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Diana Oktoberfest Gewehr BB rifle: Part Three

Oktoberfest
The Diana Octoberfest Gewehr.

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • Some considerations
  • The test
  • Common sense
  • The deal
  • H&N Smart Shot
  • Daisy Avanti Match Grade BBs
  • 4.4mm lead balls for airguns
  • Why?
  • Crosman Black Widow
  • Trigger
  • Discussion
  • Summary and moving forward

Before we begin I thank you all for all your good wishes and prayers for me and my sister Nan. Last week was difficult but I made it through, in no small part due to all of you.

Just a reminder that this Thursday is Thanksgiving here in the US. That is one of my four annual holidays and there will be no blog on that day. There will be a blog on Friday, though, and that one should get you through the weekend.

Today is a big day. We start looking at the accuracy of the Diana Oktoberfest Gewehr BB rifle.

Some considerations

My first thought was how to test the Oktoberfest. It’s a rifle, so should it be tested from 10 meters? But it’s also a gallery rifle, so should it even be tested with paper targets? And finally, the Diana 30 that this rifle is based on is supposed to be supremely accurate. However, BB has owned two Zimmerstutzens that were also supposed to be supremely accurate and he found that they did not stand up against modern 10-meter target air rifles. And don’t say that BB didn’t try different sized lead balls. He has a dozen different sized lead balls that he tried in his two Zimmers, and they just didn’t hold up like a top 10-meter target air rifle. Even though Zimmerstutzens are made to shoot at 15 meters, they are just not in the same class of accuracy as a good 10-meter target air rifle — or target air pistol, for that matter.

So I thought the Daisy 499 might be the standard against which to test. We know what a 499 can do. If you are a long time reader you have seen proof of that. If not, I’ll show you an example right now.

Daisy Avanti Champion 499
Back in 2018 I put five Daisy Avanti Match BBs into a 0.146-inch group at 5 meters with the Daisy 499B target gun. This is what the Oktoberfest is up against.

The test

I shot from a measured 5 meters and used my MTM shooting bench and a sandbag to steady the Oktoberfest. That is more stable than the monopod I used to steady the Daisy 499 for the group shown above. I wore reading glasses with a +1.25 diopter prescription that allow me to see the front sight sharply.

I shot 10-shot groups. When I loaded each BB into the tubular magazine I counted them carefully to make certain there were exactly 10 and I always checked near the end of the string that there were still BBs in the magazine. I don’t want any dry-fires. The magazine has windows near the muzzle for this. And right now I want to say a word about the BBs I used.

I shot both lead and steel BBs. That addresses the issue of what the rifle should shoot — lead or steel. Remember, there were a lot of questions and discussion about this.

Common sense

Reader hihihi translated and posted a comment from a German shooting gallery owner (he sets up at fairs and public events) who has been operating Diana model 30s since the early 1970s. He talked about how rugged the first guns were and how they have slipped in quality over the years. He also talked about how poorly the Oktoberfest was made.

The deal

And here is the deal. This guy lets the public handle and shoot his guns and, according to what he said, some of them don’t know they need to elevate the muzzle when they cock the rifle — hence dry-fires occur. Guys, anyone can ruin something through carelessness. In the Army we used to say you could give a soldier a case of C rations and an anvil and put him out in the desert for a week and when you came back the Cs would be gone and the anvil would be broken.

I’m not saying the Oktoberfest will hold up to years of hard use because I don’t know that yet, but I do think we should consider whoever is shooting it to be a part of its lifespan equation. Until I have several years of use behind me I won’t know the potential lifespan of the Oktoberfest in the hands of a responsible shooter. All I can tell you today is what it has done in my hands at this time. And now, let’s look at that.

Build a Custom Airgun

H&N Smart Shot

First to be tested were the Smart Shot lead BBs from Haendler and Natermann. On the tin or bottle these come in they say 4.5mm/.177 caliber, but that’s not correct. I measured them for you in Part 2 of this report and we discovered they actually measure 4.34mm or 0.171-inches in diameter. Since they are made from lead, there will be a range of sizes in each package, but they should all be close to this size.

The first shot was a 10 — a perfect bullseye! I thought that was fortuitous, so I took a picture for you.

