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Competition Diana Bandit PCP air pistol: Part 5

Diana Bandit PCP air pistol: Part 5

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana Bandit
Diana Bandit precharged pneumatic air pistol.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

This report covers:

  • Set up
  • Adjusting the UTG Reflex Micro dot sight
  • The test
  • Hades pellets
  • First group
  • Refill the pistol
  • Second group
  • Not clarvoiant!
  • Next step?
  • Fill to 180-bar
  • Final group
  • Summary

Today I finish my report on the .22-caliber Diana Bandit PCP pistol. I had to relearn some lessons, even though I described them well in the past blog parts.

The purpose of today’s report is to shoot the pistol with the 7-shot magazine that it comes with. Until now I have been shooting it with the single-shot tray.

Set up

I had to remount the UTG Reflex Micro dot sight, so there was another whole sight-in. It took all of the 7 pellets in the .22 caliber magazine to get in the bull. The first three shots were from 12 feet and the last 4 were from 10 meters, which is the distance I’m shooting at today.

Adjusting the UTG Reflex Micro dot sight

I removed the UTG Micro Dot sight from the AR-6 crossbow for today’s test for one reason. It is so small that it fits on the Bandit whose very short 11mm dovetail atop its receiver is just 2.8-inches long. You can’t use a sight that won’t mount to that. Ahead of the loading trough there is an additional 0.86-inches, but that isn’t of much use. Whatever you mount to the pistol has to allow clearance for the magazine.

The test

This is to test the utility of the Bandit’s 7-shot .22-caliber rotary magazine. We already know the Bandit is accurate. But how accurate it is with the magazine? We’re gonna find out!

I’m shooting from a sandbag rest at 10 meters. The pistol is rested directly on the bag. The illumination of the dot is adjusted as dim as I can see it against the bright target. That gives me a very small aiming point. I am wearing my normal glasses that are bifocal. I look through the top of the lenses, so I’m using the ever-so-slight correction for distance.

Hades pellets

I started with three different pellets, but as the test progressed I was learning so much (some of it for the second time) from just one of them that I only shot .22-caliber JSB Hades pellets. That will make the lessons of today’s test stand out clearly.

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First group

I thought I had the pistol sighted in, so I shot the first group of 7 shots, and remember — this is with the magazine. I think the starting pressure was around 170 bar. That is extremely important.

Bandit group 1
The first group is 7 Hades pellets in 0.844-inches at 10 meters. It isn’t as small as I would like.

The first group was not where I wanted it so I adjusted the sight down and to the left. One of the best features on this Reflex Micro Dot is how fast it adjusts. It also seems to have a great range of adjustment.

Refill the pistol

At this point I refilled the pistol, because as we have learned, it is very short on breath. I can get perhaps two magazines of good shots (14) before it needs filling again. Unfortunately, there must have been a little more air pressure inside than I thought when I started, because I now overfilled it to 180 bar. With such a small reservoir you have to move very slow or this will happen.

Second group

It turned out to be a great thing, though, because of what you are about to see. The group is very vertical and I can confirm that the first shot is the lowest on the target. The group measures 1.195-inches between centers, but look at the top of the group. That is where the last shots clustered. So, a fill to 170 bar, like I should have done to begin with, should give a smaller group.

Bandit group 2
Still shooting from the magazine, on a 180-bar fill the shots climbed from below the bull up to almost the center.

Not clarvoiant!

I can’t see the future, so all I saw after group two was the gun shooting a vertical group with the magazine. Would it still group if I fired it single shot like it did in Part 4? If I had my head screwed on right I would have shot this next group from the magazine as well. The first group was so much better than this one, but I wasn’t paying attention. I was flustered after the second group, so I shot each of the next 7 Hades pellets from the single-shot tray.

Seven pellets fired single-shot went into 0.585-inches at 10 meters. The group is much rounder than the previous one. Oh, and I did not refill after the first group, so this one was shot on the 170 bar that the pistol likes.

Bandit group 3
Now, that’s more like it! Seven Hades pellets fired single-shot on a 170-bar fill went into 0.585-inches at 10 meters.

