The Diana model 50 underlever: Part 6

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana 50
Diana model 50 underlever.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The test
  • Sight in
  • RWS Superdomes
  • The trigger
  • RWS Supermags
  • Feel of firing|
  • RWS Hobbys
  • Why shoot only RWS pellets?
  • H&N Baracuda 4.50 mm head
  • Discussion
  • Summary

Today I shoot the Diana model 50 underlever with sporting sights from 25 yards. Let’s see what she’ll do!

The test

I shot indoors from 25 yards off a sandbag rest. I used the artillery hold with the rifle rested on my off hand, about 8-9 inches forward of the triggerguard. The Diana 50 is an underlever, and that steel cocking mechanism makes it heavy up front, so this is the most comfortable way to stabilize it. I shot 10-shot groups at 10-meter pistol targets

Sight in

Because I moved the rear sight forward for this test, I had to sight in the rifle again. The first shot was from 12 feet and impacted at the top of my front sight, so I called it good and backed up to 25 yards. I knew the shots would hit higher from back there, but since the first shot hit at 6 o’clock on the bull and this was a pistol target, I reckoned there was plenty of room.

RWS Superdomes

The first pellet I tested was also the sight-in pellet — the RWS Superdome. At 10 meters this pellet did quite well, though it opened up when I shot it at 25 yards with the peep sight. My group of ten from Part 4 measured 1.044-inches between centers.

This time with the sporting sights 10 Superdomes went into 1.994-inches at the same 25 yards. Throw out the pellet that hit to the left of the rest and 9 are in 1.166-inches. So — not much different but not as good as with the peep sight. There were no pulled shots in this test.

Diana 50 Superdome
Ten RWS Superdomes made a 1.994-inch group at 25 yards, with 9 in 1.166-inches.

The trigger

I have to comment on the trigger. I never adjusted it like I said I might and I think I know why. It’s breaking as a single-stage trigger with a light pull. I can feel the trigger blade move, but with those ball bearings there is absolutely no creep (an erratic start and stop in the blade as it is pulled).

I think this trigger is what reader RidgeRunner talks about when he says he likes single-stage triggers. The Webley Senior straight grip pistol I traded to him has the same sort of trigger, only its blade moves a lot farther. This one is almost a target trigger. It’s just enough resistance to let the shooter know what he is doing.  I normally don’t like single-stage triggers, but I do like this one! I’m glad I left it the way it was.

RWS Supermags

The 9.3-grain RWS Supermag wadcutter is a pellet I haven’t tried in this rifle before. So I thought, “What the heck?”

Ten Supermags went into 1.61-inches at 25 yards. But the firing cycle became very loud and deep — much different than with the Superdomes. The shots also landed lower on the paper.

Diana 50 Supermag
Ten RWS Supermags went into 1.61-inches at 25 yards.

Feel of firing

As it is now set up this Diana 50 does not vibrate at the shot. However, the piston must be heavy, because there is a pronounced forward lurch on every shot.

RWS Hobbys

The next pellet I tried was the 7-grain RWS Hobby wadcutter. What a marked difference in the shot cycle they made! Hobbys shot very quiet and smooth. I hoped for a miracle in the accuracy department but alas, 10 pellets went into 1.732-inches at 25 yards.

Diana 50 Hobby
The Diana 50 put 10 RWS Hobby pellets into this 1.732-inch group at 25 yards.

Why shoot only RWS pellets?

I would normally run in some JSBs or pellets from some other manufacturer, so why have I shot three pellets from RWS? I did it because in my experience, Diana airguns — especially the vintage ones like this model 50 — really do well with RWS pellets. However, sometimes you have to step out of the ordinary and try something different.

H&N Baracuda 4.50 mm head

I thought I needed to do something drastic to turn things around. So the final group I shot was 10 H&N Baracudas with 4.50 mm heads. From what I saw with the 9.3-grain Supermags, these 10.65-grain domes are way too heavy for this powerplant, and when I shot the first one it was confirmed. The rifle made a loud sound that almost protested the use of this pellet. So, why did I do it?

I have done this with other vintage Dianas many times. Particularly the .22-caliber Diana 27 seems to love the heavy Baracuda against all odds. It makes no protest and tends to group quite well. But this model 50 is a different proposition altogether. But how did it group?

Ten Baracudas went into 1.451-inches at 25 yards. Five of them are in a very small cluster, but the other five are scattered. The group is nice and round, despite being on the large side. It is the smallest group of the test.

