Diana Mauser K98 PCP rifle: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana Mauser
Diana Mauser K98 PCP.

This report covers:

  • Another great one?
  • History
  • Sights
  • This PCP
  • Fill
  • Repeater
  • Lightweight
  • Realism
  • Adjustable trigger
  • Oh, yes they did!
  • Stuff in the box
  • What do we have?
  • Summary

BB’s going to rant, just a little. We airgunners ask for realistic replica airguns all the time, and then we gripe because they are TOO real! I don’t know if you remember, but I was so impressed by the spring-piston Diana K98 air rifle that I bought the test gun. I knew it was a re-skinned Diana 460 Magnum — a springer I don’t particularly enjoy for its hard cocking — but the realism of that re-skinned rifle was and is astounding.

Another great one?

Well, having just pulled the Diana Mauser K98 PCP rifle out of the box I have to say that I believe Diana has done it again. This K98 PCP is very realistic. So I did something I usually avoid. I read the reviews. There were only two and both of them criticized one of the most realistic parts of the rifle — the rear sight! They were upset that it doesn’t adjust for windage! Well — guess what? The rear sight on the K98 firearm also does not adjust for windage! What did you expect — a Corvette that has 4 doors and a cargo hatch so you can store your groceries better? Come on, guys — a Corvette is a sports car and a K98 Mauser is a battle rifle from World War II. I guess the only thing that would be funnier would be to watch an airgunner pull the trigger on an 8mm K98 firearm and learn what real recoil is! I can tell you this — I had to get rid of my M48 Yugo Mauser because I could not take that kick! Okay, the rant is over.

History

The 1898 Mauser was the last major step in the evolution of a bolt action rifle system whose design was embraced by countries around the globe. We Americans honor John Moses Browning for his ubiquitous designs that changed the world of firearms forever, but in truth, Peter Paul von Mauser’s rifles probably made their way into just as many hands. And the 1898 rifle was the high-water mark of all his work. In fact, after the end of World War 1 the American government was ordered to pay $250,000 in royalties to Mauser Werke for copying their design. I love the 1903 Springfield, as do many riflemen, but in truth it’s a Mauser 98 at its heart.

The Mauser 98 went on to be modified and updated over many years until about 1935, and arsenals around the world upgraded older versions into the latest designs for decades longer. Besides shortening the barrel and refining the rear sight from the early langvisier (long sight or what some call the “roller-coaster sight) into the shorter sight that is copied on this air rifle, one of the many modifications was to bend the bolt handle down — to speed up cocking the rifle — not for mounting a scope, though that was a side benefit.

Mauser Langvisier
The original 1898 Mauser rear sight has a huge vertical adjustment for the high trajectory of the original heavy Mauser bullet.

It was discovered that the 7.92mm Mauser cartridge that was used for machine guns had faster burning power that produced less of a muzzle flash in the rifle and also allowed for a shorter barrel (from 29.1-inches in the 1898 down to 23.2-inches in the K98). A lighter bullet gave a flatter trajectory that allowed the rear sight to flatten out considerably.

Mauser K98 rear sight
When the bullet became lighter and the powder burned faster the K98 rear sight flattened out to this.

Sights

The rear sight on this Diana air rifle adjusts for elevation via a sliding stepped ladder, just like the firearm. It’s not as long as the firearm sight but it works the same way.

Diana Mauser K98 rear sight
The sight on the Diana PCP is an accurate copy of the Mauser sight.

The airgun’s front sight is a post that’s protected by a hood. A hole through the top of the hood gives access to the post that can be screwed up and down for more elevation adjustment.

This PCP

The Diana Mauser K98 PCP comes in both .177 and .22 caliber. In .177 Diana says to expect 20 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle, which is really rocking it! In the .22 caliber that I am testing they say to expect up to 26 foot-pounds. I went for the larger caliber because at this energy level it seemed like the right thing to do.

Fill

The rifle’s air reservoir is filled through a port in the bottom of the forward stock band. Diana supplies a probe for the fill and it has a male Foster coupling on the other end, so it mates with the most common fill technology.

The rifle is filled to 200 bar, though the green area on the built-in gauge on the bottom of the forearm  goes up to 3,000 psi. When I fill I will just watch the gauge on my carbon fiber tank. I know it is accurate.