Next step?

Having gone this far I felt I knew what was happening with the pistol. A 180-bar fill is too much, and a 170-bar fill is right on the money. So I decided to try it again with the magazine. If I was right, with another 180-bar fill the first group would be a vertical string and the second group would be nice and round.

Fill to 180-bar

I filled the pistol to 180-bar, as indicated on the pistol’s built-in gauge. Then I loaded the rotary magazine with 7 more Hades pellets and shot the pistol. The first shot hit at the bottom of the bull and the group climbed up into the center of the bull by the final shots. This 1.166-inch vertical group is exactly what I expected.

Bandit group 4
This vertical group of 7 Hades pellets was fired at 10 meters from the magazine on a 180-bar fill. It measures 1.166-inches between centers.

Now, if I am right, the next group should be higher, smaller and rounder. I’m still shooting from the magazine.

Final group

The last group of 7 Hades pellets went into 0.568-inches at 10 meters. The group is smaller, higher and rounder — just as predicted.

Bandit group 5
Seven Hades pellets shot from the Bandit magazine at 10 meters on a 170-bar fill went into 0.568-inches. This is the smallest group of the test! The magazine is a success!


I am very impressed by the .22-caliber Diana Bandit PCP pistol. It offers a lot of performance for a very low price. There are things you must know about it, and I hope you have read about them in the five parts of this test. The most important thing to learn is how few shots you get at the best fill level.

The magazine works quite well and I did not see any degradation in accuracy when using it. Granted I only tested with one pellet and at a very close range, but I have little doubt that the Bandit will shoot well with a variety of different pellets.

Hey, I know — let’s run one more test with different pellets! How many of you would like that? I think next time I would like to shoot at least 14 Hades pellets at two different targets, starting with a 170-bar fill, to see if it stays on target through them all. If I do test it again it has to be soon so I can get that UTG dot sight back on the AR-6 crossbow.

Once again, the UTG Reflex Micro Dot sight has proven its worth. Its small size, coupled with its wide range of adjustability make it an ideal dot sight for a great many airguns, both long and short.

I have used the JSB Hades pellet a lot in this test, and the Bandit does seem to do well with it. It’s a premium pellet that is fast becoming a standby in my ammo cabinet.

For a pistol in this price range I am impressed by the trigger. It’s not that light, but it sure is crisp and predictable. In fact there is a lot to like with this air pistol. Once I opened the silencer and got the baffles out of the way, she turned into a real shooter!

author avatar
B.B. Pelletier
Tom Gaylord is known as The Godfather of Airguns™ and has been an airgunner for over a half-century, but it was the Beeman company in the 1970s that awoke a serious interest in airguns. Until then, all he knew were the inexpensive American airguns. Through the pages of the Beeman catalog, he learned about adult airguns for the first time. In 1994, Tom started The Airgun Letter with his wife, Edith. This monthly newsletter was designed to bring serious reports about airguns to the American public. The newsletter and Airgun Revue, a sister magazine about collectible airguns, was published from 1994 until 2002, when Tom started Airgun Illustrated -- the first American newsstand magazine about airguns. Tom worked for three years as technical director at AirForce Airguns, the makers of the Talon, Condor, and Escape precharged air rifles. Today, he writes about airguns and firearms for various publications and websites. He also makes videos, and you'll find short clips embedded in some of his artices on Pyramyd AIR's website. Tom is a consultant to Pyramyd AIR and writes under the name of B.B. Pelletier.

53 thoughts on “Diana Bandit PCP air pistol: Part 5”

  1. B.B.,

    Once you have determined the best pellet for this in Part 6. Part 7 will see you pushing this at 25 yards, Part 8 with the installation of the regulator (you mentioned this in Part 2), Part 9 with you testing the output and Part 10 the accuracy with regulator installed. If that UTG Reflex Micro Dot is going to stay on the pistol it’s going to be a while before we see the AR-6 crossbow again.