Oktoberfest first shot
The first shot in the accuracy test was a perfect 10. Great start!

Ten of these BBs made a group that measures 0.911-inches between the centers of the two holes farthest apart. That is both an extremely good group for a BB gun and absolutely no competition for the Daisy 499.

Oktoberfest SS group
The Oktoberfest put 10 H&N Smart Shot lead BBs into this 0.911-inch group at 5 meters.

Daisy Avanti Match Grade BBs

Next to be tried were 10 Daisy Avanti Match Grade BBs. These are steel BBs that are made specifically for the Daisy 499, so this will be a comparison of steel to lead. They measure 4.37mm in diameter, which is 1.72-inches.

The Oktoberfest put ten of them into a 1.999-inch group at 5 meters. That is not a good group for a BB gun at 5 meters, but I will hold off judging steel BBs until the end of this test.

Oktoberfest 515 group
The Oktoberfest put 10 Daisy Avanti Match Grade steel BBs into a 1.999-inch group at 10 meters.

4.4mm lead balls for airguns

Next up were some German-made 4.4mm lead balls that are made for airguns, according to the label on the tin. I bought them to shoot in my Zimmerstutzens, as they do measure 4.4mm. In fact the one I measured in Part 2 of this series measured 4.44mm which is .175-inches in diameter.

Ten of these went into a group that measures 0.803-inches in diameter. But 9 of those shots are in 0.352-inches, and that is almost tight enough to compete with the Daisy 499. Almost.

Oktoberfest 44 group
The Oktoberfest put 10 German 4.4mm lead balls into 0.803-inches with nine in 0.352-inches. That’s very good!

Why?

Why is this third group so much smaller than the first two? One reason — ball size. These lead balls fit the Oktoberfest’s bore as they should. The H&N Smart Shot is too small, and now I wonder whether the Diana lead BBs made for the Oktoberfest in Germany are really the same as Smart Shot, or are they different? They do say 4.4mm on the tin. If they are different, we now know how important the ball fit to the bore is and Diana should be exporting them to the US. If they are the same as Smart Shot then no problem — keep them in Germany, but American Oktoberfest owners now know they need to get the lead balls of the right size. I found these (the ones in the pink tin) on eBay.

Diana Oktoberfest BBs
The 4.4mm lead balls in the pink tin are the ones that shot best (so far) in the Oktoberfest.

Crosman Black Widow

The last BBs tested were the Crosman Black Widow steel BBs. They measure 4.37mm or 1.72-inches in diameter. Ten of them went into a 1.053-inch group at 5 meters. It’s pretty good but not great.

Diana Black Widow BBs
Ten Crosman Black Widow BBs went into 1.053-inches at 5 meters.

Trigger

The trigger has some creep in the movement of the blade. It does seem to be smoothing out as it goes, so perhaps it will settle in as a smooth single-stage trigger can and should.

Discussion

From what I see in today’s test, the Oktoberfest wants to shoot 4.4mm lead balls, and it likes them slightly on the large side. It likes them best of all, though Smart Shot lead BBs that are smaller came in second best.  Steel BBs were third and fourth and the larger steel BBs did better than the smaller ones. I’m thinking that lead BBs are the way to go. I have other sizes so I will look to see whether I can get one just slightly larger. I don’t want it to be too large, though, as I don’t want it to stick in the bore.

Next — I hope this little test puts the negative comments to rest. The Diana Oktoberfest is a Chinese-made bolt-action BB repeater that is accurate. It does not compete with Daisy’s 499 Champion, nor was it meant to. The Oktoberfest stands on its own merits as an accurate offhand BB rifle for shooters who can shoot with open sights. This BB rifle is built to a price and should therefore be handled with reasonable care.

Summary and moving forward

The Oktoberfest I am testing is a fine air rifle thus far. I don’t care what people who have never seen one are saying on the internet. I actually have one in my hands and it works just fine.

I am not finished with my report on the Oktoberfest. I have some reports that I hope will be exciting yet to come, so stay tuned.

