This report covers:
- Diana 27
- Are they accurate?
- Diana 35
- FWB 124
- I don’t understand
- What about air pistols?
- The point
- So — what do you like?
Today I just want to reflect on some of the great airguns I have known in my life. And I want to hear about yours.
My Diana 27 isn’t labeled that way. It’s a Hy Score 807. But it’s a Diana 27 all right. Diana sold airguns to many other companies and under different names throughout the last century. Hy Score was an American company that both made some airguns of their own — the 700 and 800-series air pistols — and also rebranded from others — mainly from Diana.
My Diana 27 is a Hy Score 807.
Before I describe the rifle let me tell you about my first encounter with one. I was living at Ft. Knox, KY in the late 1970s and had already hooked up with Beeman. I got their catalogs regularly, owned a copy of the first volume of Airgun Digest, written and edited by Dr. Beeman, and already owned a Diana model 10 target pistol, a Sheridan Blue Streak, a Webley Senior pistol and an FWB 124 that I bought in the Beeman store in Santa Rosa. What I’m telling you is I was already a snooty airgunner who thought he knew it all.
I was also a family man with two children and didn’t have a lot of extra money to spend — not on an Army captain’s pay! So when I wandered into a pawn shop in the local town of Radcliff, KY, one day and happened to see an old weatherbeaten Diana 27 for sale, I had to think long and hard. They wanted $20 for it and I negotiated like a middle eastern carpet salesman in a caravan to get the price down to $18 out the door. In other words, no tax (out of my pocket).
That pellet rifle was well-used, with no finish remaining on the wood stock and lots of rusty scale on the metal. The emblem in the stock said it was a Hy Score 807, but I was able to discover that it was really a Diana 27 in .22 caliber. The 27 also came in .177 and I have owned several of both in many different names over the years. For some reason I prefer the .22 — perhaps because it was my first.
I had some RWS Superpoints (as I recall — this was 1978) for my Webley Senior, so I had something to shoot. When I cocked it the first time I was amazed at how light and butter-smooth it seemed. Then I shot it for the first time. The trigger was long and not that crisp, but the firing cycle was very smooth. And, I hit what I aimed at. In my world that’s always a plus.
Well I gave that rifle to a friend when I left the Army in 1981, but at the first airgun show I ever went to in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, in 1993, I found another. That one was also a Hy Score 807 and by this time I knew what it really was. I bought it for $110 and it’s the Diana 27 I still own today — the one pictured above. I have owned other 27s in .177 caliber and a few that were labeled Dianas. And I have a Diana 27S that’s a scarce variation of the 27. That one is a .177 and I rebuilt it for you in a 6-part report in 2020. Remember 2020 — the year that was stolen from us (I refer to coronavirus 19)?
Are they accurate?
Not really. Diana 27s are plinkers more than they are tight-group-shooters. I have owned accurate Diana air rifles but never one of the model 27s. So, what makes them so desirable?
I guess because they are slim, light and easy to cock they make shooting like eating potato chips. I don’t shoot at feral tin cans, but a dandelion in bloom is a living reactive target. And watch out grasshoppers and wasps — BB’s gonna getcha!
Now, I do have an older Diana 35 that I reported on six times in 2019 and it is positively lovely! And accurate! It’s everything the 27 is not when it comes to putting them where you want them.
This is an older Diana 35 that I purchased from reader Carel. It’s a .177 and is extremely accurate!
I tuned this rifle for you and it now shoots beautifully. But as nice as it now it, I still love my Diana 27 more.
Oh boy, do I have a lot of stories about this one! As I said in the beginning, my first one was one I bought new in the Beeman Store in Santa Rosa, California. I only got rid of it to pay off debts after a divorce in 1981. But I have owned several since that time. I think I’m up to seven or so. I buy them, tune them and sell them on after that, because all the fun has been taken out of them — or so I thought!
I have already written about so many 124s! One report was titled A shrine built for a Feinwerkbau 124 and ended in February of 2011. It was a 15-part report that probably turned many readers off because it went on too long. I vowed never to write about the 124 again, but that was before the 2017 Findlay Toys that Shoot airgun show.
Pyramyd AIR brought a lot of vintage airguns to that show that they acquired when they purchased a local dealer’s inventory. One of the rifles they had on the table was this 124 Deluxe. I told Tyler Patner I thought it would be the first to go. I had already snatched a Beeman R8, and this 124 is an equally desirable airgun. I purposely did not buy it, to give somebody else the opportunity. Well, the rifle sat on the table for three-quarters of the show, and the price was reduced several times. I even told people about it and sent them over to see it!
When I went by the Pyramyd Air tables in the early afternoon and discovered that it still was there, despite a reduced price of $250, I just bought it. I didn’t want it or need it, but when the stars align, you make your move. My late friend Mac taught me that.
I don’t understand
Here is what escapes me. A guy goes to an airgun show and spends several hundred dollars on the trip — especially now that Bidenberry juice costs so much. Then he finds exactly what he wants and he just stands there, not willing to pull the trigger. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen this. Guys, be prudent. Act when action is called for!
What about air pistols?
We sit around and whine, “If only ‘they’ would just build the dum-da-dum (insert model name here) again, I’d buy two! No — you wouldn’t. That’s why “they” aren’t going to build it again.
What about the Crosman Marks I and II? Those are two great air pistols that you’re never going to see the likes of again. But wait — you can still buy them today — USED.
Crosman Mark I.
Yes they literally ABOUND! I just found 14 on eBay, alone. “But BB, I won’t buy from anyone I can’t look in the eye!”
Okay, go to airgun shows. The Texas Airgun Show will be held on Saturday, September 25, 2022. “But BB, I will be, no, wait, I’m not on vacation then. Let’s see… Oh yeah, we’re adopting a dog and we have to de-worm her that weekend. If only you had told me about this earlier this year!”
Oh, okay, you have a hectic schedule. BB understands. Well, there will probably be some airgun shows in 2023. Is that enough advance notification?
The point is, your airguns don’t have to be brand new. Reader Ian McKee has shown us all how to reseal Crosman Mark I and Mark II pistols. The parts are affordable and available.
BB, I don’t want a sproinger and I don’t want CO2. I’m looking for a PCP.
Well then, BB understands. There are no used PCPs available anywhere on this planet. Forget eBay and airgun shows. They are lies. And the American Airguns classified web page is full of criminals who are all wanted by the FBI. No, you can’t get there from here.
So — what do you like?
Okay, I told you about mine; now you tell us about yours. As you know I have a lot of airguns to test and shoot. The ones I shared with you today are my favorites.