that list of yours that I would have nothing to do with, that is unless someone just gave it to me. Then I would likely move it as fast as I could to try to get what I want.
There are classic PCPs out there. Many have the first name of Daystate. Some go by the first names of Theoben, BSA… There are some very nice classic PCPs out there. They were not cheap to begin with and they are not getting any cheaper.
That is why sproingers came along. They were not cheap then either. In 1906 working stiffs would get together and form a shooting club, pull their money and buy one BSA.
R.R., Chris, Gunfun1,
I seem to have touched a nerve, almost as if I called someone’s child unexceptional. :^) I conceded a PCP can be a classic in some senses and mentioned the Discovery (historical importance) and FX and AirForce (incredible performance and design). And yes, ultimately time will tell.
First, RidgeRunner, the sixteen air guns I listed above would alone make an excellent air gun collection, each by consensus is a true classic often discussed by airgunners, especially air gun collectors, in reverent tones. I have thirteen of them, and I can tell you from personal experience they are not at the top of the heap among air gun collectors for nothing. You have some classic air guns, and you know what I mean.
Which of the sixteen would make up the “many . . . [you] would have nothing to do with”? Not wanting one is a personal choice anyone can make about anything but has nothing to do with something being or not being a classic. If someone gave me an original 427 Cobra, I would likely “move it as fast as I could.” But it is without question a classic. I do not greatly desire a Diana LP8, Webley Senior, or Walther LGV, because I already have a P1, Webley Mark I, and FWB 601. But they are all true classics. Were Dr. Beeman reading this, and were he familiar with the LP8, I am confident he would agree my list of true classics was made up entirely of air guns that are indeed true classics that are timeless.
Now, a “classic PCP,” I would argue, is not necessarily the same thing as a “classic air gun.” While I do consider the 1720T to be a contemporary classic, Gunfun1, the Marauder is not a true classic air rifle in my opinion, and I have long owned two of them. It and the Fortitude are not even close to being genuinely classic air guns. Being a mostly well-designed, very good shooting, but occasionally haphazardly-made air gun with so-so quality components and materials disqualifies something from being a classic in my view and in the view of collectors of many, well, collectibles: watches, art, books, knives, antique furniture, vintage Hi-Fi, vintage musical instruments and so on.
A top drawer mass-produced PCP such as a Theoben, Daystate, BSA and so on is an excellent tool and recreational device, but a TX200 is a true classic.
O.K., now let me have it. ;^D
🙂 No problem here. In matter’s of personal preference and taste, there is no right or wrong. I do think that writer’s over the years (whatever the product) have had a big part in elevating something to desired/collectable/cult status.
Add in well performing and a few decades of time,.. then you have the recipe for a classic.
LOL! OK, here is comes! As I said, it is indeed subjective.
Of those you listed, I must scratch my head about some of them. For example, I just have no idea why a Diana LP8 would be considered a classic. A 6M or a 10 maybe, but I must be missing something somewhere.
Now as for that one from the company that begins with a U, I have yet to see anything produced by them I would spend my money on.
I have a 1959 Daisy 99. It is a true classic. The 499 is the single shot version of it. The 499 is a tad more accurate, but I can load a few hundred bbs in mine and have fun all afternoon. There are those who would trade their mother’s ashes for a 25, but I really have no interest in them.
Now, some of the others I would think of them as classics, but still do not have any interest in them myself. I will pass this thought on to you and let you ponder it a bit.
“A top drawer mass-produced PCP such as a Theoben, Daystate, BSA and so on is an excellent tool and recreational device, but a TX200 is a true classic.”
I see TX200’s for sale all of the time. I myself have been tempted to have a .22 with a walnut stock. They are indeed superb air rifles. As for the old classic top drawer PCP air rifles, you almost never see them for sale. Usually when one of these comes on the market, it is during an estate sale. Ask BB.
Thought we done had the communication thing under control already.
Maybe this will help people see what’s been talked about here.