Repeater

This rifle is a repeater. It uses a rotary magazine and holds 12 pellets in .177 and 10 in .22. But what I appreciate even more than that is the fact that it comes with a single-shot tray installed! That will be how I shoot it most of the time, except to test the function of the magazine, so I appreciate that they included it.

Lightweight

Because this is a pneumatic, a lot of weight is saved. The rifle weighs only 6.6 lbs. Even so, the overall length and thickness of the stock let you know you have a rifle in your hands!

Realism

I find this Diana PCP to be very realistic. Aside from the short upper handguard that puts the rear sight too far forward (but only for appearance — it focuses just fine) and the scope base at the rear of the receiver, in most other respects this rifle is a close copy of the firearm. No, it won’t accept a bayonet, but it does feel great!

The stock is wood and is finished better than any Mauser firearm ever was. I can only tell you that fact because the description on the Pyramyd Air web page says it is. These days the plastics they have created go beyond my ability to discern.

The stock has the Mauser cutout in the butt that serves as the rear sling anchor and the front anchor is on the left side of the upper handguard clamp, where is should be. A K98 Mauser stock would have an open steel bushing in the butt for disassembling the bolt in the field. The PCP has a metal cap inlet into both sides of the butt to replicate this feature, but it serves no functional purpose.

Adjustable trigger

The trigger adjusts for sear engagement. I will look at that in the next report.

Diana Mauser trigger
The sear engagement adjusts via a single screw on the trigger blade. The safety is a crossbolt through the trigger blade.

Oh, yes they did!

The “barrel” appears stout, but upon examination I found that it is more of a jacket. And the end cap at the muzzle unscrews. And inside the “muzzle” Diana has put technology — in the form of baffles. So, the muzzle report is quiet — despite the power! Now — THAT is where you should depart from the original in a lookalike PCP airgun — not in the rear sight!

Diana Mauder K98 muzzle
There are baffles to quiet the report.

Stuff in the box

Besides the manual that I find well-written, there is a plastic bag with one magazine, a fill probe and a set of replacement o-rings. The latter is the only hint that this rifle is made in China, besides the small print markings on the receiver.

Diana Mauser K98 accessories
The accessories.

What do we have?

What is this air rifle? It’s a bolt-action repeating PCP with good power, a single-shot capability, great iron sights that are real steel and a high degree of resemblance to the firearm it copies. I hope it tests out well, because this is an air rifle for offhand shooting for fun, rather than for mounting a scope and fretting over quarter-inches on paper. Yes, there is a scope base on the rear of the receiver and yes, I will no doubt test the rifle both ways. But personally I like the open sights.

Summary

This PCP is unique, in that it competes with nothing I can think of. It is what it is — a realistic airgun copy of a Mauser battle rifle. I think this report will be very interesting.

56 thoughts on “Diana Mauser K98 PCP rifle: Part 1

  1. Good morning to you all. It seems that Artemis used their standard equipment on this beautiful rifle. I wish they were obligedby Diana to make a new five shot, six for the .177, magazine which would “hide” in the contours of the gun and provide the correct number of shots between refills . So, until then, single shot tray looks good for me also.
    Bill


  2. B.B.

    I do not understand the fascination with realistic replica airguns? In the 60’s they would put fiberglass bodies on VW chassis. The cars looked like junk and drove like junk! Anybody remember Fiberfab? Replica airguns remind me of Fiberfab.

    -Y



    • Yogi,

      I was not old enough to drive until the mid 70’s,…. but I remember the “dune buggies” with fiberglass bodies over a VW platform. Pretty cool I thought and still do. There is a couple on nice ones running around in the local town. One is painted tangerine metal flake and the other peril-ized purple. I could overlook performance and handling issues just to have one.

      Chris



      • Chris,

        I was driving then and had lots of teen-age lust for one of those. Sadly they were in California, not PA.

        Oh yeah! Bruce Meyers did an innovative design utilizing a shortened VW pan and a fiberglass tub. Initially they were intended for the desert, off road and not able to be licensed for road use. That didn’t last long. And the Toad was road worthy from the beginning. I’d be happy with either.

        Of course, as with any good idea there were numerous knock-offs. Some were OK and some were execrable.

        Dan


        • Chris,

          OOps! The Toad was *not* road worthy. My bad! It was tow’d to the desert for off-roading.

          The brain cells are a bit slow this morning. There was a third Meyers kit car, the name of which is not readily available just now. After a couple of hours of shoveling top soil the name of the third Meyers car will pop up.