  2. BB,

    LOL! It looks like Siraniko has your job laid out for you for at least a good week. Of course we have to have old airgun Fridays, so you might be able to work this into two weeks.

    The regulator sounds like a real good idea for this little puffer. Although it will take up some air space, it should let you start at full pressure and get consistent air usage throughout the string.

    I really have to get me one of those dots.

    • I’ve got one of the UTG’s on my Dan Wesson 41 mag. and I am very very happy with it. Great deer set-up out to 125 yds.or so. Recoil is no problem. You’ll use it more than you think if you have as much trouble as I do with blurry front sights.blurry rear sights.and blurry targets.

      • Rk,

        I enjoy using the open sights on the old gals around here. There is a serious problem finding a modern air rifle that does not have glowy thingy sights.

        I was actually thinking of mounting it on top of a scope on an air rifle. I could zero the scope for 50 yards and have the dot for quick shots at 10-20 yards.

  3. I’ve had my eye on one of these for a while, so I’d love to see a test with the regulator installed. Maybe set to 150 bar, and sot out to 20 yards. Think you can get it to squeeze out 3 mags worth of shots?

  4. B.B.,
    I had too much brain fog, not enough caffeine this morning; hence, I had to re-read your report before I “got it.”
    “…shoot at least 14 Hades pellets at two different targets, starting with a 170-bar fill, to see if it stays on target”
    I think that would be informative, especially if you shot 14 pellets at 10 meters, then another 14 at 25 yards.
    As Siraniko pointed out, you will want to push the range, since this UTG sight practically begs you to, hahaha! =>
    Thanking you for a very interesting report,

  5. Thank you BB for an interesting report on a nice pistol. There is a lot to like in it, specially considering the cost.

    That said, I wouldn’t enjoy a PCP with un unbalanced valve that provides uneven power delivery. I think that this pistol – being inherently accurate and with a good trigger – is begging for a regulator, even at the cost of air capacity and the addition of a failure point. In other words, I vote for Siraniko’s plan.

    On a side note, I also use an UTG reflex in a PCP pistol and I think it is excellent for that use, particularly for old eyes like mine. I used to like traditional iron sights but now I use progressive lenses. Moving the focus between the front sight, the rear and the target requires head contortions that do not help accuracy. It must look funny, though.



    • Henry TX, et.al.: Henry, you must be an “experienced” air gunner like myself! The variable/progressive eyewear, while extremely handy for most purposes, does have that one deficit – the head/vision angle is oft wrong for the position one is in (particularly true when working on machinery with tools, worse UNDER the car in the dim). When shooting, the progressive lens seems to, cantankerously, want a different head angle than the cheek weld really wants. How does it “know” to do this? LOL

      BB: As a fellow “experienced” air gunner, could a column be worked up regarding shooting with variable/progressive lenses? I have noted that I have to find peculiar spots on my lenses for different sights, i.e., open vs. peeps vs. scopes. Open sights are becoming increasingly challenging to the point that my Beeman P-1, heretofore an “automatically precise shooter” required an UTG dot sight! My remaining pistols with iron notch sights are becoming candidates for dot sights (an RWS 5GTO1, Hatsan M-25 Super Charger, Browning 800 Mag, and my venerable Gamo P45) that previously were dead on in “naked” form!

      Obviously, the scopes “flatten” the reticle against the POA, making shooting much easier. The peeps largely do the same thing, as does the unmagnified dot sight. The open sights, to the contrary, become challenging to get a good front post picture because it seems that the blurring of the target becomes, to me worse with the progressive lenses than with natural vision.

      A few years back, I was talking about this with my optometrist and the doctor put a tiny bit of distance magnification in the lens. He called it “minification,” meaning just a slight sharpening of distance vision. It did help some, but since cataract surgery and lens implants “set” for distance, this is less helpful.

      So…what about an analysis of vision dynamics for “experienced” air gunners? Most importantly, perhaps, is how one practically compensates for presbyoptic changes, from the Greek meaning, “old eyes?”

