Diana Bandit PCP air pistol: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana Bandit
Diana Bandit precharged pneumatic air pistol.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

This report covers:

  • Leaded muzzle
  • Removed the barrel
  • Removed the silencer
  • Natural healing
  • Proof of the pudding
  • JSB Hades
  • First target
  • Sound
  • Hades target with 185-bar fill
  • Hades with 190-bar fill
  • Hades pellets with a 170-bar fill
  • JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy
  • Last pellet — RWS Meisterkugeln
  • Discussion
  • Warning
  • Summary

I have a lot to tell you today, so let’s get started.

Leaded muzzle

It has been almost a full month since I last wrote about the Diana Bandit PCP pistol, so let me give you a brief refresher. In Part Three I was getting horrible groups at 10 meters, and they were caused by the pellets hitting the inside the muzzle cap. Let’s look at the picture again.

Diana Bandit lead
That pile of lead told me the pellets were all smashing into the backside of the muzzle cap.

Any time an airgun is inaccurate at short range and it has a muzzle break or a silencer, you start investigating there. When I saw that mound of lead I knew I had found the problem. There is no way this pistol could be accurate with all the pellets hitting at that spot.

I made the remark that it was a good thing the lead was visible, because it would have been far harder to see if the pellets were just smearing along one of the baffles deep inside the silencer. However, to fix the problem the barrel had to be removed from the pistol so the silencer could be removed from the barrel. That’s because heat had to be used to break the adhesive bond between the barrel and silencer and I didn’t want the rest of the pistol to get hot.

Removed the barrel

To remove the barrel loosen the three screws atop the forward end of the receiver. Then pull the barrel straight out.

Diana Bandit screws
Loosen the three screws atop the receiver, then pull the barrel out. The center screw actually goes into a divot on the barrel, so unscrew it a little more.

Diana Bandit barrel
This is the barrel stub that comes out of the receiver. The central screw goes into that divot, keeping the front sight aligned.

Removed the silencer

With the barrel held tight in a padded machinists vise I heated the silencer with a heat gun. Then, by turning the silencer back and forth, it broke free and unscrewed in a few minutes. Now I could examine the baffles in detail.

I shined a light through from the back of the silencer and looked through the front. I saw that not one but FIVE of the baffles had lead streaks on their edges in a straight line that stretched toward the muzzle. When I pulled the silencer away from my eye to focus on the end cap, those streaks lined up with the lead blob on the inside! This pistol had no chance of being accurate from the very start! However, it didn’t have to stay that way. 

With a drill bit I opened up the passage through all the baffles from 0.287-inches to 0.335-inches, including the end cap. That will give adequate clearance without increasing the muzzle report much, if any. I have fixed many other silencers this way over the past 25 years — starting with a Daystate Huntsman that I shot field target with in the 1990s. Don’t kid yourself — every silencer is suspect until it has been inspected. 

Natural healing

If I had left the pistol alone the pellets would have eventually worn away the edges of the baffles that were in their way — and even the end cap. This is what sometimes happens when a gun that starts out not so very accurate and then becomes extremely accurate. How long it takes depends on how severely misaligned the baffles are, but they are seldom off by much. That end cap is the worst I have ever seen though, and it would probably have taken thousands of shots to wear it away. My way is more direct and immediate.

Once the silencer had been opened, I screwed it back on the muzzle of the barrel. Then the barrel went back into the receiver.

Proof of the pudding

With the barrel back on the pistol, let’s return to the 10-meter range and shoot the same pellets that were tested last time. I’ll start with the JSB Hades.

JSB Hades

In the last test Hades pellets gave me the best group of the test, with 4 pellets out of five in 0.31-inches at 10 meters. 

Diana Bandit Hades target 1
I thought I had nailed it in the last test when I shot this target. Pellets 5 though 8 and in 0.31-inches at 10 meters.

But after that first “good” group, Hades pellets blew up and gave groups that measured several inches between centers. Many of them hit the paper sideways. Let’s see what they do, now that the silencer has been opened up.

First target

This target was the sight-in target. I hadn’t removed the UTG Micro Reflex dot sight from the pistol since the last test of the Bandit, nor had I adjusted it, but the barrel has been removed, so of course it would most likely not hit in the same place.

I filled the pistol to 180 bar. I knew from before that was the best fill pressure. That will become important in a bit.