85 thoughts on “Diana Oktoberfest Gewehr BB rifle: Part Three”

    • Sinaniko,

      I looked for one of the great 10-shot groups but couldn’t find one. I know they exist. Well, I’m always up for shooting the 499! 😉

      BB

  1. “…the Oktoberfest wants to shoot 4.4mm lead balls, and it likes them slightly on the large side.”
    B.B.,
    It was great to see 9 of those shots make one single hole…very cool!
    This is shaping up to be a nice accurate plinker. 🙂
    Blessings to you,
    dave
    P.S. That’s so awesome that Nan is OK…praise the Lord! : 🙂 🙂 🙂

      • Tom: The country song says: “God is great, beer is good, and people are crazy!” LOL Is there any influence that PA might have with Diana to get the Model 30 brought over OR is that their commercial gallery gun and it will be limited to vendors? Of more immediate concern, are the larger diameter lead rounds available?

        I was thinking of purchasing the Oktoberfest and using Smart Shot lead round balls (albeit x2 copper plated) and they also seem to be slightly undersized but they shouldn’t damage the rifling. I see that Gamo has some lead rounds for sale, are they an appropriate size for the Oktoberfest?

        I also have an aversion to steel shot since I tend to engage in airgun shooting through the winter when cycling is prohibted. Steel shot against a Champion pellet/bullet trap means return fire by the Irish guy (Rick O’Shay). Given the importation (from China) of the Oktoberfest, could importation of the pink lead rounds be negotiated by PA with Diana or its associates?

        I continue reading about the Oktoberfest with interest and the Bullseye Bucks are making it more and more attractive; the Siren Song, however is in Mandarin.. 54 years ago, I spoke a little Mandarin in college classes, but it is now long gone…

        • LFranke
          Smart shot a definite yes in my Oktoberfest.

          The .177 Gamo round lead balls I have won’t even go into the tube resivour the bbs are suppose to load in.

          And a note it seems the Smart Shot bb’s are hard to find now days. PA doesn’t even say when they are exspected to be available in-stock on thier website.

          • Gunfun1; I ordered some Gamos, but only ONE tin. I will see if your finding is replicated, namely, they won’t fit. I have other uses for the 250 pieces. Yes, your appraisal of the Smart Shot supply seems on point. The only offering on the PA site is the $25 big bottle but it isn’t available now. I have an almost full tin of the SS that I will use while I monitor the PA folks for the arrival of the SS.

            Did you clean your bore? I usually use Sheath/Barrier and felt cleaning pellets, but that requires access to the breech, with seems out of reach? Probably have to do the old swab in the loop.

        • LFranke
          Let me know how the Gamo round balls fit for you when you get them.

          And no I didn’t clean the barrel but I have noticed it started grouping better the more I have shot it. I think it’s as good as it is going to get now. Who knows. Maybe it will get better. We’ll see. But give a update on how it goes with you also.

          • I read the articles a few months back about the rubber mulch traps. My Champion works for everything but steel BBs. I put a piece of corrugated (a.k.a., “cardboard”) behind the target sheets to stop the lead splatter and keep it, the trap reservoir empty. I have a problem with paper dust and some lead spatter in very small pieces. It’s a constant sweeping game; I can’t help but think that it would be the same or greater with the rubber mulch over time. What is your experience with the mulch trap over time?

        • Can’t reply below your last comment, below, so I backed up to here. I will try to find a link to my comment on this blog with pics where I cleaned out my smaller rubber mulch trap. Recently opened up my big rubber mulch trap after months of use, and there is a LOT of shredded paper particles among the pellets and mulch. I’m only worried that some of that “dust” is lead particles from one pellet smashing into the others that I don’t want floating around in my basement. I am working on a solution to that now and will report back.

          • Roamin: The bad news is that the lead is there. The good news is that it is not molecular but in metalic flakes and dust. One can, with sound hygiene practices clean up the dust and pieces. The real danger is the lead at the molecular level that can be absorbed by the body and then one is poisoned.

            I have contemplated going to a fabrication shop and doing a modification of the Champion trap to increase its “throat size” to accomodate a full target paper AND to add a lower reservoir to hold spent shot. By this I mean a reservoir that is several inches below the lower rising steel plane. Maybe a foot or so so that spent and distorted rounds would have a larger volume and travel to slow down and be accumulated. The height of the deeper cavity might inhibit rebounds out of the chamber. It would need, then, an opening with secured closure.
            The opening would be necessary to clean out the chamber.