Diana 50 Baracuda
Ten H&N Baracuda domes with 4.50 mm heads went into 1.451-inches at 25 yards.

I think Baracudas have such thick skirts that they are not blowing out in the loading tap and sealing the bore as well as they could. Hobbys, in sharp contrast, seal the bore quite well.

Discussion

I was hoping this test would prove that the Diana 50 is a tackdriver, but I guess that is not to happen under my watch. She is a well-made springer that shows innovation in many places, but she’s not a natural shooter like some other Dianas I have had.

I may not have found the right pellet for this rifle — that’s a forgone conclusion. But I think I have given her a good test, nevertheless.

I will say that the little lube tune I gave the rifle in Part 5, while switching the rear sight, was the best thing I could have done besides leaving that trigger alone.

This underlever is solidly built, well finished and very smartly designed. Just looking at her and holding her makes me feel good.

Summary

That will be it for the Diana 50. I’m so glad to have had the opportunity to look this deeply into such a fine spring gun.

112 thoughts on “The Diana model 50 underlever: Part 6

  1. B.B.,

    Some of that EWG might have migrated to the trigger group. How much pressure does it require now before it goes off? Does it still break at 1 lb. 8 oz?

    It might not be a tackdriver but it must be a pleasure to shoot.

    Siraniko


  2. B.B.

    Do you believe that you have a good example of the Diana 50? I thought they were supposed to be tack drivers.
    Maybe you have a Friday or Monday gun? I am of the opinion, perhaps misguided, that Diana’s like H&N pellets and Weihrauch’s like JSB’s.
    Have a safe and sane weekend all,

    -Yogi


    • Yogi

      My Diana 34 likes JSB 10.34 gr Heavy but both 7.9 gr and 10.5 gr Crosmans in the brown boxes do just as well. I agree on the Weihrauchs but my HW50s also likes large head diameter H&N Field Target Trophy.

      Deck




        • Yogi,

          I am of the belief that the gun doesn’t make the shooter, the shooter does. Evidence of that is I am a mediocre shot despite having a collection that probably rivals B.B.’s. It’s not in the same league of Fred Liady or Dr. Robert Beeman, but it’s what happens when a married couple has no kids but two professional incomes for a combined 60 years.

          So, perhaps I do need a different collection.

          Michael


          • Buy cars! Buy boats! Donate to charity!
            At your estate sale, they will be worth $ 0.10 on the dollar.
            I have 4 rifles and 2 pistols total at 2 locations and , and I have too much.
            I only have one trigger finger……..

            -Y


            • Yogi,

              You make good points, good points all. I might open an online store someday, the internet’s largest vintage and used air gun store! I could do the same with vintage electric guitars and vintage guitar amplifiers. Easiest would be a local-pick-up-only auction for the whole lot of air guns and another one for the guitars.

              I never did classic cars because I’m not mechanically inclined. I’ve had two boats, but you know what they say the definition of a boat is, right? It’s a hole in the water you throw money into. And the second happiest day of a man’s life is the day he buys his boat. The happiest day is the day he sells it.

              For her part my wife used to collect miniatures (check out THAT hobby online for an eye-opener), and for many years she was a first rate and serious art photographer (can you spell H-A-S-S-E-L-B-L-A-D 500C/M? Yikes.)

              Michael



                • I play but not well, so no, I am not a poser. Posers give the (false) impression they play well, and I have never done that. Regarding Fender tube amps, I think almost everyone has at least one of those. :^)

                  And as for taxes, the rich people I know laugh all the time at the taxes-paying working class who allow the rich to get away without paying any. Working folks are a joke to the rich. Ever been to a yacht party? When the bikinied waitress is out of earshot, they laugh at how she pays more taxes than they do. (They also leer at her toned flat tummy and wonder how much younger she is than their daughters.)

                  These days my neighbors talk about how the middle class are going back to work and risking covid-19 to make money for their (my neighbors’) strportfolios. One of my guitar-collecting buddies talked yesterday about how he wouldn’t dare set foot in one of his three covid-laden McDonalds, but thank Goodness he can open up the dining rooms and rake in the $$ again. Last week on the phone he bragged about how his other business (don’t know much about it) got some of the sweetheart low-interest government loans last month. You paid for those loans, Yogi. Knowing him like I do, he’ll probably buy another $300,000 1959 sunburst Les Paul with your money. (He already has two.)

                  So yeah, taxes are too high.

