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Diana Oktoberfest Gewehr BB rifle: Part Two

Oktoberfest
The Diana Oktoberfest Gewehr.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • What about lead BBs?
  • Velocity test
  • Look before leaping
  • Great expectations
  • H&N Smart Shot
  • German 4.4mm round balls for airguns
  • More German 4.4 mm lead balls for airguns 
  • Daisy Avanti Precision Ground Shot
  • Crosman Black Widow
  • Sound 
  • Trigger pull
  • Cocking effort
  • Summary

Today we start testing the Diana Oktobertfest Gewehr rifle and there is a surprise. The readers in Europe apparently haven’t seen this model of the Oktoberfest yet, or if they have they don’t know it. 

Tyler Patner asked Diana about their saying to use steel BBs in the Oktoberfest and this is what he told me. 

Tom, 

Just heard back from Diana directly on this:

“The current technical version of the DIANA Oktoberfestgewehr is able to handle cal. 4,5mm steel BB´s as well.”

What about lead BBs?

Tyler asked because of the response we got when the rifle was announced last week. One reader even posted this picture.

Diana Oktoberfest BBs
Diana sells Oktoberfest lead BBs in Europe.

It’s a little hard to refute that image when your name is on it. Yet, as I noted in Part 1, the manual says — oh, what the heck. Read it yourself.

Diana Oktoberfest manual
That’s what the manual says.

Velocity test

Today is the velocity test. After all the commotion over the steel BBs last week I was set to test lead only. But now that Diana has clarified this issue, I will test both lead and steel.

Look before leaping

From the comments to Part One I can tell that several readers have already made up their minds, and from my perspective it looks like they are basing their feelings on what others have said. I will hold off and just tell you what I find as the test transpires.

Great expectations

Diana says this rifle gets up to 525 f.p.s., but they don’t specify with what — lead or steel. The Pyramyd Air website says to expect 400 f.p.s. I said in Part 1 that the rifle feels too smooth for the Diana number to be right. What I didn’t count on was the Pyramyd Air number being too low. The smoothness and quietness of the shot cycle fooled me. Let’s get started.

Diana Oktoberfest BBs
The BBs I shot in the Oktoberfest today.

Shop SIG Sauer Airguns

H&N Smart Shot

First to be tested was the H&N Smart Shot that is no doubt the same as what’s in the tin with Diana’s name on the outside. I did something today that I seldom do, but given the ammunition discussion I felt it was necessary. I measured the diameter of one of each type of BB.

The Smart Shot BB I measured was 4.34mm or 0.171-inches in diameter. The Oktoberfest Gewehr put 10 of them out at an average 354 f.p.s. The low was 346 and the high was 359 f.p.s. — a spread of 13 f.p.s. At the average velocity this 7.4-grain projectile generates 2.06 foot pounds at the muzzle.

German 4.4mm round balls for airguns

Next up was a German round lead ball for airguns. The tin (the green tin in the picture above) says they measure 4.4 mm but when I measured one it measured 4.15 mm or 0.163-inches in diameter. That’s way too undersized for this airgun and I will show you the velocity string that proves it.

Shot…………Vel
1………………271
2………………343
3………………380
4………………353
5………………343
6………………372
7………………352
8………………331
9………………354
10…………….351

The average for this string is 345 f.p.s. The low was 271 and the high was 380 for a spread of 109 f.p.s. Because of that I will not be testing the Oktoberfest with this BB. They weigh 7.7 grains and that is good for an energy of 2.04 foot pounds.

More German 4.4 mm lead balls for airguns 

These lead balls (the pink tin?) are from Sprengstoffwerk Schoenebeck munitions plant in Elbe, in what was formerly East Germany. They are labeled 4.4 mm and they measure 4.44 mm or 0.175-inches in diameter. That’s very close to their labeled size and they averaged 393 f.p.s. The low was 376 and the high was 416 f.p.s., a difference of 40 f.p.s. They weigh 8.0 grains, so they develop 2.74 foot pounds in this rifle.

Daisy Match Grade Precision Ground Shot

Next up was the first steel BB — the Daisy Match Grade Precision Ground Shot. These are the BBs made exclusively for the Daisy Champion 499B — the world’s most accurate BB gun. They measures 4.37 mm in diameter, which is 1.72-inches. They weigh 5.1 grains which makes 2.27 foot pounds at the average velocity.