    • Don,

      Maybe a single stroke that is (stylish) and light? like the Bandit would be interesting. Repeater too. Maybe under lever,…. small, light, sleek, unobtrusive to the lines. I am not sure an over lever/barrel cocking would be right for the design.


      • Chris U,

        Check out the single stroke pneumatic pistols at PA. The are all stylish in my view. Not sure about a repeater. The P17’s are fun to shoot, accurate and $35. I was shooting mine today.

        The under lever on my 46M is fantastic. It does loose some sleekness but it is my favorite pistol.


    • Don,

      SSP’s are great. One issue is that they are mostly 10 meter rifles. The reason is the low power level. Webley was experimenting with a 12 FPE when they went belly up, but it did not go anywhere mostly because of the difficulty of cocking.

      • RR,

        I was thinking pistoles.

        I think you have a IZH 46M, I shoot mine at silhouettes at 25 yards with a rest. My P17 can hit a can at 20 yards most of the time.

        The Bandit definitely has more power though.


    • Don, for price vs. pure fun, you won’t do any better than these Chinese-made pistols. I own no less than 4 of these PCPs 2 in .17 and 2 in .22) I have removed the “muffler” from both .17s and have added barrel bands to all 4 guns. The accuracy is fantastic and I get about 2 full magazines before I need to charge up again. I also purchased the Artemis PP700-SA in both .17 and .22 and these guns are also made by the same Chinese company. They too are extremely value priced, esp. for all you get. They are not easy to find, and I actually had to order the .22 from a company in Canada, and the .17 from a company in PORTUGAL!! I have a blast with all of these guns, putting red dots on 2 and using the iron sights on the others. They have all taken several collared doves and squirrels – all with one shot kills. For the price, you can’t go wrong with these guns – dive in and have a ball!!

        • I think you will have a blast with either the Artemis PP700-SA and/or the Bandit. I have several and they are all set up differently, as they are inexpensive and cheap to outfit. I know you won’t find any pistols in this price range, with these qualities.

  6. OH POOKEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I may have waited too long to order a .22 Maximus. It looks like TCFKAC has quit offering them. It looks like they will continue with the .177, but are going to use the .22 parts for the Fortitudes.

    DOUBLE, TRIPLE POOKEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • RR,

      If the .22 Maximus barrels are still available you could convert a .177. Then you have both. I think the barrels were about $38. Not sure about the breech GF1 would know if the standard steel breech works on the Maximus.

      I really like my 2nd gen Fortitude it is a good gun.


      • Don,

        I have never bought a Crosman. Now if I want the air rifle from them that want, I have to buy the air rifle and then buy the parts to convert it? I really do not think it is going to get that cold.

    • RR
      Really. How long is the .22 Maximus barrel.

      I thought the Fortitude barrel is shorter than the Maximus barrel. The shroud on the Fortitude may be the same length as the Maximus barrel. But the barrel needs to be shorter than the shroud for the barrel to work.

      I don’t know if what you said can be true. And the breech from the Maximus sure won’t work on the Fortitude. I just don’t see it happening.

      • GF1,

        Just think about it. Cut the barrel shorter and it works on the Fortitude. The bottom end IS a Disco/Maximus. Stick a Marauder pistol action on top and you have a Fortitude. You can actually convert a Fortitude into a Maximus.

        • RR
          Nope the outside barrel diameter is different on a Fortitude than the Maximus.

          And the bolt pattern for the Fortitude breech is different than the Maximus breech.

          Look at the parts digrams for the Maximus and the Fortitude. You’ll see what I mean.

          • GF1,

            I guess when they sell all the .177 Maximus in stock that may be the end of them, too bad!

            I think it would be a quick job to change a .177 Maximus to .22 with a barrel and breech kit.

            Does the standard Crosman steel breech fit the Maximus?


            • Don
              You know there is a steel breech that fits the Maximus and Discovery and another that fits the 2240 and 1322/77.

              So not sure what you mean by the standard one.

              Both that I mentioned will work on the Discovery or Maximus “technically” the one screw in the bolt area changes location.

              And remember the breeches and bolts are caliber specific on either style of the breeches I mentioned.