Some things are not classics yet. But they will be. And here is the big thing. Some will be more sought after classics than others. Again look back in time with cars. And not only muscle cars of the 60’s through the 80’s. But also the 50’s and the 40’s and 30’s and so on.
And here’s something else. It doesn’t even have to be great design for someone to want it.
There is under dog cars as well as airguns and other things. Like even guitars. People still want them.
What I’m getting at is we shouldn’t categorize what we think will be what someone desires as a classic.
Like it’s been said. Personal preference seems to have a imoact on choice too.
You have forgotten that Pre-Charged Pneumatic Rifles & Pistols predate the most “classic” spring piston Airgun you can possibly find. The Girardoni or an old Quackenbush certainly Trumps any spring piston airgun!
A modern day Quackenbush along with a few other builders of PCP are virtually a collectable as soon as they are sold and most of them will become heirlooms (a valuable object that has belonged to a family for several generations) since with a modicum of care they will still be shootable for at least hundreds of years.
I did write “mass-produced” more than once with Dennis Quackenbush PCPs in mind. One at a time by a one-man shop.
I’m not going to let you think you can Weasel out of this so easily! Lol!
The term “mass-produced” is a relative term; one can mass-produce items by various methodologies. Not all require assembly line production which most equate with that mode.
A perfect modern example that you have seen explained by B.B. is used by SIGAIR to build their mass-produced ASP20; and probably many more “classics” of the future. Many other methods are in current use thought the industrial world.
So if one has 1,000 (Airgun) gunsmiths laboring to build one gun per workweek using the same machines, material finishing methods and Handtool skills to produce 52,000 X-100 Airguns… what is the difference from say, Dennis Quackenbush building fifty-two: .458 LA Outlaw Air rifle (a series produced Airgun) on the same machines, material finishing methods using the same Handtool skills?
I await your, no doubt, well considered answer ; ^ )
I’m afraid you have stepped into one of my wheelhouses.
Dennis Quackenbush sells most of his airguns to order. That is, he receives an order for a specific model airgun he offers, with custom preferences specified by the specific customer. Dennis then arranges to send the finished air rifle to the customer or hand it to him personally at an air gun show. He also makes a small number of standard models “on spec” (on speculation) to sell to walk-up customers one at a time at air gun shows. Dennis Quackenbush works alone as far as I know. His airguns are not “mass-produced” by any definition of mainstream business or economic schools. Producing 52 air guns is not “mass production.” It is “craft production”. Whether machines are used is irrelevant to the distinction, as is whether or not identical tools are used in a mass-production factory.
Dennis Quackenbush is a craftsman, a highly skilled user of the tools with which his products are made. His shop employs “craft production,” a pre-industrial revolution practice with an emphasis on individualized service, exceptionally high quality finished goods often built to outlast the initial owner and in pre-industrial times, goods that rarely found their way far from the craftsman.
Mass production is a different method of production altogether. 1000 individuals in one space, each making a separate airgun from start to finish, is not mass production. After perhaps three days they will produce 1000 air guns of varying materials, quality, design, etc.. But if 1000 different people form an assembly line making air guns and each individual performs the same task again and again, after three days they will make perhaps 3000 air rifles that conform to a standard. This is how Henry Ford made affordable automobiles. That division-of-labor is the single most important element of the industrial revolution.
Craft production requires a skilled craftsman, but “mass production” depends on the skill being built “into the tools” in such a way that the workers need not be especially skilled but merely trained to use the tools correctly. Mass production also emphasizes economy-of-scale, division-of-labor, and interchangeable components. Mass-produced goods are usually made in a dedicated factory that employees multiple people, and the goods are distributed through either a wholesale network or through direct sales.
So, that is the standard business school and economics school definition of craft production and mass production.