            Of course, that would be expensive and get pretty heavy as it would be made of steel plate, but it might stop some of the lead splash rebounding out of the Chamption as it is constructed?

  2. Welcome back Tom. You (or maybe our blog) were sorely missed this past week. Your sister, Nan, has been in the Lord’s hands this entire time. He is in control. I’m grateful for the wonderful gift of prayer. Our God listens! The body of Believers sends our prayers to God and He hears each and every one. Many of us need prayer . . . such a gift. Oh . .. and I love it when you do complete reviews, such as this one. You’re a pretty good sales person. I have my Dragonfly because of your salesmanship. It’s a great plinker for me and my grandson. By the way, I have the breech seals for my TX200 on order. Should I do a tune on it while it’s apart anyway? If so, whose should I use? Thanks, Orv.

    • Orv,

      Thank you for your prayers. 🙂

      As for the Dragonfly, PA has sent me a .177 to test for you, so that’s coming soon.

      The TX? Well, the Tony Leach tune is the best in my opinion, but you do give up power. Other than that I would stick with the factory tune and use a little TIAT on the spring.

      BB

  3. Tom,

    OK, first I have to admit paragraph five has at least four juvenile jokes woven within its prose. It has has my inner Beavis and/or Butthead on the cusp of giggling every few seconds.

    That taken care of, this is a tempting air gun, no doubt. Its low volume and minute-of-juice-can accuracy are tempting the consumerist in me. The Great Enabler, I see, has not lost his touch!

    This Oktoberfest is reminscent not only of the classic Diana Modell 30 gallery gun, it is also appears to have a similar cocking mechanism to the Haenel 310: /blog/2009/11/haenel-310-parts-2-3/?swcfpc=1 I’ll provide a nice photo of the two counters that everyone talks about on the gallery Model 30.

    Michael

      • Michael,

        WOW! I forgot about those lead balls John Groenewold used to sell! I have a pound of them that I can shoot, as well.

        Are they really 4.4mm? I don’t know but a dial caliper will tell.

        BB

        • Tom/Michael,

          I use the JGA 4.4mm “round ball” for my vz35. They still sell them, by the pound as Michael said. I do not know if they are the same as what you are shooting from the pink tin, however.

          For the JGA 4.4’s…. I have sorted them for size. They ranged from 4.34 to 4.42 mm, with most falling around 4.38/4.39 mm. So they are slightly smaller than the 4.4 name suggests.
          By my measure, they average 7.1 grains in weight.

          At least for the vz35, these are the best ammo.

          I have ordered several pounds through the years. They have been great, for me! If you order them, consider paying the small charge for shipping insurance. I didn’t, but should have. One of my orders arrived in busted packaging… the lead balls had broken free and were all mixed in with shredded paper packaging. Just a mess! But I call that a shipping problem, not a JGA problem.

          StarboardRower

    • Michael,
      I echo the sentiments of Roamin Greco; it’s great to see you back, you’ve got some good intel in your comments, and you were sorely missed….so, welcome back, and wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving. 🙂
      Blessings and happy shooting to you,
      dave

  4. B.B.

    I found your comment, ” This BB rifle is built to a price and should therefore be handled with reasonable care.”,
    interesting. I think most people have this backwards. That expensive rifles should be handled with reasonable care, and inexpensive rifles can be beaten on….

    Welcome back!

    -Yogi

  5. BB,

    Welcome home! I am glad to “hear” your sister is doing well.

    I tend to be a little rough on these gals. That is why I sold that FWB601 of mine. I was starting to scratch it up.
    Maybe that is why I like steel and walnut. I would like to play with the Haenel that Michael was talking about and/or an older Diana 30, but this thing does not sound up to me. That is a real shame as I would really like to try out a “bolt action” sproinger some.

