Winchester 422: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Winchester 422
Winchester’s 422 is another lower-powered breakbarrel from the 1960s and ’70s.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

History of airguns

This report covers:

  • Told you!
  • The test
  • RWS Hobby
  • RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle
  • RWS Superpoint
  • RWS R10 Match Heavy
  • RWS R10 Match Pistol
  • RWS Superdomes
  • What to do?
  • H&N Baracuda Match with 4.50mm heads
  • Summary

Today we test the Winchester 422/Diana 22 with the new front sight attached. Reader Breeze was kind enough to donate this sight to the cause.

422 front sight
Reader Breeze sent me this new Diana front sight to replace the bent one. Thank you, Breeze!

422 sight installed
The new front sight looks great on the rifle!

Told you!

It’s a day for reader GunFun1 to put on his , “Told you so!” shoes, because the barrel is definitely bent up. But what I didn’t know until today is it may also be bent a little to the right. Looking at the front sight through the rear notch, it seems off to the right a little. We’ll see what happens as the test progresses.

The test

I shot from 10 meters with the rifle rested on the sandbag. I shot 5-shot groups only because I wanted to shoot a lot of different pellets. I told you at the end of Part 3 that I would test all the pellets again, plus I added three more today. Let’s go!

RWS Hobby

Five RWS Hobby pellets hit 3.8 inches above the aim point (bent barrel) and in a group measuring 1.712-inches between centers. But the lone shot to the left was a called pull. The other 4 shots are in 0.689-inches and are to the right of the bull. That sort of negates the barrel being bent to the right because if it was the pellets would have hit to the left. It must be that since the 422 is so small I have trouble holding it straight.

Hobby group

Five Hobby pellets went into 1.712-inches but that shot on the left was a called pull. The other 4 are in 0.689-inches. The Hobby could be a very good pellet for this rifle.

RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle

Next up were 5 RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle pellets. They grouped in a very horizontal 1.157-inches at 10 meters.

422 Meisterkugeln Rifle group
Five RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle pellets made this 1.157-inch group at 10 meters.

RWS Superpoint

The next pellet I tested was the RWS Superpoint. I miscounted when shooting this pellet and only shot 4 instead of five. The 422 put four of them into 0.993-inches at 10 meters.

422 Superpoint group
Oops! A miscount while shooting lead to this ten-meter 4-shot group of RWS Superpoionts. It measures 0.993-inches between centers.

Because the pellets were hitting so high I was aiming at the bottom of the bull beneath the one where they landed. There were three above three bulls on the target paper, so at this point I flipped the target paper and continued.

RWS R10 Match Heavy

Next up were five RWS R10 Match Heavy pellets. A reader suggested I try them. Five went into 1.193-inches between centers at 10 meters. It’s okay but not great.

422 R10 Heavy group
Five RWS R10 Match Heavy pellets went into 1.193-inches at 10 meters. These landed to the right on the aim point, too
.

RWS R10 Match Pistol

Next to be tested in the Winchester 422 were five RWS R10 Match Pistol pellets. Five of them went into 1.038-inches at 10 meters.

422 R10 Pistol group
Five RWS R10 Match Pistol pellets went into 1.038-inches at 10 meters.

RWS Superdomes

Ta Da! This is the pellet that gave us so much hope in the Winchester 422 in Part 3. I think you will be surprised by what I got from it today!

Today the 422 put five RWS Superdomes into 1.48-inches at 10 meters with four of them in 0.51-inches. The group is not quite as tight as the one I shot with the bent sight but it looks very similar.

422 Superdome groups
The new Superdome group on the left and the one from Part 3 on the right. The new group is larger but remarkable similar to the older one! The new group has five in 1.48-inches with four in 0.51-inches.

I have no explanation for why this happened. The only thing different is the latest group hit the target paper over 2.5-inches above the aim point, while the older group hit the target at which it was aimed.

What to do?