Dennis Quackenbush does build some airguns to order. He will supply you different length barrel, different grade/type wood stock. When you order you give him the desired grade and style of gun and he then starts building the fifty or so Airguns a year current production for the lottery. Only as the stocks are made does he grade them. Only after the airtubes, actions, and barrels are polished and blued does he grade them. That sounds like something much different than what you surmise to be his mode of manufacturer. In case you don’t remember; I currently own seven plus of his builds. I have met Dennis more than once and have conversed with him on the phone often. Dennis does not use the Garry Barnes type of build methodology.
As far as the Ford model of Assembly Line mass production; thank God that in recent decades enlightened manufacturers have moved away from repetitive SINGLE TASK methodologies, or at a minimum experimented with alternate systems of manufacture, from the (Ford) Soul crushing method of manufacturing! The Team Build from start to finish comes to mind as well as the single person start to finish method where appropriate. The use of robotics, jigs, data driven design & tooling, machines have given a great deal of impetus to higher quality products through a better educated workforce working in an environment substantially better that the Economic/Business Schools of thought you refer to.
There certainly is much to agree upon on our opinions about this matter of craftsmanship but I stand by most mine.
Wishing lots of Xs and 10s,
Division-of-labor is indeed “soul-crushing,” an excellent phrase for it. Division-of-labor also quickly eliminates pride in one’s work. Craft-production does the opposite. It is gratifying and uplifting. And the better the quality of one’s work, the more pride goes into it, and so on. This is why Quackenbush air guns are so incredibly well made.
Gary Barnes approached/approaches his work more from an artisan perspective, given his early career in knife and jewelry design and production. Where Dennis Quackenbush achieves consistency and repeated tolerances, Barnes repeats motifs in his air guns but does something new with each project. Quackenbush is a form-follows-function designer, while Barnes is a form plus function designer. Gary Barnes aesthetic, which I consider a blend of art nouveau and steampunk, is something folks immediately love or dislike. It is uniquely Gary Barnes.
Gosh Darnnit Agin! I wish you had warned me and I would have put my waders on as it became pretty deep, pretty fast.
Over the years I have had the pleasure to shoot many different air rifles. Some were junk and some were a dream to handle and some of those were sproingers. I am not saying your 50 is not exactly what you say, but I have not seen it.
Many years ago I used to own a FWB 601. It is a single stroke pneumatic. The trigger had enough pull for you to carefully feel for it. When you were ready you heard a little click, very closely followed by a pop and not long after a pat, whereupon a hole would magically appear in the target. You didn’t feel anything, it just happened.
My 50 does not shoot as well as my 601.
In response to the above, please allow me to explain a few of my listed classics. First, regarding the Daisy 99 instead of the 499? Simple. The 99 is a true classic as well! One can’t list ’em all!
The Diana LP8 is the most powerful springer pistol there is, as far as I know, and it is very accurate and all metal. It is kind of like the new Beeman P1. The Umarex S&W 589 is the most accurate CO2 pellet hand gun, outside of target models, certainly the most accurate of al CO2l hand gun replicas.
There is no need to defend your choices. These are what you consider classic. This is what I have been trying to say. Others will think of different ones as classics.
I myself obsess about Lincoln Jeffries designs and open lock PCPs, neither of which I can afford.
Something crossed my mind rereading my comment about my 601 shooting better than my 50. My 601 also shoots better than any PCP, excepting Olympic Target PCPs, of course.
I chose the Walther LGR as the single-stroke in my classics list above because it beat the 600 series into production and competition. The FWB 600 rifles have much better cocking leverage than the LGR, however.
The LGR is a superb rifle.
I recall reading about how a young lady used a FWB 601 to win the 2008 Pan Am Games. Not bad for an air rifle that was not the latest and greatest.
I do that now and again, don’t I? :^) I am guilty as charged, Sir.
Here’s a trio of lovely 50s someone kindly shared online. Absolutely stunning.
Check out the sight radius on this.
Yes, yes, yes I really like these old gals. They are indeed a joy to shoot. I just gave my son-in-law a Diana 46E for Christmas. Now as for PCPs, as has been pointed out there are some mighty fine old gals out there that make sproingers look like the new kids on the block. One thing to keep in mind about sproingers is the old ones make the old PCPs look cheap. Ah, to have an original Girandoni. I will just have to be satisfied with my 1906 BSA.