    PS: Am I correct that the long metal thingy on top is what cocks the piston? It must have a very long piston with a real short stroke. I for one would like to see some pictures of this out of the stock. 😉

  6. I have some round ball around here somewhere that I fooled with when I was shooting that Gamo CFX. I will have to dig them out and measure them to see if they will work in one of these old gals around here. That would be great for punching holes in feral soda cans.

    Maybe I need to take a look see around some and see what I can find.

      • BB
        You know how the longer the bb takes to go down the barrel of the 499 tends to be the more accurate bb when you load the bb for each shot.

        Well I can tell you the Smart Shot takes longer to go down the magazine resivour than the Advanti precision ground bb’s, then the regular Daisy bb’s seem to take the least time going down the mag resivour.

        See how your Oktoberfest does. It’s not distinct like a 499 but I can tell which fit the Oktoberfest resivour tube the best.

  7. BB and all

    First BB glad God has been with you and your sister and things are going good. Always God is most present at the tuff times in life. Pray is the best I can say. Always.

    But have been waiting for this report.

    First off I love my Oktoberfest rifle. Been shooting everyday as much as possible for the last week or so. Did not even shoot any of my other gun’s other than the 499 the other day just so I knew how it was shooting compared to the Oktoberfest that day. To me the Oktoberfest is a winner. If I wasn’t told it was made in China I have to say I wouldn’t know. It shows Diana all over the place. Not putting Diana down but saying my Oktoberfest looks to be fine quality so far.

    And a bit about the gun. It handles well. And I thought cocking the gun was going to be hard with that short arm. It’s not. And the gun is very smooth and pleasant to shoot. And I like the trigger on my Oktoberfest. To me it feels light and very predictable.

    And accuracy I’ll get straight to the point. The Smart shot copper coated lead bb’s are the best in my gun. And to note I only tried 3 different bb’s. The Smart Shot. Regular Daisy bb’s and the Avanti precision ground bb’s. I have some Dust Devil bb’s but I did not try them. I didn’t want to take chance of them getting crushed by the action. And to say though my Oktoberfest feeds very smooth and easy. And one last thing about bb’s and round balls. I have some Gamo round lead balls and they wouldn’t even go into the magazine resivour tube. So that in a way is a good thing. Maybe that is a safety feature that keeps you from loading to big of a diameter shot into the Oktoberfest. Oh and the loading funnel that is included has some very nice machining work done to make it.

    And to say group sizes. Well I shot 10 shot groups at 10 meters with the Oktoberfest and my 499 side by side. The 499 is a little better than the Oktoberfest most times but the Oktoberfest did shoot equal to the 499 a few times.

    To me the Oktoberfest is a winner. But it makes me want something. I wish they made the same gun but with a breech that opens when the gun is cocked and a normal lead pellet could be loaded in the barrel. I would really like to see that gun made. Not to take over the Oktoberfest but to be a addition to it.

  8. While I was a digging through my stuff looking for those round balls, I came to the realization that I do not have a powerful .177. All of my .177 shoot around 600 FPS or less. It looks like I have found another slot to fill. 😉

    • How fast do you want a .177 to go? There is a Diana Model 40 on eBay. It is basically a 34 with no open sights and a muzzle brake. I also saw an HW 90 with the adjustable Theoben gas spring. P.A. has a sale on the Beeman R9….

        • RidgeRunner, any stirrup pump for precharged pneumatic airguns will do, with the right adapter, of course.
          I use one that I had bought for my PCP pistol with a quick connect adapter. And if that pump has a pressure gauge, like most of them have, then one doesn’t need another.
          Personally, I think a gauge is only important for safety reasons (the air ram is rated up to 26 Bar/377psi) because, whatever one is likely to try to achieve, will be measured otherwise anyway. 🙂

          Finally, if the purchase price is too high, then, I agree, the HW90 is not for you. At least not now! 🙂

          The dilemma I had was, that I had planned to mount a scope (which I had bought, including a shock appropriate Dampa mount) but my Weihrauch 90 fit me too well!
          What I mean is, that, having shouldered the air rifle and then opening my eyes, I found myself looking straight through, perfectly aligned, iron sights. That is a rare thing for me. 🙂

          And yet…

          • Oops, I’ve only just noticed the “AUTO” over the butt in the picture which is just a mistake, ie meaningless (I missed it when taking a screen print while editing, to reduce picture size). 🙁