I thought I was finished with my testing, but then I wondered what a non-RWS pellet would do. So I brought out a tin of H&N Baracuda Match pellets with 4.50mm heads to see.

H&N Baracuda Match with 4.50mm heads

The first pellet struck the same target at which I was aiming, but it landed in the white above the bull. That was when I checked the rear sight and found it was adjusted up just a little. So I took all elevation out of the sight and shot a final five-shot group. Five pellets landed in a very open 1.814-inch group — easily the largest of the day.

422 Baracuda Match 4.50 group
Five H&N Baracuda Match pellets went into 1.814-inches at 10 meters. The shot at the top of the target was the first shot, after which the rear sight was adjusted down as far as it would go.

Obviously I’ve been doing the right thing by sticking to RWS pellets. There may be other pellets that will work but they will have to fit the 422 breech tightly, which Baracudas did not do.

Summary

I’m not finished with this air rifle. I’m thinking of a teardown so I can lube the trigger and sear and perhaps the rest of the powerplant. I also want to straighten the barrel so the rifle hits where it’s aimed. The way I see it, there are several more reports yet to come for this little old Diana.

105 thoughts on “Winchester 422: Part 4

  1. B.B.,

    Glad you have a proper front sight…loyal readers are Godsends!
    I have a theory on how to explain at least some of the groups you are getting from this lady: her barrel is bent upward quite a bit and even when you are doing your best the geometry of sight line to aim point and the bore actual point of aim are far apart; therefore even the slightest variation is going to create a big arc that over the small number of degrees looks like a group that tends toward a horizontal line. I suspect that when you bend that barrel straight you will see vastly improved groups!

    My Black Friday wish for you!

    shootski



  2. B B,
    Very interesting trials with the little Diana. Good choice of pellets and Im not surprised Superdomes are the winners. What does surprise me is that the other RWS’ are a fair bit behind. I would also expect the wadcutters to punch through the cards cleanly, even at these velocities.
    One thing I like to do with junior rifles is use them against the little magnetic knockdown shooting galleries. About 10m with open sights is fine snd even out to 15m, the little Dianas can fairly whack the little swinging rats etc down well.
    Good luck getting this little gun back to its best.

    Regards,
    Drew





      • BB,

        Regarding “Fish” saying that he has used several different handles here on the blog in the past,.. is this something that is on your “radar” by seeing comments coming from the same computer/address,.. even if the handle’s are different?

        Chris (I personally feel like we all got “played”)



          • TT,

            “You”? How about We? Ok, maybe? not you? Many here embrace new people and try very sincerely to assist in anyway. Sometimes to a great degree of trouble. What a ******* waste of time!

            Stuff like that really serves to build up ones faith in humanity,…. not.

            Chris




          • BB,

            Ok,… I guess. 🙁 Thank you for the insight. I am sure that everyone here will now be more distrustful, less helpful and more suspicious of new posters going forwards. Sarcasm? Maybe a wee bit,.. then again,… 😉 Grrrrrr!

            Chris




                • Chris USA,

                  “I seem to be the only one offended/ticked off.”

                  Chris, don’t jump quite so quickly to that conclusion.

                  A reading of The Desiderata may help to sooth your stubbed soul.

                  I suspected the Troll when IT used similar phraseology and was certain when IT began posting ITs idea of nasty posts and then deleting them hoping to get responding posts that would make the responder look like a Fool at best or a Piece of Work at worst.

                  There are many like IT with no amount of desideratum in this World…how sad for them.

                  shootski


                  • Shootski,

                    I will say,.. you do push my understood vocabulary,.. on a regular basis. 😉 I will have to google that one in the AM,.. as I am kicking back now. I am an AM dude all the way.

                    “…. that would make the responder look like a Fool at best or a Piece of Work at worst.”,… yea, that fits him pretty well. Poster,… not responder.

                    As always,.. thanks for the insight.