The first shot went low and to the right, so I cranked in a lot of up and quite a bit of left adjustment. The second shot hit just below the black at 6 o’clock, so I decided to shoot three more shots to see if the pistol was going to group. The next three shots landed above the second shot, which told me that 180 bar was a little too much pressure for this particular pistol. The four shots are in a group that measures 0.977-inches between centers. That told me the pistol was fixed!

Diana Bandit Hades group 1
This target told me a lot. The first shot was low and right, so I adjusted the dot sight up and to the left. Shot two was below the black and shots three through five are in a horizontal line inside the bull. That tells me that 180 bar is too much pressure for this pistol. I also know that my silencer fix worked!

Sound

Did the modification of the silencer change the discharge sound? Normally I would tell you that my old ears are too far gone to be precise about this, but on this particular day I was wearing a brand-new pair of prescription hearing aids that correct my hearing in 17 different frequency channels. These puppies cost me a bundle but I’m now hearing sounds I haven’t heard since entering the Army in 1970. Yeah — that was a half-century ago! And the Bandit is still extremely quiet. I doubt the discharge sound has changed much at all. So, for this particular pistol, what I did was a job worth doing.

Hades target with 185-bar fill

I still wanted to check the fill, which I am monitoring on an oil-filled gauge on my carbon-fiber air tank. So I filled to 185 bar and commenced shooting at the next target. The first three shots hit in the white below the bull and then five shots went into 0.526-inches in the bottom of the bull. Yes — this Bandit is fixed. And yes, it does not like a fill to 185 bar. The dot sight was not adjusted for this series of shots. It was the change in air pressure alone that raised those last five shots.

Diana Bandit Hades 185-bar group
With a 185-bar fill the first three Hades pellets landed below the bull, then five more went into 0.526-inches inside the bull. That upward movement of the pellets is from the changing air pressure, alone.

Hades with 190-bar fill

After the last target I adjusted the dot sight 2 clicks up and one click to the left. And you would think after seeing the last target that I would know when to stop filling the pistol, but remember, I told you that it fills very fast. This time I lost track of the needle (it was vibrating!) and it ended up at 190 bar. Well — I had a plan to deal with that.

I shot 6 Hades pellets into a group that measures 0.748-inches between centers at 10 meters. Notice that the last two shots hit the bull inside the black. I watched them through my spotting scope because I figured they would climb, from what I had seen thus far. The fact that they did tells me I know what this pistol is doing.

Diana Bandit Hades 190-bar fill
The first 6 shots on a 190-bar fill went into 0.748-inches at 10 meters. Notice that the final two shots are in the black.

Hades pellets with a 170-bar fill

I adjusted the dot sight up 4 clicks and left 2 clicks. And I did not fill the pistol with air again. At this point I guessed there was about 170 bar of pressure remaining in the tank, so I simply shot five more Hades pellets at a fresh target. Look what happened!

Five Hades pellets on a 170-bar fill went into 0.342-inches at 10 meters. Yeah — this Diana Bandit pistol can  shoot, alright!

Diana Bandit Hades 170-bar fill
There you go! The Diana Bandit put 5 JSB Hades pellets into 0.342-inches at 10 meters.

JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy

By this time I was very familiar with how the valve on my carbon fiber air tank operates. I managed to stop the fill at exactly 170 bar! Then I loaded and shot 5 JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy pellets. After checking that the first one struck inside the bull I just shot the remaining four without looking. Five pellets made a 0.426-inch group at 10 meters. 

Diana Bandit Jumbo Heavy group
The Bandit put five JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy pellets into this 0.426-inch group at 10 meters.

Last pellet — RWS Meisterkugeln

The last pellet I tried was the .22-caliber RWS Meisterkugeln wadcutter. In the last test these were the most accurate pellets, though they did not respond to a sight adjustment. So I suspect they were hitting the baffles, too. 

This time the Bandit put 5 Meisterkugeln in 0.452-inches at 10 meters. And that settles it — the Bandit has done demonstrably better with all three pellets, now that the baffles are open and out of the way!

Diana Bandit Meisterkugeln group
Five RWS Meisterkugeln made this 0.452-inch group at 10 meters.

Discussion

The Diana Bandit is a remarkably accurate air pistol when it is allowed to shoot without encumbrance. Today’s report is a landmark one because we saw a problem, then saw the fix and the proof that the problem was resolved.