            Ah RidgeRunner, without a gauge, I would increase the air ram pressure in very small (!) increments to find the sweet spot between pellet speed and cocking effort.
            It will be found well under the maximum 26 Bar (at which it’s nigh on impossible to cock one handed and, worse yet, rather unpleasant/no fun to shoot). 🙂

    • RidgeRunner,

      How fast is enough? If I remember correctly, a healthy Feinwerkbau 124 shoots lightweight lead pellets at more than 800 fps, And of course the Feinwerkbau 124 is the best (in accuracy, shooting behavior, and trigger) sporting springer of all time. Finally, no airgun ever is more of a classic than the 124. As much a classic, of course, but not more so. ;^)

      Michael

      Michael

          • Michael,

            Now, if somebody wishes to send an FWB124, either sport or deluxe, to live at RidgeRunner’s Home For Wayward Airguns, I will not turn it away.

            The truth is, I am actually considering a cheapo TCFKAC sproinger.

            /product/crosman-shockwave-np-quietfire-air-rifle?m=5216

            Yes, I am certain I would be much more satisfied with the HW95, but I just bought a fully loaded .22 Talon SS and a Beeman 800 that needs seals. Resealing that 800 might cost me a pretty penny as I am hesitant to do it myself. The wallet is pretty thin right now.

          • FM,

            You are not helping. My first choice is an HW90. An HW95 almost fits within budget. Possibly even an HW50 would do. I have an HW30 here at RRHFWA. Congratulations, you have become an enabler.

          • Replying to FM because FM can’t find another way to reply to RR – as for enabling, just trying to help friends. If you get that HW90, you can give us your impressions and enable back. 🙂

  9. About Diana:
    I watched an interview of Michael Swoboda. He is one of 3 ex-Umarex workers (the others 2 are Dietmar Ende and Manfred Ninaus), who, together, founded German Sport Guns (GSG) in 2002. They make up the GSG management team.

    In 2014 GSG and L&O Group took over Diana.
    Maurice Reinagel, was kept on and works as a technician and gunmaker. For example, he produces prototypes from new ideas.

    Of around a total 100 GSG employees, 12 – 13 are busy with the Diana side of things.
    ‘Action Line’ is the name for Diana labelled items not produced in Germany. ‘Performance Line’ is used for those made in Germany.

    By far their strongest airgun market is Germany (after India, the U.S.A. and 69 further countries).
    Over 90% of all Diana airguns are made to have under 7.5 Joules power (5.532 ft-lbs) because that is the German limit for license free airguns. Therefore, less than 10% are made to be higher powered Dianas.

    Diana airguns are not manufactured- but assembled in-house. 3 workers are responsible for Development Engineering.

    The parts are manufactured elsewhere. Performance Line parts are mainly made by other German companies.
    So, small components like nuts, bolts, springs, etc, but also Computer Numerical Controlled (CNC) made items or plastics are sourced out of house. (from another video: all wooden stocks are made in Italy).

    Samples of incoming parts are quality tested. Some items are received in rough condition and get refinished in-house.

    The ‘AirGhandi’ interview video “German Sport Guns Werksbesichtigung – DIANA – Sig Sauer”, in German (with the option for English subtitles): https://m.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1627&v=BS5nExFpBJ8&feature=emb_logo

    I hope this may have been of interest for some and apologise to the others… 🙂

    • Thanks StarboardRower. I’m glad my repeated viewing of that video to take notes and then turn them into proper sentences here, was not a wasted effort, 🙂

      Michael, from what I understand, RWS is no longer the importer for Diana products into the U.S.A. (and Canada?) and so, German Sport Guns era Dianas carry only the simple ‘Diana’ label (ie ‘RWS Diana’ exists no more)..

      Of course, there are always the Action Line of Diana products that are entirely made outside of Germany, typically in the Far East (which I take to mean China) and those are also only labelled ‘Diana’.
      Beyond that, I haven’t a clue. 🙂

      So, you may well be right!