          Good day to all,
          Dan


      • Chris , here is my brother Kevin sitting in my other brother’s buggy 1980. I was in the forces during all of the eighties but I remember my brother having it for years. Mike.


        • Mike,

          Thank you very much for digging that up! Yes,… that is what is in my “mind’s eye” when I think about one.

          Looks like he was wearing one of those suede and sheep skin coats,… that were popular at the time. Must have been winter?

          And yes,…. I want one of those suede and sheepskin coats too!!!! 😉

          The head cop in Rambo – First Blood had a nice one.

          Chris


          • It was cold Chris , Southsea in Portsmouth, England. I like the photo , my brother Kevin in the pic is deceased now , but my brother who owned the car is still running his spray and body shop.

            It’s the ubiquitous VW car under the body shell , notethe air horns : )


    • Yogi,

      Preferring modern technology myself I have little interest in replica guns – each to their own eh? Guess that as someone who has box-fulls of fur, feathers and shiny bits for tying fishing flies I am in no position to comment on someone else’s collecting hobby. LOL!

      Yeah, remember the fiberglass bodies for the VWs.

      Hank



      • GF1,

        Muscle cars – Those were the days eh?

        Customized BIG BLOCK V8s! None of this piddly cc stuff – cubic inches – hundreds of them!!! 🙂

        Drove a 1970 Dodge Charger back then.

        Hank



  3. BB,

    I have to agree with you and Arcadian. That magazine sticking up there looks rather wonky. I would have to stick with the single shot tray myself. I also have to agree with Yogi concerning the replicating of firearms, though I do understand why some folks just have to. I have to admit that these two Dianas are tempting.

    I have always had a warm spot for Mausers. Many, many moons ago I once bought ten 1906 Brazilian Mausers. They had matching serial numbered bayonets, original leather shoulder straps and original leather action covers. When the cosmaline was cooked out of the stocks, they had beautiful walnut furniture. At 250 paces I could hit a 2 liter soda bottle with them. My father had a custom rifle made from an Argentine Mauser.

    The baffles are a nice touch. This would be fun to shoot some.

    Grammar Police!

    Oh, yes they did!
    The “barrel” appears stout, but upon examination I found that is (it) is more of a jacket.



  4. B.B.

    About your sentence… “The rifle is filled to 200 bar, though the green area on the built-in gauge on the bottom of the forearm goes up to 3,000 psi. When I fill I will just watch the gauge on my carbon fiber tank”.

    I just checked the picture on the PA site, the green area of the gauge goes up to 2000 psi, not 300 psi. It is pre-coffee for me, am I reading the sentence wrong or is the gauge on your rifle different than the picture?

    Hank


  5. BB Pelletier-

    Your initial rant is entirely warranted and on the mark. The idea of authenticity is the sizzle that sells the steak. Unfortunately, our increasingly urbanized society denies youth the opportunity to shoot the real thing and become familiar with their fine points. Exposed to movies and video games, the desire to own these pieces of history is strong for many young people. The reality of ownership- care, feeding and finding a place to shoot- can be daunting. The very ‘near things’ quality that these replicas provide seem like the ideal solution. Until we start picking nits. Goofy magazine sticking up? No windage adjustment? Preposterous!

    But still, shooting is shooting. If a replica scratches the itch to get a new shooter in the ranks, I say welcome. But we should also advise (gently) that there is a big, wide world of shooting experiences awaiting those who want to cast their eyes about. By sharing our experience and knowledge with those who are on the first rungs of a long ladder, we can make the climb enjoyable for everyone.




        • Paco,

          Yes. I live on 1 acre of mature woods (3/4 wooded) with surrounding woods for acres. A big tree went across the road last night and the neighbors and I took care of it. Pretty sure I had a down burst as the trees looked liked they reduced in half at one point. A whole line of big trees behind the house got wiped out. Then,…. this morning I opened the front door to find a big tree (100′) across the driveway. It came down overnight after the storm, but must have been weakened prior.

          At any rate,… the house, the car and me all survived just fine. The power blipped a few times but stayed on.

          How about up your way? I catch the local Columbus AM news, but lost interest after finding my surprise morning work awaiting me.

          Chris


          • Chris
            Bummer about the storm. But like you say you and the house is still intact.

            Do you have a fireplace? At least you got some firewood now if you do. That’s usually how I get my firewood for the winter.