                  Michael



                    • Yogi,

                      They are indeed nasty, some of ’em. My close neighbors are pretty well-off but only millionaires. However, my neighbors at a mile or so distance have included Brian Wilson, dozens of Chicago Bears and Cubs, and currently the star of the TV show “Blue Bloods” and his Playmate of the Year wife. They shoot their reality TV show here in town, although I’ve never actually crossed paths with them. Perhaps they are nice folks. I guess no one is actually like their reality TV character.

                      I met Brian a half dozen times because of a local non-profit board I served on as a token not-rich person (LOL). He was always very quiet and seemed quite decent and humble, but that attitude toward the working middle class for actually PAYING income taxes is true to one degree or another of most of the other very wealthy people I have rubbed elbows with over the years, from those who are fellow guitar collecting hobbyists, two I privately tutored public speaking to as a help in their business roles, those whose resumes and business plans I wrote as a private free-lancing consultant, to many I served on boards of nonprofits with.

                      Then there were the African Tribal Princess sisters I taught at a VERY expensive private boarding school in the Far Northwest Chicago suburbs. (“Coming to America” is more like the real thing than you’d think!) Teaching at that school was a surreal experience, to say the least. Imagine a teenager who can address you as “Sir” or “Ma’am” but in a tone that makes clear you aren’t good enough to breathe the same air as them! But I digress . . . .

                      The richer a truly-rich American is, the lower their realized/actual income tax rate. Leona Helmsley, who’s fortune today would probably be close to twelve figures, infamously said, “Income taxes are for the little people.” I promise you, no one in this country with more than $1 billion pays even one dime in federal income tax.

                      Furthermore, every dime the ultra-rich don’t pay for 1st responder salaries, our troops’ pay, Social Security, the VA, Medicare, and road paving, are thousands or tens of thousands of dimes you pay. And the ultra-rich can’t believe you let them get away with it.

                      There. My taxpayer’s rant is now over.

                      Michael



                    • B.B.,

                      I’m a little person, such a small pest that I’m not even worth the bug spray, LOL.

                      As for my collections, well, I have no heirs, so putting a hit out on me would profit no one. All my cats care about is whether or not there is enough food in their bowls. :^)

                      Michael




              • Michael,

                Yogi does seem to have a point. How many airguns do you need? Perhaps you should send some of these old gals for a little vacation at RidgeRunner’s Home For Wayward Airguns. I am certain they would enjoy being pampered and shot on a regular basis. While waiting for their turn at the range they can hang around with the other residents and swap stories and adventures. 😉


                • RR,

                  Yogi is completely correct. I don’t NEED even one. A half dozen would be more than fine.

                  I guess all of the covid-19 news has me in a confessional mood. I’m embarrassed by what I’ve got. I paid for all of it, but still. Now, if I were a world-class Olympic 10 Meter Air Rifle shooter, it would be different. But I’d bet almost everyone here could outshoot me regularly.

                  Michael



                  • Michael,

                    That’s not the point. Like GF1 said, do you enjoy shooting them? OK fine. I am probably a fairly decent shot, but I know there are those here and elsewhere that can make me look like a neophyte. I enjoy shooting. That is why I am into airguns. I enjoy learning about and shooting these old gals and learning the history of airguns. That is why I have RidgeRunner’s Home For Wayward Airguns.

                    That and the Great Enabler. He encouraged me to buy my 1906 Lincoln Jeffries Model BSA air rifle. That started me down this road. Now I would just as soon have an old airgun than a new one.


                    • RidgeRunner,

                      Oh! Oh! A Lincoln Jeffries! Oh man! =8^D I have nothing that old. I have a first variant Daisy 25 I inherited that my great grandfather bought new, but nothing even remotely in that wonderful old ballpark.

                      I very much love shooting my air guns. But I am ashamed I have so many, which is why I edited down my above post. I both admire and envy those who love shooting their small handful of air guns, do just fine with them, and don’t even think about collecting them as they already have enough for their enjoyment. As far as I am concerned, they have the right idea.

                      I know quite a few EXCELLENT guitarists who have had very few guitars over a lifetime. To them a guitar is something they enjoy playing, and one nice one is enough. Perhaps not even one nice one but just one OK one is enough.

                      One of my very first guitar teachers, and one of the best blues-based guitarists I have ever known (or known OF, including a particular legend from Austin, TX) has had precisely one guitar his entire life, just one. I recall he said he bought it used in the late 1960s when it was roughly seven or eight years old after he got home from Vietnam. In the guitar-modding craziness of the 1970s and 1980s he never even thought about modding it as it “worked just fine” as it was. (Which is good as when he leaves it to his grand daughters, it will be worth about one year of a great-grandchild’s college tuition.) When he picks up a guitar to play, it is always THAT guitar. When he says, “My guitar . . .” that is the guitar he means. I would give anything to be like that — to have been like that my whole life — with guitars and air guns both.