      • hihihi,

        There are air rifles with the look of and model numbers of Diana but are labeled only “RWS.” I saw one for a very low blowout price at Airguns of AZ. No “Made in Germany” anywhere to be seen. on it.

        Michael

    • hihihi: Sounds like TKD has affected everything; Total Knock Down, wherein companies outsource parts and assemble them – usually to obtain tax advantages related to importation. After reading your excellent article I am still a tad at sea about what RWS is anymore. Diana is the name of the assembled product to which I have for decades been an aficionado and RWS is doing or being what? My oldest air arm is a RWS Model 36 and it is probably the best of the lot in the arms locker (and on its third mainspring).

      I am taking the plunge with the Oktoberfest even given the shortage of Smart Shot BBs. I still have the majority of a tin of 250 that I will use sparingly until the inventory rises at PA. I bought some Gamo round balls but, according to some comments, above, they may NOT fit the ‘fest, but I have other pieces for them.

      Again, a great job of seeking to unravel some of the elements of international and corporate trade.

      • Thanks LFranke for your kind words.

        My prediction is that you will very (!) quickly go through your Diana Oktoberfest rifle ammunition. It’s just too much fun to operate a bolt action repeater not “..sparingly..”. 🙂

        PS I was tickled by the expression “..return fire by the Irish guy..” – not heard that one before ! 🙂

        • Erm, I think the “not” in front of sparingly was wrong. I should have said that it’s too much fun to operate a repeater sparingly, as in, it’s fun to use up ammo quickly. Sorry… Oldtimers! 🙂

          • hihihi: I received the Oktoberfestgehwer this afternoon. Took it and a large box of pellets and lubes downstairs and began to work on the thing. First operation with a Chinese manufactured piece (and Turkish, too) is scrub the barrel. Quite a task being only able to clean from one end. However, perseverance, scissors and the rag loop with the flexible cleaning rod and a lot of Barrier and the bore was cleaned without the usual JB Bore Paste, nylon bore brush and felt cleaning pellets.

            A coating of Bees Wax polish in thick liquid form followed, after a wipe down by two coats of Minwax with buffing and it was time to shoot.

            Loaded the tubular magazine with 100 SmarShot rounds in my sadly emptying tin of 500 and began sending them downrange. From the sound of the Champion Pellet trap, they are hitting with good authority, in other words, an healthy velocity.. That, however, is not the point of this rifle. It’s not a beast like my .25 or as svelte as my RWS M-36 or 430L.

            The real issue I discovered, on the first shooting attempt, is the rear sight and its forward companion. Match that with 75 year old eyeballs wearing progressive lenses and it is a blurry mess. I think that the sights are undersized.

            I was able to stay on paper and make preliminary adjustments to get the windage centered up. Refinement is necessary but we are grossly in or very near the 10M rifle roundel. I actually think that this thing will be a shooter. I’ll probably take off my progressive lenses and use reading glasses with a fixed diopter. That might clean up the sight picture problem? We’ll see.

            I think that this rifle is going to be a fun piece for shooting. I can see getting either blisters or a developed callus,on my right hand That will go well with cocking the underlever of my Diana 430L pellet rifle. All the cocking of my springers is my winter “gym work out” such as it is until the spring and cycling season begins all order again.

            Now…I hope the H&N can get the SmartShot supplied to the states. They seem to be ‘out’ everywhere. When they arrive a couple of the big bottles will keep me in round balls for some time.

          • Congratulations LFranke, on your new ‘toy’ ! 🙂

            Although I don’t know how much difference it makes, I find your barrel cleaning/lubing to be inspiring. At least your barrel was clean before starting to shoot, not after having shot, however many rounds necessary, to achieve a similar result.

            I would imagine that the faster the lead ball hits your metal pellet trap the more likely it’ll stay there. Also the champion type of trap has it’s funnel angled downwards, unlike mine that can, and does, return anything that hits the symmetrical sides twice.