                    Chris


                    • Chris USA,

                      Got it to save you some time:

                      Desiderata

                      GO PLACIDLY amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.

                      Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

                      Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

                      Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

                      Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.

                      Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass.

                      Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

                      Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

                      Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.

                      And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

                      By Max Ehrmann © 1927
                      Original text

                      Siraniko



                • Chris USA,

                  I had my suspicion but held my tongue in civility. One learns to ignore the silly questions and proposals. If I recall B.B. has a banhammer in his disposal that is only brought out if the person has crossed the line.

                  Siraniko


        • Chris
          What makes you bring this up again?

          You having Fish problems.

          And just to say remember my little encounter with both of him. Well actually 3 different names that keeps trying to come to mind. Fish, Steam and another I can never recall.

          I’m surprised you didn’t pick up on it earlier.

          Sometimes you just need to set back and chill and see how it goes when somebody posts that is new.

          Ya I know. Hard to do sometimes. You seen where I have gone with it in the past. I like to play it out and see how they react. What was that card game anyway. Oh yeah. Go Fish. 😉


          • GF1,

            I did not play so nice either as things dragged on. At some point, enough is enough. I will just sit back and chill,.. doing it now,.. and let things play out in the future. I have zero tolerance for people like that. Like feed ’em through a wood chipper tolerance,…….. ? Sorry,… lost it there for a moment. Back to chillin’,……….. 😉

            Chris


  3. What has happened to the old “A History of Airguns” that took us to all the old articles? Now if I enter that title all I get is “Airgun History Timeline”.

    Did you re-title the older history of all your articles?


  4. BB,

    “For some reason…” Who are you kidding? This is an old Diana. You adore these things. You HAVE to straighten the barrel. You HAVE to go inside. You knew you were going inside the moment you saw it for sale.

    Something I did not notice about the little gal until today was the muzzle cap. What a great way to protect the crown. It also gives a little bit of meat to screw in that front sight, but as many of these were handled by kids, the cap is a great idea. I guess it was just one of those things that went away because of the additional cost.

    A replaceable front sight was a great idea also. Thanks Breeze.


  5. I am totally happy to donate to the blog. This is one of those ‘feel good’ places.
    I had one of those ‘aha’ moments seeing the bent sight. I knew I had one somewhere! And of course it was on the bottom of the 3rd parts drawer I looked through.
    Isn’t it amazing that a small Itty bitty part can be recognized?


  6. BB
    Sometimes pictures cause a illusion. But it did look bent.

    What comes to my mind is I wonder if a person that owned this gun purposely bent it up because maybe they used it out at farther distances.

    Not the way I would go about it. But you never know what someone might try.


  7. Looks like PA isn’t into the Black Friday sales thing this year.

    They got the 11% off and free shipping going on right now but compared to sales they had in previous years that’s nothing compared to what they had.

    They did send one yesterday that expired at midnight last night. It was 15% off and free shipping but I got the email yesterday after we went to sleep and didn’t see it till this morning after it was expired.

    And previous years they even had bonus Bullseye Bucks with the 13 and 15% of and free shipping.

    The current one expires before Monday morning. I think I’ll wait too see if they have a better Cyber Monday sell next week. I really don’t need to order right now. I was just going to stock up on some pellets and Wingshot shot shells. But I can wait. Already got a good supply.

    We’ll see what happens I suppose. Maybe Covid has got PA watching thier money this year?


  8. This second accuracy test with the new front sight (good for you Breeze) confirms DECENT accuracy out of this old Diana at 10 meters.

    Many of these older, lower powered springers (especially Diana’s and Walthers since they had very good barrels) are capable of AMAZING accuracy at 10 meters.

    Many of the early and later users of these airguns were kids that shot rocks, bb’s, nails, etc. through these barrels. Sometimes an aggressive polish of the barrel with JB Bore paste helps. Not sure this is the problem with the decent accuracy in this gun.