They average 448 f.p.s. with a spread from a low of 428 to a high of 462 f.p.s. That’s a difference of 34 f.p.s. Right there the Pyramyd Air velocity cap was shattered.

Crosman Black Widow

The last BB I tested was another steel one — Crosman’s Black Widow. These are often among the most accurate BBs in my tests and they are also what reader Cloud9 shot a week ago when I mentioned this was an accurate rifle.

Black Widows averaged 433 f.p.s. with a spread from 422 to 448 f.p.s. That’s a difference of 26 f.p.s. Only Smart Shot had a tighter spread. This BB measures 4.37 mm in diameter which is 0.172-inches. They weigh 5.23 grains and that’s good for 2.18 foot pounds.

Sound 

The Oktoberfest Gewehr is quiet! It registered 86.4 dB on my sound meter.

Diana Oktoberfest sound

Trigger pull

The single-stage trigger has a long pull. It takes 4 pounds 2 ounces to break.

Cocking effort

The rifle cocks with 30 pounds of effort. It feels like less because the cocking stroke seems shorter than it needs to be.

Summary

So far the Oktoberfest Gewehr is testing out well. It isn’t as powerful as Diana said to expect, but it is certainly faster than Pyramyd Air said. It’s sort of in the middle.

Of course accuracy is the main thing we all want to see and that comes next. From the comments I can tell that several readers have already made up their minds, and from my perspective it looks like they are basing their feelings on what others have said.

I’m still hoping for Diana model 30 accuracy. I know this isn’t one, but it sure looks like one.

61 thoughts on “Diana Oktoberfest Gewehr BB rifle: Part Two”

  1. BB,

    The internet is unfair in the sense that there is actual handling of the item unlike brick and mortar stores. To make matters worse the fact that it is made in China at such a low price compared to the original makes one wonder how far they went in cutting costs. I hope this redeems itself in the accuracy department and that the company that owns Diana should keep a firm grip on the Quality Control of items made by contractors.

    Siraniko

  2. Siranjko
    Cutting cost in Chinese airguns is not that difficult I believe; labour costs very low, wood and metal costs even lower, respectively. How is that for a start? Off course if you add low qc procedures you can lower the cost but then the problems start. I wonder what will prove to be the case with this one. We have seen Bam B40 but we have seen real trash also.

  3. “More German 4.4 mm lead balls for airguns”
    B.B.,
    The .1748-inches diameter. is likely why these projectiles had the highest energy; and while (as you have showed us many times) every airgun is a law unto itself, I’m hoping these tight-fitting lead balls will lead to some good accuracy. 🙂
    Blessings to you,
    dave

  4. BB
    I made a comment on part 1. I like even more after today’s report.

    But yes waiting for the accuracy test. I hope it goes well with the accuracy test. It looks like it will be a fun plinking gun even with the open sights.

    Questions though. So when you was Chronying the gun did you just load like 10 bb’s of one brand in the resivour so you didn’t get the different bb’s mixed up? And did the last bb left in the resivor load ok? And last question. Do you have to have the gun pointed in a certian direction like the muzzle up to get the bb’s to load right?

    • GF1,

      Yes, yes and yes.

      I was going to talk about that and probably should have. The rifle fed perfectly every time. There were no hangups. And loading ten at a time is the only way I could control what was in the magazine.

      I also tipped the rifle on its nose aft6er the last shot to make sure there were no BBs left. I did that every time.

      BB

  5. Partially in answer to Gunfun1 and also to others who may be interested in the Diana Oktoberfest rifle:
    for your information, I came across a comment that translates (from German) to something like this…