                      I once told him his guitar was worth so many dollars. He asked, “Yeah, but if I sold it, what would I play?” I answered something like, “If you sold it, you could buy a new one and have enough left over for a new car down payment.” “Yeah, but I like this one.” I see now he was right. I was wrong.

                      I went to junior high and senior high with a guy who bought a stereo the same time as all the rest of us did when we started listening to Aerosmith, Rush and Led Zeppelin. 20 years later that was still the stereo he had and listened to for hours every day. He had rebelted the turntable, given up on the cassette player/recorder, and still listened to the AM/FM receiver (well, the FM anyway). Same speakers (with refoamed surrounds). I recall he was starting to get low on his supply of styluses (styli?), and he asked for my opinion regarding then-current phono cartridges.

                      He never even considered a new stereo because that one still worked and sounded just fine. And this was a guy who LOVES music and is a musician. I would be surprised if he still doesn’t listen to that same stereo to this day.

                      I guess that’s the point. He loves music, not equipment. Some few guitar players love playing guitars, not the guitars themselves. Some air gun enthusiasts love shooting air guns, not the air guns.

                      Some day many ages hence a middle-aged man will say to an old man,

                      “You’re still pesting in your garden with that same old Diana spring — SPRING — air rifle you bought from, what was it called, Obelisk Air?”

                      “Pyramyd. Pyramyd Air.”

                      “That’s it. I’ll bet that was still when people bought stuff with their phones, before the Neuronet. Internet, right? Internet. I remember that. Why don’t you get a new plasma fusion rifle by Mattel? That relic must be almost as old as one of those antique PSPs that came and went after a few years, back in the ‘Teens.”

                      “PCPs. It’s older than those.”

                      “Well?”

                      “I like this one. It still works just fine.”

                      There’s wisdom in such words.

                      Michael


                  • Michael
                    Yep definitely a blast shooting air guns.

                    I have been getting into my RC planes again and haven’t shot my air guns in about a week. Been building a little 25 inch wingspan flat foamy YF22 jet that uses a normal propeller in the middle of the fuselage.

                    But what I’m getting at with bringing the planes up is I did shoot a little Sunday and it takes the mind off things. Kind of felt good to shoot them for a change.


                    • Gunfun1,

                      Whenever I see a vid on youtube with anything RC, I think of you and your planes. That must be a wonderful hobby.

                      On the far other end of the spectrum, I vaguely remember when I was a kid there were dime store balsa wood planes that had wound rubber band propulsion. Each one lasted maybe three flights, but they were fun for the time.

                      Michael


                  • Michael
                    Well thanks for thinking about me when you see the RC stuff. 🙂

                    I have done RC planes since I was a kid. I started out with hand tossing RC gliders off a hill then put a small engine on them. Then progressed to planes.

                    It has been a very very fun hobby. Definitely glad I got into it.


  3. BB,

    This lady may have enjoyed the thin skirts of the JSB’s.

    As for the single stage triggers, as I said I like them on these old gals as they have been smoothed out over the years and usually break crisply. My son-in-law bought a Henry .22 carbine that has a single stage trigger. It is horrible. It has a very long, rough and creepy pull. 😛

    Maybe this old gal would like to come visit RRHFWA. My 1906 BSA would enjoy spending some time with her. She is an underlever tap loader also. 😉




      • B.B.,

        I think RidgeRunner needs a Diana 50, Diana 30 (Trainer), Hakim, and classic Airsporter to go with that 1906 BSA, don’t you? A happy family of taploading underlevers! :^)

        Hey, The Taploading Underlevers. Sounds like a 1960s folk group. Yeah, The Taploading Underlevers. I saw them open for Joan Baez and Peter, Paul, and Mary in the Village. They had a kind of The Stone Ponies thing going on as I recall. ;^)

        Michael


      • B.B.,

        Please, don’t anyone here misunderstand me. I do not mean to denigrate “folkies.” I grew up listening to Peter, Paul, and Mary, once saw Joan Baez in concert (voice like an angel), and I have just two words for anyone who doesn’t appreciate The Stone Ponies: “Linda Ronstadt.”

