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Competition The Diana model 10/Beeman 900 target pistol: Part 5

The Diana model 10/Beeman 900 target pistol: Part 5

Beeman 900
The Beeman 900 pistol is another form of Diana’s model 10.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

History of airguns

This report covers:

  • However…
  • The test
  • RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle
  • RWS R10 Match Pistol
  • How is BB?
  • How is the Diana 10?
  • RWS R10 Heavy
  • FWB P44 group of R10 Heavy pellets
  • Final group with the Diana 10
  • Tired
  • Summary

Today I shot the Beeman 900/Diana model 10 target pistol for accuracy again. This was done at the request of reader RidgeRunner. I think he asked because he thought the Diana 10 should be more accurate than I showed in my last two tests. Well, it was sometimes a little more accurate today, but not much. Certainly not enough to warrant another test after this one.

However…

However, I think I know why that is, so today’s test was not a loss. It forced me to look into the entire Diana 10 pistol and evaluate how it performs. I will explain as we go. Let’s get started.

The test

I shot from a bag rest at 10 meters. I shot with the underside of the barrel resting on the bag. This allowed my shooting arm to be extended fully so the sights were in good alignment

I wore my +1.25 diopter reading glasses that I wear every time I shoot with non-optical sights.

RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle

The first target was shot with RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle pellets. Five went into 1.174-inches at 10 meters. That’s so poor it’s hardly worth talking about!

Meister group
The Diana 10 put five RWS Meisterkugeln into a 1.174-inch group at 10 meters.

RWS R10 Match Pistol

Next I tried 5 RWS Match Pistol pellets. I really concentrated on the sight picture this time and the group was smaller than the last, though not small. Five pellets made a group that measures 0.908-inches between centers. It’s very horizontal.

R10 Pistol group
The Diana model 10 put 5 RWS R10 Match Pistol pellets into 0.902-inches at 10 meters.

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How is BB?

At this point in the test I wondered if it was me. So I pulled out the FWB P44 and shot a group with the same R10 Match Pistol pellet. This time the group measured 0.762-inches between centers with 4 pellets in 0.217-inches. Those four shots are more like it!

R10 Pistol group P44
The FWB P44 put five R10 Match Pistol pellets into 0.762-inches with 4 in 0.217-inches.

How is the Diana 10?

So BB can still shoot. It was at this point that I recognized the problem. The FWB P44 sights were much easier to see than the Diana M10 sights. The notch in the Diana rear sight isn’t as deep as I would like and that makes it harder to align the front and rear sights than the FWB P44 sights.

Also, the Minelli grips on the P44 are much more comfortable and conducive to shooting than the Diana grips. They just feel better. The Diana grips hit my hand at certain places and make the gun harder to hold. I could reshape the grips with a rasp and wood putty, but someone else will want this gun to have perfect grips so I won’t do that.

Now, the Diana trigger is very nice. I find it quite easy to use. And the gun does not move when it fires, though there is a mild pulse that’s felt through the grips. The P44 has no feeling whatsoever at firing — just the sound of the report.

RWS R10 Match Heavy

Next up were RWS R10 Match Heavy pellets. And now that I knew that the sights were the weak point of the Diana 10, I could compensate a little by concentrating even more on the sight picture.

This group of five pellets with the Diana  10 went into 0.704-inches at 10 meters. It’s not a good group for a 10-meter pistol, but it’s one of the better groups the Diana M10 has shot.

Diana R10 Rifle group 1
The Diana model 10 put five RWS R10 Match Heavy pellets into this 0.704-inch group at 10 meters.

FWB P44 group of R10 Heavy pellets

Surely the FWB P44 could outshoot the Diana model 10 with this pellet. So I tested it. Lo and behold, the P44 grouped five R10 Rifle pellets in 0.728-inches. It’s close, but it’s also larger than the Diana.

R10 Rifle group P44
The Feinwerkbau P44 put five R10 Match Heavy pellets in 0.728-inches at 10 meters. Not quite as tight as the Diana 10.

Well, that was a surprise. Is the Diana 10 just as accurate as the FWB P44 with this pellet? Or am I getting tired from concentrating so much on the model 10 sights? One way to find out was to shoot a second group of R10 Rifle pellets with the model 10.

Final group with the Diana 10

The Diana model 10 pistol shot a final group of R10 Rifle pellets into 0.366-inches at 10 meters. It is the smallest 5-shot group of today’s test. In fact it’s the smallest 5-shot group shot by the Diana model 10 in this series!