            • GF1,

              Good to hear you are back to work. No on the fireplace or wood burner. I have electric baseboard and propane back up.

              I have been doing a (major) thinning of the woods for the last month. About 3/4 acre wooded, plus surrounding. About 4-5 hrs. every day. Mainly small tress, scrub brush, stickers, multi-flora rose, poison ivy vines, misc other vines and huge grape vines, etc.. Looks much better and you can actually walk in it now without getting attacked from all directions. Long over due in actuality.

              Not much shooting with the woods work,… but since that is done,.. I will be shooting more. I do have 1 more tree to deal with. Fell right across the 95 yard mark of the 100 yard range with recent storm.

              Chris


              • Chris
                That’s a lot of work thinning out the woods. I got to trim the tree line around the yard and by the driveway this year. Starting to have to duck when I’m cutting grass. And the FedEx guy had to kind of drive out a little so some of the branches wouldn’t hit his truck. Told him I was going to have to clear them out. He said no big deal. He goes you should see some of the places he has to deliver. I told him I’ll have it cleared before he has to deliver again. Got to keep the FedEx guy happy you know what I mean. 🙂


  6. B.B.,

    I wonder if there was anything in the design that required them to put that rear sight so far forward. It looks out of place for the rifle. I also agree that it looks better with a single shot tray. Maybe they should have opted to use a stripper clip from the IZH 61?

    Siraniko


  7. Replica airguns are like having your cake and eating it too.
    This air rifle is a really nice representation of a classic bolt action war rifle that you can actually shoot for fun all day, in your back yard, and not worry about a black and blue shoulder, or disturbing the neighbors.
    I like that it is balanced so well you can actually aim it just holding it up with one hand and not touching your shoulder. It is also $20. cheaper than my springer version? (See PA customer pic with sling and scope)
    My airsoft K98 is much more realistic, especially with the bolt action but it has a removable CO2 magazine that makes it easy to replicate. It fires at over 400 fps. Not to game friendly unless you consider it a sniper rifle. More of a fun gun. Hard to find it in stock! It is a really good replica.

    Yogi
    I have a Fiberfab Avenger GT12 (VW) and a Valkyrie ( Mid engine 350 with a 4 speed ) in my garage. Back in the 60’s they were very appealing in the advertisements but they were very crude by todays standards for kit cars and I believe many people who purchased them had no Idea what they were getting into.
    I got them later in life for retirement fun projects. The VW runs, the other is still just about a rolling virgin kit with the body on frame.
    There are some great finished examples on line but it takes a really experienced mechanic dedicated to complete one and have it look great. The trick is being able to go one step further with your customization, and money !
    During my career as an aircraft mechanic I also attended the GM Fisher Body and Fender school and acquire the finer points of the trade. All I need now is a few ‘Round Tuits’ 😉



      • 45Bravo
        You may be right on that. I have certainly diverted a lot of money and time to airguns. A less painful hobby than building and maintaining cars.
        I truly am owned by my possessions instead of the other way around and most of them are getting old as I am and demanding a lot of my time to keep going.
        Took a few days to locate the cause of flickering electricity in my home, a corroded circuit breaker / power bar connection outside. Hard to locate a problem that only exists for a few seconds at a time. Had to determine which circuits were involved and trace them back to a common point.

        Looking for Round Tuits is just another way of saying that procrastination is what I am doing best these days.
        Bob M


  8. BB

    Did not know about the K98 rear sight change due to powder burn rate and bullet weight. I am aware that Springfield paid royalties for copying the Mauser 98 design. Everyone should see the reaction of a 13 year old grandson shooting a K98 the first time or a ‘03 Springfield. Same real recoil! Oh, add the Russian Nagant 7.62×54, Japanese 7.7 and British SMLE .303 to this kick family.

    Deck



  9. Wanting a windage adjustment is not picking a nit here, this is a fundamental feature of any decent rifle that is intended to be shot and enjoyed. Without windage adjustment, the only reason to buy this is to hang it on the wall and say that it looks cool. What a waste.
    Perhaps the front sight can be adjusted somehow? How else can you possibly enjoy a nice PCP pellet rifle if you can’t dial in your groups? Unbelievable.


  10. BB
    Can’t wait to hear more about this gun. I have said many times I wanted someone to build this gun in a pcp version along with the Mosin Nagant.