        Michael


    • “My son-in-law bought a Henry .22 carbine that has a single stage trigger. It is horrible. It has a very long, rough and creepy pull.”
      RidgeRunner,
      I would have him send it back to the factory; in my [limited] experience, Henry stands behind their products. A friend of mine, who works in our local gun store, convinced me to buy one when I asked him about his t-shirt with a Henry model H001 on it; he said it’s their bread and butter product, they sell tons of them, and no one ever brings them back or trades them in; so, I bought one, and I love it! Contrary to old information on the internet, the barrel band and front sight are metal, not plastic. The rifle also has the smoothest action of any lever-action I have owned. The gun is accurate, and the trigger is nice and crisp (I just checked it again with an empty cartridge). Hence, I would say, send it back and let them make it right.
      Oh, I shoot mine with the factory open sights, flat-top rear and flat-top blade front…I love them as is! =>
      Praying they fix that rifle for your son-in-law,
      dave


      • Dave,

        It’s a nice little rifle with the exception of the trigger. As for sending it back, it does not see much use right now and when he and I find our round tuits we will fix that trigger up right.


        • RR,

          Might it see more use if the trigger were crispy? :^)

          Typically I would not write something like this, but I know how much supporting American manufacturers means to you. The Henry motto is, “Made in America Or Not Made At All.” With plants in Rice Lake, Wisconsin and Bayonne, New Jersey, Henry employs 475 Americans. Won’t you give them a chance to make it right? https://www.henryusa.com/contact-henry-repeating/

          The below is the “Henry Guarantee”:

          “Henry owners have my personal guarantee to make certain that they are 100% satisfied with their purchase of our rifles. If you are going to spend your money on a Henry, I can assure you that we will do whatever it takes to make sure that you are happy that you bought a Henry.” – Anthony Imperato, owner of Henry Repeating Arms.

          Michael


          • Michael,

            No, it would not see more use. I gave him a Diana 46, my grandson has a HW30S and I have my collection.

            Normally he would send it back, but both of us want inside that thing. 😉


            • RR,

              At least when you wrote about your round tuits, I didn’t have to look up what kind of tool a tuit was! :^)

              After I posted above, I researched Henry Repeating Arms a bit more, and I believe they are 100% American made, as in every part is made in the US from material made in the US.

              Michael





                  • LOL! We’ll see what we can do.

                    The truth is, powder burners and I have gone down different roads. I am obsessed with airguns. Mrs. RR does not let me buy some of those that I want. The chances of me picking up that Henry are slim to none.


                  • Dave,

                    I just understood that one. To deflect the skyward cartridges lest they burn your nose.

                    It took me a while. As a non-powder burner when I think “cartridges” they are usually of the 8-track variety.

                    Michael


                    • Michael,
                      I love airguns, but I also love a good .22, and that’s what gets shot here the most (airguns and .22s). I could shoot centerfire guns, as I live outside the town limits, out “in the county.”
                      However, my across-the–street neighbor is a really nice guy, and he sleeps days, since he works 3rd shift; hence, I shoot the quieter guns; all my airguns are pretty quiet, and the .22 rounds I use are “CCI QUIET-22” .22LR. They are great for varmints, or for plinking, out to about 25 yards. If you have the room, you might enjoy a nice Henry H001 in .22LR; the action IS butter smooth; one might call it, “a powder-burner for airgunners.” =>
                      Good shooting to you,
                      dave
                      P.S. I am old enough that I DO remember the 8-track days, hahaha! =)~


            • RR,

              Do you feel (confident) that something is not seriously amiss in the trigger unit? If so,… your tuning efforts might be wasted. If they have a reputation for a good trigger,… normally,.. then I might reconsider sending it back,…. as in DO send it back.

              That said,…. I would love to get inside as well! 😉 It can always be better then where the maker left off at,…. eh?

              Is there any tune/tweak sites for them?

              Chris


              • Chris,

                I do not know if there are any DIY tune/tweaks out there. I shoot a lot of single stage triggers. I can pretty well diagnose what the issue is with them. This trigger just needs a little polishing and a bit of Moly. It does have very long pull and I may have to take a good look at that. There is a safe single stage trigger and there is an overly safe single stage trigger.


              • Chris,

                I’m not a firearm guy, but I read a lot. Henry’s rifles of today are often thought of “like a Winchester” but BETTER. :^) They are especially known for their smoothness. They’re like buttah.

                Michael


          • Michael,

            As a little side note:

            As I said, one reason for not sending it back is we both want the opportunity to learn it’s inner workings. Another reason came to mind and that is it will cost Henry Repeating Arms to fix this issue, one that I know how to deal with.