    “…I’ve been running a mobile shooting range at fairs and rifle fairs since 1971. When I started it back in the 1970s, there was only the Anschütz bolt-action rifle or the Haenel 310, which was made in the former GDR [GermanDemocraticRepublic]. Both rifles were very robust and very rarely had to be repaired, I only used 12-round magazines for the rifles.
    The Diana 30 gradually replaced the two GDR rifles…. the first Diana 30 rifles cost 369 DM 40 years ago and were very robust and rarely required repairs.
    Since the introduction of the euro, the price for the Diana 30 rifles has risen 8 fold, most recently €1,689.00 and the quality has dropped severely, the rifles were constantly defective and had to be repaired because the spare parts were inferior, the metal parts simply broke apart. Ever since Diana stopped manufacturing about 15 years ago, old and used Diana 30 rifles have been traded like gold.
    Now to the Oktoberfest rifles that cost a tip [cheap as chips] against the original Diana 30, in continuous operation in a shooting gallery are only to be used in emergencies.
    I had bought two of them, only used them for two hours in my mobile shooting range, and they stopped working…. they had become defect.
    If you unscrew the rifle, for which you remove the stock, the entire lever mechanism appears. Now you can see why the rifle comes at such a low price…. it doesn’t resemble the original Diana 30 rifle, because there are only 3 mechanical parts built into the rifle, and this shows when the Diana October rifle is improperly reloaded or incorrectly cocked with the repeating lever.
    Because most shooters who get handed the rifle get their hands on a pre-cocked rifle, then when repeating it for themselves, most people make the mistake of not holding the rifle with the barrel up, which means that only air and no bullet comes out of the barrel Others repeat too fast, which has the result that the 4.4mm lead ball is cut, and this results that the deformed round ball clogs the barrel. If you use steel BB balls and you repeat too fast, the metal parts in the mechanics break apart. But that also happens with lead balls if that happens too often [repeating too fast].
    But also, the original Diana 30 has the same vulnerability due to inferior metal parts used.
    Recently there is a new edition of the Diana 30 [Neo] rifle for €1,300. I can’t give an assessment yet because I haven’t bought one yet… ”
    (comment by Peter Anton to the youtube review “Oktoberfest Gewehr Diana Schießbude Luftgewehr Check” by Onkel Kramer)

    My take from this is, don’t dry fire the Diana Oktoberfest rifle.
    To correctly position the next ball near the breech end of the barrel, always cock the gun with the barrel up.
    And don’t cock too quickly to allow enough time for the next ball to load properly.

    🙂

    • 3hi,

      I thank you for finding this. It has been my experience that over the years, quality has been on the decrease. I have often become excited by “the latest and greatest” bauble to come along, but when I have to lay out the money for such, I become most hesitant. This is quite often because I have regretted such.

      When it comes to airguns, I have a few “new” airguns, but not many. Most of these have been around for a time and proven themselves. Even with proper care, I have to question whether some of these will be around one hundred years from now or whether they will be non-functioning examples in a museum somewhere.

      I reckon I should just stick with the hand machined steel and walnut.

    • Hi3-

      Thanks so much for sharing this info about Oktoberfest and its predecessor. It would be interesting to ferret out the time period when the Model 30 quality went in the dumper (per the shooting gallery owner), and which parts were failing. He mentions the spare parts breaking. Would this indicate the substitution of cast or MIM parts for the original manufacturing methods? Sounds like quite the treadmill- The new Model 30s don’t last and the price to replace keeps rising.

  6. I want one of the old Diana 30’s. Maybe I will stumble upon one at a more reasonable price, but I doubt it. They are probably as rare as hen’s teeth on this side of the pond and the owners probably know what they have.

    Ah well, I am certain that at least one person here at RRHFWA will say I have enough airguns. What does she know.?

    • RR
      If the October turns out to be a fairly accurate gun, I’ll take the chance to get one. The cost of the gun helps for me a little anyway to make the decision.

      And I was quick reading the blog the other day and I seen you made a comment you got you a Talon SS (I think it was) at the air gun show. How is it doing.? You liking it?

  7. B.B.

    Please explain how steel BB’s could damage a mechanism? Barrels I can see damaged. not mechanisms….
    Towards the end you say, “cocking stroke seems shorter than it needs to be.” Huh!! No such thing. What is the arc of the cocking stroke? Shorter cocking strokes are easier to cock than long cumbersome strokes. Easier to cock when sitting and standing. Easier to cock for people with short arms and even long arms.

    -Y

    • Yogi,

      If a BB gets halfway into the chamber and the parts that put it there are bent is just one of many ways a steel BNB could wreck a mechanism.

      What is it with you and cocking arcs? 🙂

      It’s probably about 90 degrees. It FEELS shorter than it needs to be.

      BB

      • B.B.,

        “…parts that put it there are bent…”
        In my experience investigating aircraft accidents/incidents:
        MIM (SINTERED METAL) parts do not “bend” they either shatter into sharp shards, have inelastic zone type break points, or revert to a pile of original powder.