Some of you will notice that I was shooting the pistol single-shot today. With the silencer problem being addressed I didn’t want the magazine to become another variable. I will return and test the pistol with the magazine in one final report.

We also learned that this specific pistol likes a fill to 170 bar on the gauge of my carbon fiber tank. This is something you have to find out for yourself and I have now shown you how to do it.

Finally we learned that the Bandit gets only a few shots on a fill. Now that I have the 170 bar fill limit nailed down I will try to stretch the shot count next time when I test with the magazine.

Warning

I DO NOT recommend that any of you do what I did to fix your silencers! I know how to do this so the silencer is not ruined. If you have a problem like this with your air pistol you now know what it could be. Let the company that sold you the gun fix it.

Some of you are machinists and know how to do what I did even better than I did it. A lathe with a boring bar would be great if you know how to operate one. Or even just a drill bit chucked in a tailstock would be a better way to do it.

Summary

The Bandit is a very impressive air pistol! At just $150 it is a price-point precharged pneumatic pistol! That would be a PPPPP. If you can handle a pistol and don’t mind spending the money for a GOOD dot sight like the one I am using, this might almost be your best entry into the world of PCPs! Since the fill is only 170 bar, you could easily fill this pistol from a hand pump!

38 thoughts on “Diana Bandit PCP air pistol: Part 4

  1. BB,
    That was a nice turn of events with the theory being confirmed with the results.
    On the question of the fill pressure, PA sells a regulator for the Bandit that would not break the bank. It seems, based on your results, that it would be very useful by extending the number of even powered shots. Then again, it will reduce the volume of the already small reservoir. Thoughts?
    Henry



      • B.B.,

        Please use the opportunity to show if this valve really needs a regulator to maintain consistency. If your Readership reads the latest on Extreme Spread (ES) effect on accuracy over at HAM they may finally get regulator vs balanced valve as far as accuracy. I will concede that regulator can improve efficiency!
        Also, the two O-Rings on the barrel at the receiver end are undersized from what I was taught about O-Rings; also two O-Rings have been repeatedly shown to be a redundant measure for pressure retention.

        I’ll have more to say about moderator clipping after I get some chores done…

        shootski



          • B.B.,

            I get that. Only a request. So now I will add one more request shoot the heaviest pellet(s) you can find on a full pressure fill. That might not work if the pistol is actually set up by the maker to get folks to pony up some more Geld (money) to get their regulator….
            My point was simply a twist on RidgeRunner’s: “Who needs 500FPS if you can’t hit the side of a barn.”
            shootski’s Corollary:

            “Who cares that you can get 500 shots on a fill if the power required for the task sent there!

            shootski



              • B.B.,

                Yes it is a .22cal not a .177 target shooter so way heavy pellets please . Maybe even a .22 bullet (slug.)
                I was on speaker in the car! Forgot my Bluetooth headset…I used my fingers for this reply.

                shootski




                  • Chris USA,

                    That is the law!

                    I’m more law abiding than law enforcement types according to the latest statistics!
                    To bad the Governor of one of the states I live in is afraid of me and the men and women like me! He thinks he knows best since he learned how to wipe the record of his shoe polish facials!

                    shootski


                    • Shootski,

                      Well,… it is not the “law” in some (most?) places,… but is becoming more and more common place. With good reason I would say. I will say,… I see more and more people pulled off in rather odd areas along the roadside. Texting or making a call I would presume?

                      I would imagine that there is talk to text, auto answer and hang up, and so on. I am not “there” yet,… and not sure I want to be,…. but glad that it exists for those that can use it to full benefit.

                      Chris


                    • Chris,
                      Does your RAV4 have the pairing to a cell phone feature? My Equinox is a 2011 and I paired my flip-phone to it. As long as the phone is turned on, I push a button on the steering wheel to make a call. I have our home number stored, so I just say “home” and the call is dialed. Then I talk through the radio system. Of course, this is used to actually converse with someone. Now, there’s a novelty idea! 😉
                      Geo


                  • Our thread ended so I’ll step back to here Chris. Yes i was using a voice to text App. The biggest problem is training the App to understand your pronunciation/enunciation which is still not perfected. I also find that the dictionaries and predictive text systems seem to be biased against talking about the shooting sports! Wonder why that would be the case????
                    The last problem is that in the car you send it without proof reading unless you break the law or pull off, proof read and send.

                    shootski

                    shootski


          • BB,

            If you accept that this is the CO2 Chaser pistol with a PCP tank, I can tell you that the CO2 version is very accurate even at CO2 pressures . You may want to try this pistol around 1000 psi to check it for accuracy. If it proves accurate and the regulator is somewhere in that vicinity or can be adjusted thus, I would expect the reg to be a real winner with a good shot count to go with the accuracy. FTTs in 4.51mm and Crosman Premier Lites are best in my Chaser pistol. The Chaser rifle is significantly more accurate without the suppressor than with it, so you have me wondering if the barrel threading is off on the long barrel in my combo?