            He is very satisfied with it. I am the trigger snob. I know it can be better. 😉








                    • RR
                      Man if it shoots .22 rimfire that good at 50 yards I think I wouldn’t touch that gun.

                      What brand and type .22 rimfire do you shoot out of it?



                    • RR
                      If I remember right I saw some of the Red Wolf at the local Rural King a while back. It was back before all this COVID-19 stuff. I was going to get a couple box’s of 50’s to try but I didn’t. Guess I should of. I’ll have to get some the next time I see them.

                      I like trying different .22 rimfire rounds. Kind of like finding the magic pellet for our pellet guns.



                    • RR
                      And ammo for the .22 rimfire is kind of like pellets in .177 and .22 caliber. There is alot of choices now days.

                      Those are some of the reasons I like the .22 rimfire guns. They are a little more expensive now days though. If the .22 rimfire ammo would be cheaper I would probably shoot them alot more than I do. But still fun to bring them out on occasion.


    • RidgeRunner,

      I agree about the JSBs, but in .177 the RWS Superdome is quite thin-skirted. It is not at all like the .22 Superdome with its thick skirt.

      Michael


    • RidgeRunner,

      A decent Father-In-Law would offer to help your son-in-law to either straighten the misbehaving out, or send them to Catholic School and let the priests play with him….

      -Y


  4. GF1,

    Peep sights can be mounted on the Fortitude. Move the brace as far forward as you can and cut 11 mm dovetails in the top. Front globe sight clamps there and rear aperture clamps to dovetails on action.

    Now as for the scopes, you just want a couple of them I have. You aren’t fooling me.

    No, made in China is everywhere. I said I try not to buy. Perhaps this mess will learn the manufacturers something though I doubt it. When you utilize slave labor and do not give a hang about pollution, you can usually make most products cheaper, even if you throw in shipping costs and political bribery.


    • RR
      That is a good idea. But I can honestly out of all the 36 years I have been a machinist I have never tried cutting dovetails.

      I’ll have to think about that one.



        • RR
          Oh I will have no problem setting up and doing it. I just need to figure out what kind cutting tool to use to cut it.

          If you get a chance ask him what kind of cutter and holder he uses. I got ideas and I have even made carbide cutting tools and even special holders for the cutting tools.

          So if someone has done it already and he used out ofthe catalog holders and cutting tools it will be much easier to get. Searching stuff gets to be a pain in the butt too.


          • GF1,

            It may be quite a while before I see him again. I am working from home right now and there is talk among the high mucky-mucks of making some of these work at home jobs permanent.

            You might want to talk with Derrick and Nick.

            http://anotherairgunblog.blogspot.com/

            I know Derrick shows up here on occasion and these two guys know there way around a machine shop.


            • RR
              Alot of people I have talked to said the same thing about permanent work from home. Right now I think that would be alright. But knowing me if I was able to do that I wouldn’t get anything done. I would be shooting my airguns or flying my planes or something. I’m sure I would probably get fired in under 2 weeks.

              And thats a pretty good setup they have in the picture. Other than the actual cutting tool. Those are a pain in the butt to sharpen right when they get dull. What i will try to find is something like a octa cutter that holds 8 carbide inserts. That way when the inserts start getting dull you just rotate the insert to a new cutting edge. Some inserts you can get 2 sides and some 3 sides and some even 4 sides from one insert. And pretty repeatable if you don’t abuse the holder. And I would do it on a Bridgeport.

              But that’s the route I would go.


              • GF1,

                As I started to say about the .22 rimfire is the basic rifle design has not changed in well over 100 years. That includes the rifle twist. The rifling is designed for standard velocity, not hypersonic. That is why .22 rifles are horrible when it comes to accuracy.

                Try out some match standard velocity .22. You will be pleased.


                • RR
                  I got a bunch of different brand and type. 22 rimfire ammo.

                  It’s happened over time trying to find the right one for a gun. Kind of like pellet guns. But I guess I have been lucky. So far my .22 rimfire guns do pretty good with the ammo I tried. About the only thing they don’t like is the 500 fps and slower cb’s. The rounds in the 700 to 1010fps range do the best. Some 1100 and 1200 fps rounds do good. Above that accuracy starts going away.

                  If there wasn’t such a thing as a pellet gun I would be shooting .22 rimfire for sure.




