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Competition Diana Stormrider Generation II precharged pneumatic air rifle: Part 4

Diana Stormrider Generation II precharged pneumatic air rifle: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana Stormrider
Diana Stormrider Generation II precharged pneumatic air rifle.

Stormrider Gen 1 Part 4
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

This report covers:

  • B.B. — what are you doing?
  • Rear sight off
  • Which pellets to try?
  • Sight-in
  • The test
  • JSB Beast
  • RWS Superdome
  • Discussion
  • Second group of Beasts
  • Summary

First things first. Happy birthday, United States! You are starting to show your age, but that’s okay. It happens to all of us. May you have many more. Okay, let’s begin.

B.B. — what are you doing?

On Tuesday of this week, reader Krasi asked me when I was going to test the Diana Stormrider again. I had promised at the end of Part 3 back in March to test the rifle with a dot sight and also with a Bug Buster scope. Here is my response to him.

Krasi,
Yes, the Stormrider Gen II is sitting here in my office, awaiting that test. It has been shoved to the back so many times. I will get on with it.

So, yesterday morning I woke up at 3 a.m. and had extra time in the morning when I can do some testing. I found the UTG Reflex Micro dot sight still mounted to the Air Venturi TR5, so I decided to skip what I had planned and test this rifle. I’m very glad that I did and I will tell you why in a little bit.

Rear sight off

The first thing was to remove the rear sight. I discovered that it isn’t held to the rifle by any mechanical attachment — just by the clamping pressure of its base on the dovetail that’s on the barrel band. It was off in less than 5 minutes and the dot sight was on in it’s place.

Which pellets to try?

It’s been several months since I last shot the Stormrider, so I read Part 3 again. It turned out that super heavyweight JSB Exact Beast pellets were the best in that test, so I had to try them. RWS Superdomes also looked good, so I gave them a try, too.

Sight-in

This sight has 6 levels of intensity. I switched it to the second from the bottom to make the dot as small as possible. It was still clear when it was in the bull.

I shot the first shot from 12 feet and it landed in the bull I was aiming at, so I could back up to 10 meters. At 10 meters it took 4 more shots to get where I wanted in the bull. Because I’m using a dot sight, a center hold is the correct sight picture.

The test

I shot 10 shots per target from 10 meters. The rifle was rested directly on a sandbag. There is more to say about the rest but I’ll tell you when we get there.

Since I was shooting 10 shots per target, I refilled the rifle after the first group. I had done some additional shooting and there were 19 shots on the first fill. In Part 2 I discovered that there are about 20 reliable shots per fill. The actual number depends on what distance you are shooting, but at 10 meters you get all the shots that are possible.

JSB Beast

The first group was shot with JSB Exact Beasts. I got a nice-looking roundish group of 10 in the center of the bull. The group measures 0.476-inches between centers and it’s a group I will take any day. But I did notice something during the shooting.

The trigger that I thought was okay in Parts 2 and 3 is actually a bit too heavy for my best work. I will say more about that in a bit.

Stormrider Beast group 1
The first group of 10 JSB Beasts shot at 10 meters measures 0.476-inches between centers. The group is nicely centered in the bull. If this was my air rifle I would leave it set up just this way and shoot only this pellet.

RWS Superdome

I wanted to see if there was a second pellet I could trust, so I tried RWS Superdomes next. The UTG Reflex Micro dot sight had to be adjusted down for them, so I shot three shots to properly adjust it. This sight is so easy to mount and to adjust! And, the battery life of the second generation sight is an incredible 30,000 hours when left on! That’s 1,250 days or almost 3-1/2 years of run time! When I think of all the dot sights I own that have less than 200 hours of run time, that is impressive!

Once the sight was adjusted for the Superdomes I shot a 10-shot group without looking at the target through the spotting scope, which are my Meopta 10X42 MeoStar binoculars. One of the shots in the middle of the string landed outside the bull at 10 o’clock, so I knew the group wasn’t going to be that tight.

When I finished shooting I looked for the first time and was rather unsatisfied. The group is centered pretty well, but it measures 1.065-inches between centers, because of that shot that’s apart from the main group. The other nine pellets are in 0.589-inches, which is about what I expected from this pellet.

Stormrider Superdome group
The Stormrider put 10 RWS Superdome pellets into a 1.065-inch group at 10 meters. Nine of them are in 0.589-inches.

Discussion

I was dissatisfied by the Superdome group, and also by the trigger, which by this time was getting to be a chore to operate. I decided to shoot another group of the JSB Beasts and this time to do everything in my power to make it good. I know that sounds like I haven’t been trying, but I really have. Not a single bad shot has been called. But there were still two more tricks in my bag.