        If you could inspect some of those parts it will look just like some of the Marauder’s trigger parts; typically dull and a “sandblasted” look.

        shootski

  8. I’m still struggling to see the point of this gun. The UK price is in the region of $170. This would buy a budget break barrel which would likely be way more accurate and have more uses.
    Although we don’t get many Daisy guns over here, I do have a Red Ryder and one of the new Model 25’s which from what I can tell so far, do the same as the Oktoberfest for a fraction of the price

    • Ade C,

      Perhaps it has something to do with all the tourists, American, British, French, and various other NATO/OTAN personnel who have shot a Diana 30 BB gun at a Schießbude over the last 1/2 century.

      shootski

    • Ade C, I like a bolt action repeater that doesn’t shoot hard ball bearings but soft lead. And if it looks nice too, then I want it. A high price doesn’t affect my desire, just delays the purchase. 🙂

    • Ade C

      Not saying this is the only reason,, but have you noticed that most pellets are no longer sold in tins of 500. To keep the listed price lower, they are now being sold in 200, 250 pellet per tin (at the same price as the 500 pellet tin five or six years ago). Lead has become more expensive, I guess.

      Steel BBs get you a five thousand shots for about the same price as a five hundred pellet tin. You also get a BB reservoir that holds 100 shots. It has a fairly light cocking effort and a lower velocity.

      This is a plinker that can be used for hours at a time with little effort. These are things that many who buy BB guns like. They are NOT air gunners in the sense of what we might think of the term,, tho they certainly USE airguns.

      This is built for a different mindset than those of us who use pellets. BBgunners aren’t looking for the highest velocity,, nor are they really looking for anything beyond soda can accuracy at 25 foot. For these people,,, the gun will have merit.

      Some people prefer donkeys to horses,,, they have their reasons.
      Ed

  9. BB, and everybody, I had to do it. Couldn’t wait for BB’s accuracy test.
    I ordered one today. It’s even suppose to be here Friday.

    And BB I will wait for your accuracy test before I let you know how mine does.

    I’m still working gazubos of overtime at work so I haven’t been shooting alot. But I’m still shooting good groups when I do. Surprisingly. 🙂

    Can’t wait to get it though.

    • GF1,

      Okay, I was going to wait until the next report to say this but here goes. Remember to elevate the muzzle when you cock the bolt. I read Hi3’s copied comment and I find it difficult to understand why anyone would not know to do that with a rifle that has a gravity-feed magazine, but apparently some do. The other day I was behind a lady who went through a red light 5 seconds after it turned and she was only going 15 mph, so apparently people have better things to do than paying attention to what they are doing.

      BB

          • Gunfun1,

            Good to see it is just that you are BUSY! Hope they are paying you some SOLID Overtime multiples; stay healthy.
            See my Reply to hihihi it will be of interest..

            shootski

          • GF1

            Consider this,, you are engages in a battle and your rifle, for some reason won’t fire. Rather than try to fix it under fire,, you pick up one that your recently killed buddy dropped. You don’t know if he just shot it or just loaded it,, but since there is no powder in the pan, you load it up. It flashes but doesn’t fire,, so you drop it and grab one of the many other deadman’s guns and before you get powder in the pan,, you get shot.

            Now,, some other guy does exactly what you did,, but he grabs the one you just dropped, checks the pan and then loads it,,,, that’s three loads already in that barrel. So, it didn’t have to be the same guy doing all the loading.

            On the other hand,, I have stopped a friend from putting a second charge in his rifle. He was pretty new with flintlocks and didn’t have good habits, yet. Caught him before he put the ball in so it ended well. I guess the same could happen with cap locks, too,, If it could happen on a gun range in the 2000s, then I can see it happening during a battle in the 1800s.

            Ed

          • Edlee has provided a good explanation how that could happen. It makes sense combat stress will cause soldiers to make serious mistakes. Shoot, civilians make plenty just in the course of daily living. That includes goofing up when shooting firearms and airguns.

      • BB
        Glad you said it today. Maybe you saved some unknown owners (to us readers on the blog, some grief). Kind of why I wanted to ask the questions today.
        And yes, people sure drive crazy now days. I think I would be afraid to ride a motorcycle on the street let alone drive a car. You just got to always be watching when you drive.

      • Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier), I have also managed to drive slowly across a red lit junction. 🙁

        I remember my passenger repeatedly shouting something, a pedestrian nearby gesticulating animatedly with an angry face and me, well I wasn’t going to be distracted by all that madness because I was concentrating hard on making sure I navigated safely across !

        At no point had I been aware of any traffic lights whatsoever.
        I have returned several times to that junction and cannot understand it – the lights are in the same place they have always been and where one would expect them to be, clearly visible and obvious.