    • RidgeRunner,

      In the movie “Diner” Steve Guttenberg and Paul Reiser argue over who is better to have on the record player when you are kissing your girl, Frank Sinatra or Johnny Mathis. They ask Mickey Rourke (back when he was smooth and suave, face number 1), and he says, “Elvis Presley.” In film class my students would sometimes ask me which I preferred, “Star Trek” or “Star Wars.” I’d always answer “Dr. Who.”

      My point is, Fortitude or Avenger? Easy. Diana 34.

      Michael


      • Michael,

        Ah, but it is a sproinger. Do not get me wrong. Most of my “collection” are sproingers. I even have a couple of “new” ones.

        What I am looking to do is expand my PCP “collection” a little more. I am wanting a nice .22 PCP to plink, target shoot and maybe even hunt bushy-tailed tree rats with.

        Fortitude or Avenger? Easy. Maximus. I too often take a different road than others.


        • RR
          If the Fortitude would of came out before the Maximus that’s what I would have right now I’m sure.

          But as it goes I’m very happy with my modded Maximus. Although right now if it had breech that accepted mags or a single shot tray and had a shrouded barrel then it would have everything I want. As it goes I want my cake and to eat it too. 🙂



            • RR
              There’s nothing wrong with that. I like the Maximus and the Discovery and the Kantana. All good guns in my opinion.

              What it is I have a bunch of mods done to my Maximus right now. The only thing its lacking is a shroud and the option to shoot a mag.

              That’s basically what I meant. For me that would make my Maximus have pretty much all the options it could have. And including the 13 cubic inch regulated bottle. It gets a great shot count with nice velocity.

              Why I would of chose the Fortitude is because its pretty well done up already. My Maximus I’m sure has a better trigger though with the true 2 stage Marauder pistol grip I have on it.

              But yep I can be happy with a basic package too. At least that’s what is nice with some of the Crosman/Benjamin guns. They do have the option to be modded.


  5. B.B.,

    I have to say I still believe this Diana Model 50 is potentially a tackdriver, even at 25 yards (the Model 50 is, after all, low-powered). I suspect it simply needs to be shot with the aperture sight and not rested on the bag. In Part 3, September of 2017, you wrote, “The group of Superdomes shot with the artillery hold was well-centered. It measures 0.575-inches between centers for 10 shots at 10 meters. The artillery hold is definitely the way to go with this rifle!”

    Ten RWS Superdomes in under an inch at 25 yards might not exactly drive a tack, but I suspect you will shoot such groups if you put the peep back on and apply an artillery hold. Early versions of the Diana Model 50 are legendary for their soft shooting and deadly accuracy. It is only here in the United States that it is a mostly unknown model. I believe that legend is true. :^)

    Michael



  6. BB
    I don’t know about that. The lube tune might not be a good thing to do to this gun.

    I have that left hand walnut stock TX200 in .177 caliber and it is a pretty accurate gun with nice velocity. But as it goes of course I was looking for more accuracy. I tried some thicker lube than what I like just to see. The gun became very inconsistent group wise. Maybe velocity wise too. I didn’t chrony it though to see the velocity spread. And I did shoot the gun for several days after and was not happy at all with the guns new performance.

    So I took it back apart and cleaned it up nice. I put it back together with my white lithium grease lightly applied to the piston and spring and piston rod.

    Guess what. The accuracy came back. Maybe that isn’t what is happening with your gun your testing. But… I’m thinking maybe so. Remember everything likes something a little different. If that was my Diana it would be coming apart again.


  7. I have a 50 in each calibre. Both like RWS pellets of various kinds and Meisterkugelen in both weights best of all. The .177 example in particular is smooth as silk, as smooth as a good Walther LGV in fact. A previous owner had spent a lot of time and effort on its internals at some stage and used it for 6yd and 10m match shooting. As do I. It has the later slab sided stock which gives a better hold for match shooting.


  8. I am sick and tired of all you guys talking about your Diana 50’s! If none of you are going to send one to live at RidgeRunner’s Home For Wayward Airguns, just SHUTUP! 😉



    • RidgeRunner,

      When, ahem, if, you get one, be sure to get one of the older ones that is low-powered. They came in all kinds of stock and forearm shapes (although all were long and thin), but in all I’ve seen the cocking lever is almost entirely covered by the forearm. The later, higher-powered ones (not especially smooth-shooting at all) have quite a bit more exposed cocking lever.