    The targets showing pellets stringing and flyers appearing in both this test and the accuracy test in Part 3 are clues. IMHO, out of the pellets tested so far, the ones shot with superdomes are most promising. Focusing on the targets shot with the superdomes show a consistent flyer. If that flyer is discounted then this tells me that this gun is capable of AMAZING accuracy.

    If you have tight velocity spreads (and this gun does-see Part 2) flyers usually mean something isn’t snug. Stock screws, trigger guard screws and/or the rear sight could be a culprit. Bending the barrel will shift the groups but I don’t think it will eliminate flyers.


  9. Well got to leave this one alone.

    Leave what one alone your probably thinking.

    I got a 499 in the mail today. I’m absolutely surprised how it shoots. I even put the target out at 10 yards instead of 5 yards. I figured if it wasn’t any good at 10 yards then I probably didn’t want it.

    I’m getting one hole 10 shot groups no problem. And this one is even shooting high at 10 meters. I put several clicks of down using th 10 ring as my sight point.

    I have even been smashing cans at 12 to 15 yards. And that is standing unsupported.

    And no I’m not even putting a Red Ryder spring in it.

    And speaking of Red Ryder. I got a adult Red Ryder along with it. I haven’t shot it yet but getting ready to if I can beat the sunlight going down.

    Oh and two things. The 499 peep and globe sight work great. I know. You all know that already that have a 499. And the second thing. Yes I’m using the Avanti precision ground shot. And going to use that in the adult Red Ryder too.

    I’ll let you all know how the adult Red Ryder does tomorrow probably. Anyway out of here. Going to try to get to shoot the Red Ryder before the sun goes down.



      • Chris
        Right I know. And I had every intention to put the heavier 1938 Red Ryder spring in it like you all did. But the 499 suits me fine for how I’m using it as a plinker.

        And how about let’s say the Red Ryder will feel like a centerfire compared to the 499. Not a shot gun. Shot gun makes me think the shots are all over the place. Center fire makes me think recoil. Ya know what I mean.


        • GF1,

          “Shot gun makes me think the shots are all over the place.”

          Trust me,… shotgun. As in,… shots all over the place. Hey, at least you already have the spring! 😉

          Chris


    • GF1,

      “And no I’m not even putting a Red Ryder spring in it.”

      Yea,.. right. That will be the day. Are feeling well? Maybe got the Covid or something else throwing your brain waves off?

      You had better go lay down. A RR mod. will allow you to do the same,.. and further out. Then again,.. you don’t care anything about distance and long shots,… or anything like that, now do ya’?

      Chris


      • Chris
        You know how long it took me to get the 499.

        I haven’t even modded the .177 Maximus I just got a bit ago. And no way am I modding the Wingshot I just got.

        Some thing’s you just got to leave alone. 😉

        I’m learning. Slow but sure. 🙂

        And I keep wanting to say this. I bet it takes 2 seconds for the bb to roll down the barrel in the 499 I have now. That barrel I got from Daisy for that Crosman 1377 conversion I was trying the bb went right down the barrel. So maybe I didn’t get a tight barrel. Or something else is going on with the 499’s that make them work out so well.

        Oh and my 499 feels like it has a 2 stage trigger. The adult Red Ryder feels like it doesn’t.


        • Gunfun1

          Now you have the whole experiment to do all over again.That barrel you got was not the same diameter as in your just arrived 499. Either that or you switched BB’s. Anyway I’m hoping again.

          PS: I ain’t changing names.

          Deck


    • GF1,

      The 499 is a sniper rifle when there is a horde of feral cans on the attack you need the Red Ryder it is a repeater. The 499 is more of a zen thing and the RR is just plain easy and fun.

      Glad you got both.

      More on my valve below.

      Don


      • Don
        I really need to chrony both guns. But my 499 seems as strong as the Red Ryder if not stronger. Don’t know why but it sure seems that way.

        I’m going to have to do that today.

        And yep wish I would of got both of them sooner.