            As for the blurry mess, I too get that. I wonder if that’s just a matter of my eye relief?
            Maybe it’s worth trying to adjust the viewing distance, ie maybe it’ll help tucking my head back a little to have the rear sight further away, hmm. I might try that for myself later (on a similar rifle). I’m typing out loud to help me remember… 🙂

            I know what you mean by blisters/callouses. I have a couple of rather hard to cock bolt action repeaters (Czech Vz.s) and, either I wear gloves or I have to give the next day a break. Gloves are obviously the sensible choice, but I always need that one day off (or more)… 🙂

            • A rather late response here hihihi. I’ve about emptied my Ocktoberfest tubular magazine with the last of my SmartShot supply. Just a couple of dozen, if that many, in the sadly empty original tin.

              I am encountering real difficulty with the rear sight. I think that the problem is that it is just too small and, more notably, too SHORT. It top of the notch is barely above the bolt handle pivot mechanism.

              Is anyone aware of a fitting replacement rear sight that might be a LOT better than the stock piece? I would put a Williams on it, but the height of the bolt apparatus is a concern.

              Help! The Ocktoberfest is a winner but its sights ARE NOT….

              • LFranke, fortunately ‘the blog’ notified me of your reply. 🙂

                My Diana bolt action bb repeater is a different airgun and has no rear sight problems.

                Gunfun1 commented, how he attached a Williams sight to his Oktoberfest rifle, after trimming it’s elevation bar. He shared this, including a picture, in a comment to the blog “What’s really new?” from December 30th, 2022
                ( /blog/2022/12/whats-really-new/#comments ).

                By the way, to considerably improve your chances, I submit you ask for help in the comments section for the current blog. Good Luck! 🙂

                • Rather late response to a prior post on the Oktoberfest.

                  Today, I searched my Plano parts box and found a low sight line Williams Peep sans the Target Knobs. Took a crude measurement of the small 11 mm dovetail by holding the Williams up next to the rifle and discovered it would fit.

                  About an hour and a half of careful and slow progressive grinding on the bench grinder and polishing with my Dero slack belt knife sharpener, and I got the Williams base to fit the Oktoberfest ramp and clear the left side of the wood stock. I found that the original aperture actually worked despite the long eye-to-rear sight distance! That was a surprise given its small bore.

                  Now, if my 6K SmartShot order EVER gets here, I can start refining the sight alignment. I’m at least near and on the National Target 10 M rifle bulls. I can actually SEE the front blade and the target! That is really a change from the blurred mess of the supplied rear notch. I think it may actually be a shooter; it’s already better than my Daisy Model 25.

                  I’m shooting at 10 M in the basement with what is designed to be a 5 M piece. Can’t wait for the SmartShot to arrive…

                  • LFranke, sounds interesting and I look forward to reading how those Smart Shot bbs perform for you. 🙂

                    Any chance of a picture, to see your Oktoberfest with the upgraded rear sight? Would it be possible to show the areas where you modified your Williams sight?

                    Thanks for your update, LFranke. 🙂

      • LFranke
        So you got your Oktoberfest. Did you try the Gamo round balls yet to see if they are big for the magazine tube?

        And a note. I can get by with the Daisy/Advanti precision ground bb’s. They try to be as accurate as the Smart Shot. But not quite as good.

        Let me know how your Oktoberfest goes. Oh and the other day I took the rear sight off my Oktoberfest and slid a dot sight on the dovetail. It wasn’t much more accurate than the open sights but it was much easier on the eye’s to sight. After about a half hour of shooting the Oktoberfest with its factory open sights I was getting a headache straining my eye’s to sight. I thought I took a picture of it the other day but guess I didn’t. I really wish they would of made a dovetail on that back cover that shields the cocking mechanism. If so my Oktoberfest would of done had a scope on it. Oh well you know how that goes. Life goes on.

  10. Glory , Honor and Praise be to Our Lord Jesus Christ. Glad for answers to prayer.
    I think the most dry fired piston gun would have to be Red Riders, I’ve owned one or three at all times for the last fifty-four years. My Grandsons dry fire about one out of four shots by not getting the gun vertical before cocking. Even Paw Paw does it on occasion. My current RR is one I customized with a Chief AJ butt stock and big lever, I need to check/replace the piston in it as it started shooting low. Thanks Tom.

  11. That’s a little disappointing concidering the price point. Good luck finding those lead balls now that the cat is out of the bag. Guess I’ll pass at least for now. Great review sir!

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