      They came with every Diana-esque name there was: Diana, RWS, Gecado, Original, Winchester, probably even Daisy. In Europe they are everywhere, but in the U.S. they are uncommon. I wouldn’t be surprised if only Daisy/Winchester imported them here. They just did not play along with the velocity races that were such a big deal to we Americans.

      Michael


    • RidgeRunner,

      I almost forgot to add a basic pros and cons on them.

      The pros: smooth shooting, generally accurate at shorter distances, well made, elegant looking.

      The cons: heavy and big for their low power, limited range, slightly harder cocking than one would expect due to the short cocking lever and its placement too far from the shooter.

      Michael


      • Michael,

        It kind of reminds me of my 1906 BSA with a full stock. As for the cons, they are not for me. Most of the ladies around here are designed for 10 yard shooting. Of course I stretch them out to 25 yards often and further if I am hunting feral soda cans.

        I have this feeling that if I end up with one, we will already be well familiar with it.


      • Michael,

        I do not know if I was clear about the cons. They do not intimidate me in the least. The weight helps it shoot better and recoil less. My 1906 BSA has a short cocking lever way forward that is a bit stout.

        You take what these old ladies give you and enjoy them for what they are. One of my air rifles looks like it stepped off of the set of a Steampunk movie and will never in it’s or my wildest dreams be a “tack driver”, but it sure is fun to shoot.

        https://www.pyramydair.com/blog/?s=webley+service&btnGo=

        🙂


    • RR
      Ain’t it funny how people fight over accurate guns.

      Looks like BB might be sending you his.

      If just so happens that you get it permanently. Besides shoot it first. Then what you going to do with it? Try to get it more accurate?


      • GF1,

        I seriously doubt I will be able to get it more accurate. I usually do not mess with these old gals. I will spend more time with it than BB and likely get myself more accurate with it.


        • RR
          Does it have the same tap loader like the Diana 46e that you got from me? Definitely not a big fan of the 46e design.

          If you don’t seat the pellet right in the 46e it will cause accuracy problems.

          Just wondering if that may be why BB is having accuracy problems.


          • GF1,

            No, it is not anything like the 46E. It is more like my 1906 BSA. Look at Part 2and there is a good explanation and a good picture of it and how it works.

            Tap loaders do have the issue of long transfer ports and are usually lower powered than most other sproingers.



              • GF1,

                The 46E would probably be called a gate loader. It has a very long transfer port. It could really stand to have a lead cut in the chamber to allow the pellets to be inserted deeper.


              • GF1,

                I know you cannot help it because of your years of training and experience, but I think we are overthinking the slots in the top of the barrel band for the Fortitude.

                I think with a good set of calipers, a fine marker of some sort and a good angled needle file the grooves could be cut into the barrel band and touched up with aluminum black.


                • RR
                  That probably could be done. You would have to be in this case a pretty good straight filer. And another thing there would probably need a flat across the top of the band for clearance for the globe sight to fit on it.

                  Probably would all be doable with a file. But I doubt I could file the grooves straight enough. Especially when I know how good a job a Bridgeport would do.

                  And if I had the cutting tool I could probably set it up in the vise just as quick on the Bridgeport and have it done faster than if I put it in a vise on a bench and file it.

                  Like you said been doing it too long with the machine shop stuff. What can I say.


                  • GF1,

                    The bearing went out on our tractor’s water pump in the late 1960’s. I cut the shaft down on the water pump to fit the inside diameter of a bearing I had on hand with a bench grinder. I was able to find a new seal. I had to replace the water pump last year. If you take your time and study things carefully as you go good work can be accomplished with simple tools. I am not a master with any tools but I usually get things to work with what I have.

                    Don


                    • Don,

                      I do understand what you are saying. I call myself a high tech Jack of all trades, Master of none.


                    • Don
                      Yep not saying it can’t be done. Just saying do it the right way if you have the proper stuff.

                      You ever weld using a coat hanger?


                  • GF1,

                    LOL! I do understand. I am constantly reminding myself to KISS when it comes to control systems. If you have the proper setup, use it. If not, fake it.



  9. Agreed. The 50 Typ 01 is usually inferior in smoothness and accuracy than the regular 50 and 45 with which it shares components. They seem to shoot quite smoothly at around 8-9 fpe but will become quite unruly over 11 (in .22).
    A friend of mine has experimented with synthetc piston head conversions on two of his as well as polishing the internals. Both are silenced and although they are quite long guns he uses them in woodland for grey squirrels.
    Next stop for my own example is a drop in kit marketed for the 45 which will fit straight in. I will retain the leather washer as they work so well in the model 45.


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