            Half


            • Halfstep,

              I believe you just gave me my introduction to my comments about my experiences with suppressors/moderators. Interestingly the hard attachment with adhesive or other permanent afixing methods is part of my complaint. The Timing of the moderator to the barrel “should” really not be an issue especially when the manufacturers glue them on for the US market. It would be a fairly simple jig to measure barrel to moderator concentricity using a coherent (LASER) light beam of the exact bore diameter to test for proper Baffel/End Cap clearance!
              But since that isn’t being done you may want to turn the moderator through 1/4 turn steps (heard if possible) to see if the clipping stops or changes. The next step is more complex and that is to True the threads on the barrel and moderator; you may need a Smith or Machinist to do that. B.B.’s method certainly works…he showed you that it does; now he owns it!
              Of course if it still under warranty send it back and give them Heck! Maybe they will buy my Jig.

              shootski


  2. That was a happy ending for sure!

    I’m curious how it would compare to the baffle-less muzzle shroud version we get up north. It would have been neat to see some groups with just the bare muzzle as well, if only for the sake of comparison.



  3. BB,

    You are right to caution about doing a self fix on the silencer, most especially if it is new or still under warranty. The drilling of the baffles probably does void the warranty and it would be easy to mess up the inside of that silencer. Then how do you explain what happened to the company technician?


    • RidgeRunner,

      At the price this pistol is being sold one behind to suspect that each and every one will be a project gun requiring the buyer to fettle with it to get the best bang for buck. Mass production can also mean mass mistakes, especially small ones. I wonder if somebody at Diana is really watching over the production of this one?

      Siraniko



      • Siraniko,

        This pistol, like the rest of the Diana Sport line is made by Snow Peak in China. They are relatively responsible in their production and sometimes even listen to end customer input.

        Having said that, I seriously doubt that quality control is shooting each airgun and inspecting the silencers for pellet clipping.

        Now, my guess is that Diana wil be the one to contact for warranty repair/replacement.

        Will every one of these pistols be a project gun? Probably not, but I would not be surprised if I was to buy one and needed to tinker on it a bit. It is not a Daystate. It is not even a Diana. Keep your expectations real.


      • Siraniko,

        I share what I sense is skepticism on your part. I personally feel that, based on the “lower grade”- my term- models in the Diana line that I have purchased, as well as some Air Venturi branded Chinese products, that these importers really don’t have any control and don’t care, at one extreme, or are fighting to get the manufacturers to understand what is acceptable in their markets and have a steep uphill battle and are losing, as the more gracious viewpoint.

        A price is set, a promise of what to expect for that price is presented, and all too frequently, as far as my dealings have gone, the promises are not met. Never mind that it is “price point” or whatever, a certain standard is expected at any price. The fact that you are willing to replace the defective gun 4 or 5 times, at some point, begins to mean less that you are a customer centered company and are, rather, just trying not to be an A hole that sticks a guy with a lemon. I think that the latter is nothing to hang your hat on, as we say here in the US. Just my 2 cents and I don’t think I’m alone in this sentiment.

        Half


        • Half,

          Very well said. You turn to Chinese manufacturing (vs high quality, in house) and you may? be giving up a little (if your lucky) or you may? be giving it “all” away (in the worst case). A fight you may not want,… either way.

          I always question the wisdom of a well established company, willing to risk their hard and long earned high reputation,.. on a roll of the dice.