The 46e. That was a unique air gun I have to say. And once owned.
I remember you saying you was going to gift it to him.
How does he like it?
He has fallen in love with it. He has also become a pretty good off hand shooter with it using open sights. He has not mounted a scope on it yet and says he probably never will.
Good glad he likes it.
How did you like your 46E? I’ve never had one, but on the rare occasions I see one for sale, I get mighty tempted.
I didn’t care for it actually.
It’s a tap loader but not like normal. It flips open and the pellet loads in the barrel kind of like a 2240. Then you close the door down and the barrel is cut on a angle so you have to deep seat the pellet or you can mess up the skirt on the pellet.
Also there is a lot of area where air can escape. The front and back seals on the door and the sides if the seals don’t work.
Just wasn’t crazy about the design. If it had a regular slide open breech it would of been a nice underlever.
The 46E is an excellent choice, IMO. It has that wonderful (to me, anyway) loading gate. It is a foolproof finger-safe underlever. And how many of those have there been?
Not many unless you include tap loaders which have been popular over the years. I think just about every European manufacturer tried some such at one time or another.
This issue becomes the length of the transfer port. That is going to be the issue with the new Umarex multi-shot.
There are a number of Krytox grease formulations. Which one are you using?
I don’t know and it doesn’t say on the tube.
Which kind of 50 do I have?
I think it’s the older one, because I had one in the past that looked a lot newer.
Mine is very similar to the two lower ones in the first photo I added above.
It has very plain medium-colored wood, a subtle schnauble (sp?) no forearm groove, and checkering on the pistol grip. It does have a hooded front sight and the three-ball-bearing sear. I think mine is slightly more recent than the one in your photo.
I think of the 50 as a sort of svelte Hakim.
Since you intend to remove the Krytox if it fails your smooth test, you might wish to consider DuPont’s comments about removing Krytox.
I have never personally acquired or used this solvent. I’m merely passing along the supplier’s recommendations. I have read some notional reports on Krytox/ mineral oil-based grease mixtures describing unsatisfactory results.
I look forward to your experience and comments on the miscellaneous parts’ response, like spring guides, pivots, etc.
For some time I have been shopping for the “perfect” scope. Please do keep in mind that what is “perfect” is subjective. For me this is pretty close.
If you browse down through the article you will come to MTC. Fortunately I was sitting down when I started reading about their Prismatic. Something they did not mention is the parallax, so I contacted MTC. I was informed by the Service Manager that this scope has an adjustable objective and will focus down to 10 yards.
I responded to his communication and said “I want one.”
I read the article. Sounds like it’s going to be a nice scope.
But I don’t like how high it is mounted. Looks like you will need a stock that has a adjustable comb otherwise it will be hard to get a good cheek weld.
Well, my 56mm bell scope sits up there pretty high also. I don’t think this will be that bad.
Looks pretty high to me. Compare it to the comb to scope hieght on Chris’s gun.
His looks normal and notice he has the comb raised on his gun.
I say the way it is in the picture you posted that your cheek would be at the least a couple inches above the stock.
I don’t know. We’ll see.
The scope is cool. It’s just too jacked up with that extra picatinny to dovetail adapter they are using to mount on that particular gun.
That’s what I don’t like. If they mounted the scope on a gun with a picatinny or Weaver rail or whatever it is than it wouldn’t be jacked up as high.
You see what I’m talking about now.
Actually it is not even a rifle. That is one of those scope display stocks. I had noticed the adapter it was mounted on. If I need an adapter I will likely use a set of those flat UTG adapters. They work real nice and keep things from being too high up.
Like I said, somehow I am getting one and will see what it needs when the time comes. I have a feeling that is going to be one awesome scope.
It looks like they used the UTG adapter. I would rather have the mount that is on that particular scope mount right to the gun with no adapter.