              • I was not clear, but you answered my question I think. So the tube on the Maximus has a threaded hole for the screw on the “standard breech” 13XX that is right where the pellet is set and gets hung up at times. This one.


                The bolt is why I said breech kit.

                The breech on my Sheridan 2260 has the screw under the bolt so it has to be removed to replace the breech. Do you know if it is the same as the Maximus and Discovery? I have not had either the Maximus or Discovery so I don’t know.


                • Don
                  No the Maximus has a breech like the Discovery has. The threaded hole is up under the bolt.

                  So the 2240, 1322/77 steel breech has the front screw location.

                  And not to confuse things more. I was just checking a bunch of stuff out. I was going to see if I could put a .25 caliber barrel from a Marauder in a Fortitude breech and shroud. My buddy has a .22 Fortitude and he wants to convert it to .25 caliber also. So we just need to get together to get more dimensions figured out.

                  Was glad to see this subject brought up.

                    • Don
                      Your in business with the tubes you have.

                      But the steel breeches will work on either type of threaded hole in the air tube. I use the back screw and no front screw on guns and just put a barrel band clamp close to the steel breech. I haven’t had any air leaks when the shots go off doing it that way.

                      So that front breech hole location means nothing to me.

        • Don
          Yep and if I remember right the Discovery barrels are 23 inches.

          The Maximus barrels like pressure that’s for sure. Definitely made for a pcp with the right pressure.

          I tried my .22 maximus barrel on a 1322 with a steel breech and it just couldn’t make enough pressure to get a fair veloity to shoot good. I even put one of my big transfer port orifices in it.

          From what I have seen the .22 Maximus barrel likes from around 700 to 800 fps. The Discovery barrel could shoot good down to maybe 625 fps. So as it goes trail and error to find what works on a given set up.

      • Mike,

        At the Crosman site theY are still showing the .22 caliber Maximus in the Hunter version and the original Maximus with open sights in the kit with a pump. Hard to say what is going on but nothing lasts forever.


      • Mike
        That last link is a Amazon link.

        They tend to not call things out right. That is a regular Maximus in the link you gave.

        What their wording should mean to them is this is a hunting air gun. And again kind of wide open in the determination.

        That’s why a person should really research something before they buy.

          • Mike
            Don’t know about the valve. I would say same valve and a different smaller transfer port orifice.

            I guess I should say I’m thinking of the lower energy European version.

            Maybe the hunter version over on this side of the pond uses a bigger orifice in the gun instead of a different valve. Dont know about all that.

    • RR,

      Well,….. if that is the case,…. you best be lookin’ around for any left,… on any site. I love mine and would be hard pressed to ever part with it,…… but a magazine option would be nice on occasion. Like I have said before,… if I were given the option again,… I would have gone for the Fortitude (not yet announced at the time).


      • Chris
        What keeps getting me is people keep saying they want the Maximus instead of the Fortitude.

        I say why. I’m like you I love my Maximus. It’s accurate and gets great shot count with the mods I did.

        The Fortitude wasn’t even thought about yet when I got my Maximus. But if it was I would of probably got it. I mean heck it’s a mini Marauder in a sense plus it has a regulator. The shroud plus it’s a repeater with a magazine. Heck it might have a single shot tray available. Why get a Maximus?

        • The fortitude and Marauder use the same magazine and single shot tray. The single shot trays from the Gauntlet fit better and don’t slide around in my Marauder.

          • Don
            Thanks for bringing that up about the Gauntlet/Marauder single shot tray and mags. The Gauntlet slipped my mind.

            Maybe the .25 caliber Gauntlet barrel is what me and my buddy have been looking for to convert his Fortitude into a .25 caliber like I mentioned above.

            Well that is if I can buy a barrel from Umarex. They ain’t very good on parts supply like Crosman is.

            I am going to see if the .25 Gauntlet barrel will take any work to fit a Fortitude breech though one way or another.

  7. B.B.
    What is the pressure in this pistol before you refill for the next shot string? The question is poorly worded but I think you know what I’m after.

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