    My only gripe is (and you know there’s always a gripe about a new gun) and I don’t think it’s a bad gripe.

    I want it in .25 caliber. I would use it as a longer range (replica) sniper rifle with a scope. Really that is the only thing that has kept me from getting one. For me .177 and .22 caliber just ain’t going to cut it for this gun. As usual ole Gunfun1 likes it a different way. What can I say. 🙂

    Oh and one other thing while I’m griping.

    I wish they would of made it a single shot. That would of kept it more realistic looking and shooting. Is there a single shot tray available for it? If not someone better get their 3D prnter warmed up or know a good machinist. 🙂



      • MisterAP
        That’s good. And I do prefer a single shot tray unless the gun is semi auto type shooting.

        And this pcp 98 would look way more realistic without that pellet mag hanging out the top. And the gun would look absolutely cool with a scope on top. Maybe that could be a new scope market. Replica vintage scopes with modern technology. How about that for a picture.


        • Gunfun1,

          I agree!
          B.B. or Bob needs to see if pulling the “soda straw” barrel is possible and how much the loading port would need to be modified to drop in a .25 barrel or heaven forfend a .308! I bet antique scopes might be available on Fleabay or at garage sales…. They certainly could be found in deep drifts at gun shows back East in the past.

          Good Luck!

          shootski


          • Shootski
            I meant the scope makers that we have now days might design a scope that looks like a vintage scope but has the modern parts in it.

            What scopes did they put on the old sniper guns anyway.



  11. G&G Airsoft has a replica side mount 1.5X scope for about $100. But it is a long eye relief and specifically made for the airsoft version, the mount any way. May work with some forward offset dovetail rings?
    Almost anything is possible if you want to spend some time doing modifications. Identifying and locating a usable barrel would take some work. It is not a soda straw barrel. Its about 3/8″ in diameter and machined down to two different diameters to insert and seat into the barrel shroud that contains seven aluminum baffle’s and spacers.

    The first change in diameter is also tapered to center it up in the shroud. They were made for each other to operate. Looks like two set screws hold it into the breach. Machined there too? Not going to dig into that for now, enough was discovered already. It is well made.
    The baffles are contained within the shroud and it in turn is secured to the barrel with a set screw and detent in the barrel under the top forearm stock.

    VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: The barrel goes about halfway into the shroud and fits into a ‘spoked’ baffle that allows escaping air to go back into the space behind it around the barrel and serves as a seat for the baffles. It is not fixed in place so removing the barrel will allow the baffles to flip flop all over the place inside. Pay attention to proper installation of the shroud assembly so the holes line up for the pellet.

    Bob M



      • GF1
        Yes I do but have not shot it yet for a lot of reasons. One of which is a problem I have today … a 90 acre ( Border 7 ) brush fire that may be heading my way. As it is I really like it and it will be a keeper. Good workmanship.

        Need to get back to monitoring the fire. Really sucks knowing you could lose 20 cars and everything you own every few months. Worst of all is the sheriff telling you to evacuate now ! Not to that point yet, but it happens much too often out here. Depends a lot on the wind.
        Bob M


        • Bob
          Man that’s a bummer about the fires. Hope everything turns out ok.

          And glad to hear the 98 is good. I really almost got one the other day. I think I’ll wait to see if PA has any sales coming up then I’ll get one.

          And I’m sure you knew I was going to ask. 20 cars. Do you have a collection of some sort?


  12. GF1
    That’s exactly what I decided to do with the semi-auto Marauder. Price was a little unexpected at over $700.

    I have a 10,000 gal water tank, well and pressure pump, with a fire hydrant and generator to make it work, but there is no guarantee the fire department will ever show up and the cost of fire insurance is ridiculous. if you can get it!

    No real collection. Half of them just came my way for free being a mechanic. Replaced family cars and trucks, neighbor donations, two Blazers and a 1927 McCormack Deering track crawler tractor came with the property. A few are just duplicate parts cars for my 79 Jeep Cherokee for example.
    I didn’t add in my 4 motorcycles and Ford Tractor I share with my neighbor.
    Only really keep four running and registered. The rest are documented non-op to avoid registration and insurance costs and are considered future project cars …. Nothing is junk to a car mechanic ! OK, a parts car may slide into that category but they too can be salvaged.
    Life has a way of interfering and changing your plans and desires. Then you get old … I should have had a son, or two !


Leave a Reply