Diana R10 Rifle group 2
On the second try the Diana model 10 pistol put five RWS R10 Rifle pellets into 0.366-inches at 10 meters.

Tired

By this point I was very tired from concentrating on that sight picture so hard. I did shoot a final group of H&N Finale Match Light pellets with the P44 but they were scattered all over the target, like the first group. I’m not showing that group and I decided to call it a day.

Summary

The Beeman model 900/Diana model 10 target air pistol was great for its day, but that day has passed. With the wonderful PCP target pistols that exist today, the only place for a Diana model 10 is in a collection.

That being said, the pistol is still very accurate and with familiarization a shooter can learn to shoot it quite well.

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

24 thoughts on “The Diana model 10/Beeman 900 target pistol: Part 5”

  1. BB,

    It may not be very competitive against PCP pistols but it is still a good enough pistol for a any beginning competitive pistol shooter until something better comes along. Wonderful shooting considering how much time you can allocate to familiarize yourself and still put out an article daily.

    Siraniko

    PS: Section How is the Diana 10? 2nd paragraph last sentence: “I could reshape the grips with a rasp and wood putty, but someone else will want this gun to have perfest (perfect) grips so I won’t do that.”

  2. B.B.

    One of these days……I will do a guest blog on my Diana 10M and the journey I went on to find it.
    It was spurred on by your blog. When I first got into airguns, early 80’s. The D10M and the FWB 65 were THE pistols. I bought a 5G instead.
    Sorry, B.B. I find it hard to believe that your Diana/Beeman does not group better. Guess I will have to shoot my NIB Diana 10M to find out?

    -Y

      • BB: I suspect something is wrong with the 10. My 5-G shoots better than that and it, of course, recoils. I have found that the paper tears rather than cuts when the velocity falls below 400 fps. I don’t have a chrony, but I do have a Gamo P-45 that has a listed velocity of about 392. It tears rather than cuts. The 5-G and my Beeman P-1 always cut as does my Hatsan M-25 Super Charger. The venerable 10 might need just a tad bit of TLC?

        Anyway, thanks for a look back to the past. When I purchased my 5-G decades ago, I was new to the sport/hobby and couldn’t bring myself to the cost of the 10. My 5-G has been a faithful companion, however, with but the one fault of the safety release spring that is a convoluted “L” shaped thing that fatigues after 3K shots or so and has to be UMAREX replaced.

  3. Since we think it has been resealed I wonder who did the work?
    If it was done at home, was something put back together slightly out of spec or not torqued just right?

    From the factory the guns were tuned by hand.

    The timing of the pistons is crucial, after a reseal the rack and pinion pistons will still cancel out the recoil, but due to tolerances of the new seals the timing may be just a smidgen off from the factory tune, and a slight jolt can be felt.

    This precision timing is controlled by a step washer that is clamped to the cylinder under the end cap.
    The step washers have numbers stamped on them that designate the thickness of the washer.

    Different thicknesses control the timing.

    This timing difference could be the root of the accuracy issue..

    Ian.

  4. BB,

    I still want one. I would even trade my Izzy for one, even knowing my Izzy is probably the better pistol. There is just something about that gal that sends shivers through me.

  5. “With the wonderful PCP target pistols that exists today…”
    B.B.,
    In that part of the Summary, I think you want to change “exists” to “exist.”
    Take care & God bless,
    dave

  6. B.B.,
    Looking at this “blast from the past” Diana model 10 reminded me of another cool old pistol I always wanted but never acquired, the FWB 65.
    I searched back through this blog, and did not see a report on one. So, I was wondering, have you ever owned one, or even just had a chance to shoot one?
    I used to pour over the reports and reviews on that pistol, and I was wondering if, in real life, it lived up to the glowing reviews I had read.
    Peace & Blessings,
    dave

  7. B.B. Happy Monday. I am glad you finally got a nice group out of this pistol.

    I’m curious about something after reading your earlier reports on the Diana Model 10 and comments. Several readers suggested you shoot it freehand, without a rest. But you have not. Is a pistol always more accurate from a rest, and is that why you have not shot this pistol freehand? I’m wondering that especially as I am considering my first pistol for target we t shooting.

    I am also wondering if something is subtly amiss with the pistol. I would have expected cleaner holes in the paper. Earlier, readers also suggested issues with the crown or barrel and recommended a borescope.

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