First I would pull the trigger with my middle finger that is stronger. And second, I put a second bag under the buttstock to really steady the rifle. By itself that trick is worth about 1/8-inch at 10 meters.

Second group of Beasts

I did not adjust the sight from the last group, so I knew it would be lower. I didn’t care about that — only about the size of the group. This time all the pellets hit below the bull and I was able to watch the group as it slowly grew. Ten shots landed in 0.392-inches at 10 meters. This was the size group I expected to shoot!

Stormrider Beast group 2
This second group of JSB Beasts measures 0.392-inches between centers. It is what I expected the rifle to do, after reading Part 3.

Summary

This test was exciting because it renewed my interest in the second generation Diana Stormrider PCP. It’s a real price point PCP, at less than $200! There is a lot of value here!

I also renewed my association with the UTG ReflexMicro dot sight, and it’s been too long since I used it. I’m thinking I will try it on the S&W 77A multi-pump after this! This is the reason I’m so glad I did this test when I did.

34 thoughts on “Diana Stormrider Generation II precharged pneumatic air rifle: Part 4”

  1. B.B.,

    Happy Independence Day!

    Getting up at 3 in morning to prepare an article? Whoever said you can get up late when you reach retirement age?

    Hmm… maybe the trigger could use some lubrication like moly to smoothen it up?

    Siraniko

  2. B.B.,

    When I took my Naturalization Test long, long ago one of the oral questions I was asked was; “What was the Birthday of the United States of America?” My answer was; March 4th. The Examiner asked if I was certain of that and I said of course. He told me I was wrong that it was July 4th! I said that I believe that date was when our Declaration of Independence occured but that the United States of America officially came into being with the following:

    The present United States Constitution replaced the Articles of Confederation on March 4, 1789.

    So Happy Independence Day everyone…you can celebrate the Anniversary of the Birth of this GREAT Nation with me this coming March 4th! Mark your calendars.

    shootski

  3. BB,

    Of course you do realize that you often make it extremely difficult to limit the size of one’s airgun collection? I really do wish there was someone close by who liked these as you do.

      • LOL! The idea is being able to play with the other kid’s toys without buying them yourself! Though Mrs. RidgeRunner has enabled my antique collection a bit, she is also the CFO and determines what money will or will not spent on what. Right now airguns are not anywhere near the top of the list.

        At the top of the list at the moment is the “chick nest”. After this is completed I may be able to revisit the airgun collection. 😉

  4. A Happy and Blessed Independence Day to all ye airgunners! Surprised you did not take the day off B.B., but then again, July 4th, 1776 was considered a working day by the Founding Fathers. And good work they did.

  5. Happy and a safe 4th to everyone.

    And BB sometimes when I have a gun that isn’t getting the group’s I want I also shoot with my middle finger. What I found with that is then the pointing fingers that I usually pull the trigger with helps stabilize the gun more when it’s placed on the side of the stock.

    Waiting to see how this gun does out at some farther distances. And what did they change on the gun anyway?

      • BB
        And all check this out.

        Here is a link to the gen1. Looks like the muzzle brake, trigger and stock change on the gen2’s.

        But what’s kind of funny is the gen1 link tells more about the gen2 gun then the gen2 link.

        Here’s the gen1 link.
        /product/diana-stormrider-multi-shot-pcp-air-rifle?m=4449

      • BB,

        I believe that a few of the changes are, A) The silencer is now an actual silencer. Gen 1 was claimed to be, but was, in fact, just a bar of aluminum with a hole drilled through it. No baffles. B) The trigger is externally adjustable for sear engagement. Before I think it had to be disassembled to reach the screw. C) The bolt handle is beefier and of a different shape that has rubber o-rings to make it “grippy”. The Gen 1 bolt handle would break off from the forward force required to close the bolt due to its small size. Basically, the stormrider got refitted with chaser parts when that CO2 rifle kit was released. There may be others but these are the ones I notice.

        Half

        • Halfstep
          Did you look at both links I posted.

          What I see is the gen 2 is suppose to have a longer silencer. But it doesn’t look like it to me. But it is listed as quieter on the gen2.

          And two obvious things is the trigger not adjustable on gen2 but now is adjustable on gen2 and a synthetic stock for gen2 instead of the wood stock that the gen1 gets.

          And of course the picture of the gen2 on the PA page only shows the left side of the gun. So I’m not sure if that’s true about the bolt.

          If you have any pictures or diagrams about the gen2 bolt using the Co2 gun parts it would be a help to have that info here. And maybe even other things that we haven’t noticed and they haven’t listed as a change.

          But it all sounds good. If I was to buy one right now I wish they would have both stocks available. I like synthetic but also I like a nice wood stock. It depends on how I’m using the gun.

          We need to find out more about it using the Co2 gun parts. And it sounds like they are knocking on Crosman’s door. Interchangeability is nice.