To me they should of used a different gun action to mount and display the scope on.
And yep even more so worse if they take it to the show and use a stock that don’t even resemble what the scope should be mounted on.
To me that’s where the company’s need to think a little more. Especially if they are at show showcasing a product.
Maybe one day they will learn.
I doubt it.
I was referring to these.
Yep them are nice. I have had good luck with them.
Very interesting! Need to research the Parallax free range and Subtension on the 12X50 MTC SWAT Prismatic! I have been using a VORTEX Spitfire 3X on my DAQ .58 Pistol and Shortrifle; as well as on my PB AR-15.
On scope mounting I found an interesting approach:
That is indeed a very interesting article on bedding the scope. I have never considered such. Worth remembering. Very likely you will find that scope tape will have pretty much the same affect unless there is a big issue.
Recently I tried these out.
With these all stress on the scope is removed with the added benefit is you can close zero your scope with it still center adjusted.
I really like these things.
Chris just texted me these pictures of his Daystate we was talking about above. He wanted me to post them for him.
Here’s the other picture. And I tryed rotating the pictures to the left but it reverted back to the way they was sent.
Thank you. I had a tuff time getting it all in and still show anything. The Hugget is 6 3/4″ long and when added to the gun makes, it 51″ long. The pictures do not do the color justice. The red is a deeper red and the black is more black. Better pics are on the net already, from other sources.
No problem. And I think the pictures are fine. The gun looks beautiful to me. Love the laminated stocks and red and black is the right colors to me.
I ran across this the other day, when looking for something else. I found it to be fascinating. Definitely worth a watch. It is slow motion video of firearm silencers/moderators that have a clear outer shell and you see in (very slow motion) how the gasses react and flow. While not the same for airguns,.. I would imagine that some of that same ebb and flow of air turbulence would be the same.
Thanks for that link.
If PCP air could be colored, yet still dry,.. maybe the same idea could be used for airgun moderators? A clear moderator cover and, if used in conjunction with a shroud,.. a clear shroud,.. would do the trick.
Or,… are you already one step ahead of me? 😉 I figured that with all of your connections,… there is surely someone in the industry that would find inspiration for furthering tech. in air gun moderators.
Just shoot on a humid day and you’ll see the air.
Mmmm? I was talking about seeing the (air) movement within the moderator and the shroud -VS- the obvious fire ball created by a firearm (as shown in the video). How do you see what is going on (within) an airgun moderator (minus any fireball), with just air? If I was shooting super dry air (desirable) on a (very) humid day,.. how would that aid in filming what is going on (within) an airgun moderator and shroud?
The video I linked looks to show a very effective way to develop firearm moderators. How can (any) of that experiment be used to improve air gun moderators, if anything?
When pressurized air hits ambient air it often turns to vapor that can be seen.
So,… you are saying that the high humidity (ambient air) that is (within) the moderator and shroud on an airgun,… (prior) to a shot,…. would then show air turbulence within an airgun moderator and shroud,… upon a shot being fired,…. to the degree that it could be filmed at high speed? Well, that (is?/or is it?) the theory anyways?
I think so. We see it with CO2 all the time. Air is subtler, but does the same thing.
Pretty cool video.
That one where it blew up after the charge went down was pretty crazy.
If you watched the whole video, the clear shells were just for photographing. They were never meant to be used in final production. Given the forces involved, there was pretty minimal thread,… but hey, they made it work.
What I thought was cool was how the gases/flame moved from chamber to chamber and even bounced back and forth in some design’s. All this,… (after) the muzzle blast/flame was over. In the one, you can see the powder particles actually burn themselves out. All in all, cool stuff.
B.B.,… Glad you liked it.
I did watch the whole video. And yep know it was for filming. But was cool like for a split second the fire was out then all the pressure happened.
I would like to see that with a air gun. They would probably have to blow some smoke into the silencer or shroud first before the shot to be able to see the air how it moves. I bet it would be a cool video.