        It happened and yet I don’t know how, hmm… 🙂

        • hihihi,

          You Sir are my very most favorite Straight Man!
          It could be a case of:

          Inattentional Blindness.

          It was Sherlock Holmes in “The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet” who said, “It is an old maxim of mine that when you have excluded the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”
          There actually is a IB phenomenon about which books have been written.
          It has killed many an Aviator.
          It is also of significant interest to shooters of airguns….

          shootski

          • BB

            That wouldn’t have been after the magic age of 70, would it? I have noticed an increase of Shootski’s IB since I passed that milestone.

            On the other hand,, I’ve notice an equal increase in “Brain Farts” over the same time period. Correlation or coincidence?

            Oh,, and Spock DID say that,, he just didn’t credit it properly.

            Ed

  10. Tom,

    Is this the Diana OKTOBERFESTGEWEHR or the Diana 30 Neo? I am just starting to get up to speed, but is the Oktoberfestgewehr a lower priced, lighter-duty model and the 30 Neo able to see real gallery use but at a significantly higher price (e.g. $1300.00 or more)?

    Michael

    • Michael,

      The Oktoberfest Gewehr is not the Diana 30 Neo. They are different internally and the Oktoberfest has no shot counter. Also Diana says the Neo is built to last — something their model 30 made before the Neo was not capable of, apparently..

      BB

      • Tom,

        In that case anybody of the “Yeah, but it’s cheap wood and cheap metal and won’t last” crowd can be directed to the $1300 model, If these are accurate and well-quality-controlled, but have materials that limit them to 5000, 6000 shots tops, At under $170 I’d buy three of ’em with a coupon: one to stay in its box for my widow to sell, and the other two to shoot into the ground in the meantime.

        I do hope Chinese QC, which had gotten pretty decent with air guns during the last couple years of the 2020s, improves to what it briefly had been.

        Wouldn’t it be something if old air gunners years from now look back nostalgically at the late teens and early 2020s as the Golden Age of Chinese air guns?

        Michael

  11. edlee and all
    I have said before I believe I live in a different airgun world.
    When I offered my definition of an airgunner I tried to include anyone who shoots air powered guns. I may have totally missed the mark if they are only those who shoot high powered extremely accurate pellet rifles, and nothing else.
    I wonder now if I am an airgunner, despite owning over a hundred of them from the likes of an AirForce Condor Bounty Hunter, FX Indy, a handful of Evanix PCP’s and Diana 350 Magnum all the way down to plastic airsoft pistols I get for free when I purchase something like an Airsoft Aires DSR1 and CO2 M200 Cheytac Intervention Sniper Rifle.
    I definitely am an airgun collector more than anything else. But life has managed to keep me from spending as much time shooting as I would like and anticipated in retirement.
    From a friend with Alzheimer’s to a disabled ex-wife, other collections, now having to fireproof 3.3 acres of land every year, keeping track of 20 vehicles and bikes and repairing and maintaining my home, as well as myself! All by myself. Free time is used up with ‘Rest” especially now that I am a bit older.
    Not too much time available to get into serious airgunning perfection. Fact is, I even participate in this Blog while at rest!
    Anybody have extra grandchildren they don’t need?
    Anyone care to follow up on a specific definition of an “Airgunner”?

    • Standardized definitions are always welcome in any discussion,, and essential in any argument. For instance,, Make America Great Again has a meaning as does Build back Better. I see them as saying the same thing,, that some aspects of our country need to be changed for for better. Yet the argument rages on. Especially relevant with the elections being yesterday.

      As I mentioned above,, I separate air gunners from BBgunners in my mind,, but it is possible that the second is simply a subset of the first. If that is the case,, I suppose that airgun collectors could be another subset.

      Ed

      • Well Ed I suppose there will never be a standardized definition of an airgunner with all the diversity in the sport. I understand it is generally applied here to those in the know who are deeply involved in serious shooting and accuracy with them.
        Same with a Coin Collector. Pennys or thousand-dollar Morgan Silver Dollars?

        Perhaps the best definition would be the simplest and most obvious. Someone involved with airguns. Not clear at all but requiring more specific information as to how and always open for interpretation.
        Gained some very helpful information about this airgun today.

  12. BB,
    Have you ever tested a 340BB? I think it was made by Benjamin but could have been Crosman or Sheridan.

    I have always wondered how accurate and powerful they are.

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