  10. I have been testing my low pressure airgun valve with regulated air pressure to see how consistent it is and how the velocity varies with pressure. Here is a link to the previous comment for a picture.

    https://www.pyramydair.com/blog/2020/11/oil-talk-and-no-action/#comment-466491

    I used about five feet of small tubing that is used to connect an oxygen tank or oxygen generator to a person who needs to be on extra oxygen. I wanted to see how the valved worked with a very low volume air supply the inside diameter of the tubing is about 0.18 inches. It is very light and flexible making it ideal for tethering a gun to a shop air compressor. There did not seem to be any difference suggesting the valve volume is enough that additional air from the compressor during the shot cycle is insignificant.

    The previous pressures I have provided were read from the gauge on my compressor tank. As is typical the guage on my regulator reads different. When my tank gauge reads 147 psi the regulator reads 110. I am guessing the regulator gauge is closer to correct.

    I shot two strings of shots over the chrony using the same .22 caliber Air Arms Falcon 13.43 gr pellets I have used for all my tests so far. For the first string I used a 7 1/2 inch long pistol barrel. The second string was with a 24 inch long Maximus rifle barrel. Both strings were shot with the regulator set at 80 psi.

    This is the first string with the pistol barrel:
    237, 236, 235, 235, 235, 237, 236, 238, 236, 237 with a spread of 3 fps

    This is the second string with the rifle barrel:
    389, 394, 394, 391, 389, 395, 393, 393, 391, 393 with a spread of 6 fps

    Next I ran a string using the rifle barrel from 50 psi to 110 psi in 10 psi increments.

    pressure velocity
    psi fps
    1 50 319
    2 60 350
    3 70 377
    4 80 402
    5 90 427
    6 100 446
    7 110 466

    The valve seems to very consistent. I think that is from the extream valve volume and large valve seal that provides little restriction to airflow to the barrel. Previously I thought the valve was still open when the pellet leaves the barrel but I am not so sure now. The pistol barrel was quite a bit louder than the rifle barrel. It may just be the muzzel of the pistol barrel was close to my ear during the test and the rifle barrel was quite a ways past my ear.

    Here is a graph of the pressure vs velocity using the rifle barrel.

    Don


    • Don,

      That is impressive for low pressure air, is this going to morph into a shooter or is it still a proof of concept project?

      On the difference in sound I have the 2240 pistol and the Sheridan 2260 rifle, the pistol with a short barrel really barks but the rifle is fairly quiet. I am thinking that in the longer barrel the air pressure is decreased by the time the pellet exits the muzzle.

      Mike


      • Mike,

        I can’t say for sure but my plan is to build into a functioning gun. I am not in a hurry though. I don’t have a clear vision on how to do that yet. I will be thinking about it. I don’t have a lathe or a milling machine so it will be made from boxes and boxes of junk I have hoarded over the years.

        You are probably correct on the sound from the pistol barrel.

        Don



  11. Back to the Diana 22

    After a 16 hour shift the day before I did not have time to cook Thanksgiving dinner yesterday. So, today, while the ham is in the oven and the husband is slicing onions and bell peppers I am reading the blog. Waiting in anticipation to see what B.B does to improve this little marble. Do not forget, I just recently cleaned and resealed my very first ever air rifle, a Diana model 22.



      • A couple of years ago and after some give and take, I finally have a 25 yard spot in the back yard to shoot my air rifles and pistols ( had to cut down a lemon tree my mother in law had planted). Cleared the garage of my stuff so the husband could thinker there. The front yard has a lemon tree now. I watch through the window as my neighbors walk down the block in the evenings waiting for the lemons to ripen. Too bad they are not squirrels—-bang!!!




    • Don
      From above. I think I would stick with the longer Maximus barrel.

      And you know I want to see some accuracy tests. I’m thinking at those velocities you should have a pretty accurate shooter.