          • GF1,

            Your first link is for the wood stock Gen 2. The second link you posted is for the synthetic stock Gen 2. My educated guess is that Pyramyd doesn’t even advertise the, now, inferior Gen 1 rifle. That means you probably do have your choice of wood or synthetic. If you go back to BB’s report on the original stormrider I think you will see photos that show the old bolt handle and “silencer”.

            Half

            • Half,
              I believe you are correct. I searched online for a picture of the gen2 Stormrider. All the pictures I saw were of the wooden stock. I’m sure they were gen2 because you could see the newer style bolt handle with circular rings on it. Never did find a picture of the right side of the rifle though.
              Geo

              • Geo,

                The side without the bolt handle ( you said right side but I think you meant left side) looks just like the Gen 1 as far as the receiver and wooden stock are concerned. Here’s a link to one of BB’s blogs that has a photo of a left side of a Gen 1. The Gen 2 will look the same( including the lower case “s” in “stormrider”.

                /blog/2017/09/getting-started-with-a-precharged-air-rifle-part-1/

            • Halfstep
              Yep I think your right. When I look at the first link it gives information back and forth about both the gen1 and gen2 so I was thinking it still is a gen1. Heck the link doesn’t even say anything about gen2. And the other thing that through me was the wood stock.

              Was the gen1 available in wood and synthetic stocks too? Not that it matters.

              But yep if I was going to buy one I would want a gen2. But if I click on the first link it would make me think that’s a gen1 and I probably wouldn’t buy that gun. And it has the wood stock which I think looks better on this gun.

              I guess what I’m getting at is PA should think about looking at how the pages are presented.

              • GF1,

                To my knowledge, not only was the Gen 1 available in wood only, but the Gen 2 Synth is only being offered as a Pre-order, so I don’t think it is available yet, either. There are no reviews of it, which also makes me think that it hasn’t been released yet.

                Half

  6. Siraniko,

    I hate to say this but the GEN 2 trigger needs more than just molly to get it to perform as it should. I had to do 03 things to get it up to snuff.

    1. The sear transfer bar that the first and second stage trigger pins contact is machined to size with a surface grinder. If you run your thumbnail across it you can feel the machining marks. As it’s flat it can be easily worked smooth on a diamond whetstone and then polished with a dremmel tool, felt bob, and rouge.

    2. My trigger had a measured side to side play of .022 in. between the trigger housing and the trigger shank. That was so much play sometimes it felt like you were pulling the trigger sideways. Solved this problem with 02 #4 stainless washers. Worked them down first on a file, then the diamond whetstone, and finished with the dremmel and rouge. As I have severe OCD both washers came out at .0105 in., PURE LUCK! Install a moly lubed washer on either side of the trigger and you have a perfectly centered sweet pulling trigger. Be forewarned this method is hard on your thumb and forefinger, they will be smooth when you are done.

    3. the factory trigger spring on my rifle was giving me a pull of around 3.5 lbs. . A little to heavy for my liking, so out came the Brownells coil spring assortment. As they say, cut and fit, cut and fit, cut and fit, cut and fit, cut and fit, cut and fit, and finally you end up with a 14 to 15 oz. pull that is pretty consistent. I should have said there were 04 things things to do but all it is is to polish the bearing points on the ends of the trigger adjusting screws.

    I know, a sane person wouldn’t spend this much time and effort on a 200.00 rifle, but after all was said and done, this rifle with 177 JSB Beast pellets will shoot 1\2in. groups at 40 yds., all afternoon long. I bought it to kill house sparrows around the farm and let me tell you it does its job pretty darn well!

    Yes, I would rather have a Dreamline Classic in 22 , but for right now this will have to do!

    Bob F

    3.

    • Bob F.,

      Well done Sir. It is well worth it in my opinion and makes the entire shooting experience more enjoyable. I did similar things to my Maximus plus added a HUMA regulator. Sometimes we have to step in where the manufacturer stopped. It all adds to the bottom line selling cost after all.

      Chris

    • Bob
      Glad you posted that info. And I know people that have done some trigger modding on even cheaper guns. Me for one. If it makes it work better than why not is the way I see it. Good info. Thanks

  7. Bfrey56.house@gmail.com,

    I agree with all your points and I would think B.B. would probably do some of them if it were his gun. Unfortunately this is a gun that will be returned and sold as refurbished/used by Pyramyd AIR.

    You have excellent methods in eking out the best from a factory trigger.

    Siraniko

  8. B.B., I like this one, but all the reviews on the bolt handle breaking off is of concern to me. I was hoping Gen II would address that. Do you know if this is going to be or has been addressed? If I’m behind, I’m sorry. I do that sometimes.

    Doc

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