          My 2 cents,……… Chris



  4. It’s a Bandit day. Alright! what could go wrong? It comes in such a nice padded case, seems a shame a little more effort from Diana would be worth it. You do get some spare orings.They could include some transfer ports and the right springs in the case with instructions how to tune the pistol the way you want. A powerfull 1 mag tune, a medium 2 mag tune or the 3mag target tune. I am getting 24 .177 shots at a regulated 650 or so, but the the poppet stem is so short that it has some problems when trying to change the dwell for anything but a power tune.
    you cant use an oring buffer on mine. No adjustable hammer either. I think they need to do a better job at product management on this one. love the accuracy tho.
    Rob


  5. B.B.
    Its a nice shooting pistol with the clipping resolved. I spent a whole lot less on a dot sight for mine. It is almost the lowest priced one that PA has listed. It works well here.
    I think that when I get that price point compressor I will still fill this reservoir with the hand pump. In .22 the # of consistent shots is close to one magazine. Fill them at the same time, 7 pellets in the mag and 8 or 9 pumps to put it back to the right fill and its ready to go.
    Gerald


  6. B.B.,
    I’m glad to see you get this girl shooting the way she should. =>
    But looking at her lines reminded me of the Stormrider, and that reminded me of the Dragonfly, and that made me think of your report here: https://www.pyramydair.com/blog/2020/01/2020-shot-show-day-two/
    You spoke about the upcoming Butterfly, noting that, “The Air Venturi Butterfly is a Dragonfly with a pump-assist mechanism built in.” I put in a call to Air Venturi to find out when those rifles will become available.
    After a 5-minute wait, I got a robo-notice that their tech team was not available, but to leave a number and they would call me back. If I do get a call back with an availability date on the Butterfly rifle, I’ll be sure to post it.
    Thanks again for all you do (as well as for keeping us up on what is yet to be),
    dave


  7. I have the Chaser kit below running on CO2. It gets at least 50 shots on a cartridge. I think that is better than the Bandit pcp with the small air reservoir. For accuracy with the Chaser you do need to pause between shots and avoid cold weather though. So there are some tradeoffs.

    https://www.pyramydair.com/s/m/Diana_Chaser_CO2_Air_Rifle_Kit/4613

    I wonder what the difference is between the Bandit and Chaser valves. If it is just in the springs that might explain the low shot count for the Bandit.

    Don


  8. To all,

    HAM has a good article on the effects of ES at range,… otherwise known as extreme spread. If you do not have a chronograph of some sort,… you will not know your ES. For those that do have one,… check it out. NOTE: They speak of % of spread and NOT actual spread as stated in fps. So when they say 2-4%,… that is not the same as 2-4 fps spread. At 900 fps,…. 2-4% is 18-36 fps.

    Worth a look and some thought,……… Chris


    • Chris USA,

      The bottom line I got out of the HAM piece was that reading the wind and applying the correct compensation for it is way more important than extreme spread until you are shooting a target beyond 70-100 yards. At those longer distances the accuracy of range trumps the wind effect; not that wind effect goes away, just that range estimation’s impact on accuracy is a larger percentage of the error ellipsis (how much you miss by!)
      It is well written and presented with good graphs rather than equations.

      shootski


      • Shootski,

        That is my thoughts as well. They may be “off” in some things, in your (informed) opinion,… but overall I think that they are pretty well on target most times. I like to see progress,… even if it is a bit “askew” from time to time. Just read with bit of cautious wisdom,…. while full well knowing that things may (will?) change.

        Chris 🙂


        • Chris USA,

          Lol! Bob Sterne does a really great job compared to some of the self descrbed Airgun Scientists on forums and/or blogs.
          Bob makes a couple of great points in this one:

          “The higher the velocity, and the higher the Ballistics Coefficient (BC), the less critical the ES is. Most of us would be happy if we could shoot groups of 1 MOA, but few of us can do that consistently. Completely consistent velocity (a 0% ES) is not necessary, and so we need to come up with a level of ES that makes no difference to our shooting.”

          The above finding of Bob’s makes the case for really well balanced valves in place of REGULATORS as well as a strong case for choosing Bullets over pellets.
          He is Spot on in this: “By now you should be understanding that the biggest errors in shooting at longer ranges are human error.”

          Not mostly the airgun we shoot!
          Bummer! Huh.

          shootski


          • Shootski,

            Thank you for clarifying that your stance on presenting inaccurate information has more to do with “other” sites and not so much to do with HAM’s testing. Any time that someone, (that knows more than me), takes issue with data, info., theories, so called “facts”,… I always step back and pay attention.

            Chris


            • Chris USA,

              I met A.E. when I was a young kid at the Franklin Institute. I worshiped the man and read everything i could find written by him or about him. This is the best beyond E=MCsquared that I took on board:
              “It’s not that I’m smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”
              Albert Einstein


Leave a Reply