      I have that 2250 barrel on my 1377 with a .22 caliber steel breech and scoped. I put 4 pumps in it and you can see the Crosman Premier hollow points just lob out to the target paper at 25 yards. And they will put one on top of the other with a jagged one hole group with all holes touching. Its like I can’t make it go to s different spot. But I really think you will have a accurate gun when your done.

      And I posted down here just to say those are the 3 user names that I was thinking of when I was talking with Chris above.


  12. B.B.,
    This is a sweet little gal; I’m happy to see you spending time on her; she deserves it; I pray she does even better with a bit of work, =>
    Take care & God bless,
    dave


  13. Fred DPRoNJ,

    It was indeed due to the sensitivity of the air rifle. That slight change in hold would cause it to recoil differently, which would change POI. What was really amazing is it was so repeatable. I could place my thumb vertically and it would hit in one spot and then wrap my thumb around the grip and it would hit in the other. I could alternate between the two POI’s by alternating my thumb position.

    I sold the Gamo CFX shortly after that. It was too hold sensitive for my liking.

    Am I willing to repeat this experiment with another air rifle. You betcha. I might even tell you about it. 😉


  14. Well,

    I hear there is a new FX air rifle out now, the Maverick. Impact sales must have fallen off and they figured out how to build it more affordably.

    Now if they just figure out how to sell that Dreamlight for around $500-600, I’ll buy one.


    • RR,

      I saw that. That prompted me to take a quick overview of the entire FX line. You might be waitin’ awhile to see $500-600. Your wallet is safe for a few more years,. if not forever. 😉 You might see one for that in few years on the used market.

      Dreamlite eh? Interesting choice. It certainly looks “lite”. It might be a good walk about rifle.

      Chris


      • Chris,

        The only way I will end up with a FX air rifle is if someone wanted to trade for my HM1000X. An Impact, yes. A Maverick, good chance. A Dreamlite, only from one person and he is a personal friend.


        • RR,

          The plot thickens………… 😉

          Have you got to shoot it and know for sure that is something that you would in fact want? Trade it for your (sub MOA) HM1000X? That is saying something, but what?

          Chris





            • GF1,

              My problem is it is too much for me to drag out and just shoot. Now, my grandson and I started building my shooting bench for my 100 yard range, so that may change. Right now though a .22 would be so much easier to fiddle with.



                • Derrick,

                  Not the .357. With the .177 through the .30 you can change the caliber with a new barrel, probe and magazine, but with the .357 it was necessary to go to a larger action block.

                  I do occasionally make noises of getting rid of her, but everybody seems to be expecting I am going to give her away. I do not think so. Unless you contact Martin Rutterford himself, you can no longer get a .357. I think the value is going up, not down.

                  What I am really hoping for is all of these rich kids will buy all of these FX air rifles and come to the realization that they are going to have to spend a lot of time and money on that new toy to tune it into something that will compete at EBR.

                  Matt, Ted and others have spent a lot of time and money working with FX to get theirs to what they are now. These guys “showcase” FX air rifles. Other air rifles are starting to win EBR. Others are stepping up.

                  Do you know why FX airguns are so expensive? Taxes. Someone has to pay for the Swedish welfare system.




  15. BB,

    Hah! caught you again! You were supposed to do an hundred yard test with the UTG Bubble Leveler scope on the Gen 2 Marauder. That was back in 2017. Too many toys to play with and not enough time.



    • Derrick,

      Oh, I would definitely enjoy that. These old gals really make it hard to save up and spend your money on the new ones. These old ladies are well made, easy to handle and shoot quite well.

      I have seen some really nice .22 air rifles come out lately and I am sorely tempted to try one, but strangely my thoughts keep returning to the Maximus. I guess my thoughts are to take it to the very basics and slowly, step by step build it into what I want. There is a very good chance that it will not change very much at all.

      My needs are simple. A .22 PCP would be oodles of fun to plink with and could put plenty of small game on the table if need be. It does not need to be expensive, or fancy, or selective fire…


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