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Diana 35 Commemorative

Happy two days after Christmas. Today we read  a second guest blog from reader Cpt. Klotz, whose real name is Stephan. He tells us about a new Diana 35 that his friend let him test for us.

If you’d like to write a guest post for this blog, please email me at blogger@pyramydair.com.

Take it away, Stephan.

Diana 35 Commemorative
By Stephan

Diana 35 Commemorative
The Diana 35 Commemorative is a large and well-crafted air rifle.

This report covers:

  • German spec
  • Performance line
  • Accuracy 
  • Conclusion

This is my second review of a new Diana gun. My friend who bought this and the Diana Twenty-One FBB offered to leave them here for me to play around with and you guys asked for a review of both, so here we go.

German spec

Again, this is a German [F] gun with a power of around 7.5 joule at the muzzle.

Performance line

This rifle is part of Diana’s Performance Line and made in Germany. I will be disappointed if it doesn’t deliver excellent performance.

Diana 35 bluing
The finish and bluing of the metal parts is fantastic.

This one is fairly easy and not as long as the report on the Twenty-One.

a) This is basically a 34 T06. BB has written a lot of good things about them over the years.
b) I basically own the same gun.

My Diana rifle is a 31 Panther that came with the synthetic stock when I bought it around 8 years ago. It was still made in the old Dianawerk in Rastatt. The model was called the 34 Panther in the USA and is the same thing anyway. It is very accurate.

At some point, I swapped out the barrel for one that supports a metal front sight. Later, I also put the rifle in a wooden stock when I got one cheaply as… well… b stock [Ed. — a  blemished or opened box item].

So, no need to explain to you what the 35 is. I think the Commemorative was created to celebrate Diana’s 130th birthday or the fact they have sold a lot of 35s over the decades.

All I can say is that I REALLY like it. The stock looks fantastic and my photo doesn’t really convey that. It’s almost the same shape as my b stock, but much nicer wood with a matte finish and a beautiful grain to it. The 35 also comes with a metal globe front sight and a removable insert. That’s great as it allows you to use pretty much any kind of front sight, including the ring variety for use with a diopter.

Diana 35 front sight
Diana 35 Commemorative front sight.

Diana 35 rear sight
Diana 35 Commemorative rear sight.

That means there is only one question left to answer: Is this new rifle made by German Sport Guns in Ense as good as the older ones made in Rastatt?

The barrel lock is still a little stiff and the cocking action is a little rough. Both will improve just as they did on my now well worn-in 31. The same goes for the firing cycle which is already pretty smooth.

The T06 trigger is great out of the box. I adjusted the one on my rifle to the lightest weight at which I could still feel the second stage. Still, I had no complaints at all about this one out of the box. 

Accuracy 

I mounted my Nikko Stirling Gold Crown Airking 3-9×42 scope on the rifle for accuracy testing. All groups are 10 shot groups shot from a bag rest at 10 meters.

I immediately started shooting decent groups with a new tin of the H&N Sport pellets.

Diana 35 group
H&N Sport pellets are affordable and work well in all of my rifles. This 35 is no exception.

When I switched to an old tin of H&N Finale Match Heavy wadcutters, I shot 9 shots into a really small group. The tenth shot opened the group up a bit but I still think it’s a very good result for a recoiling springer.

Diana 35 Finale Match Heavy old group
H&N Finale Match from an old tin I got with my FWB LP80 pistol.

It was at this point I knew this rifle was on par with my older Diana and Weihrauch HW 35 E.

I also tried new H&N Finale Match Heavies, RWS R10 and Qiang Yuan Olympic pellets. I got very good results with all of them. JSB Exact 4.50mm, H&N Field Target Trophy 4.51 and RWS Super Field also provided good results:

Diana 35 RWS R10 group
RWS R10 group.

Diana 35 New Finale Match Heavy group
H&N Finale Match Heavys from a fresh tin.

Diana 35 Qiang Yuan Olympic group
Qiang Yuan Olympic pellet group.

Diana 35 H&N FTT 4.51 group
H&N Field Target Trophy 4.51mm group.

Diana 35 RWS Super Field group
RWS Super Field group.

Diana 35 JSB Exact 4.50 group
BB once said the 34 required fairly little technique for a breakbarrel springer and I would agree.

You can see that I got good to very good results with a variety of pellets. If I try for a very long time, I could maybe shoot a 10 shot group that is a little smaller, but not much.

Conclusion

The 34 series doesn’t seem to have suffered from the switch to GSG at all.

After the Twenty-One, which is good for the price but didn’t completely satisfy me, this was a welcome change of pace. The 35 Commemorative ticks all the boxes for me and performed well from the start.

It is easy to shoot and very accurate.

At the current price of € 230 [Ed. US $243.97 as of the date of publication], and with the standard features it has, the 35 Commemorative seems to be a very good value.

I can easily recommend this one.

58 thoughts on “Diana 35 Commemorative”

  1. Stephan
    Thank you for your presentation of this one. I try very hard to avoid spending the budget needed for a K 98 but you make it difficult… One thing I don’t understand is why it is priced so differently than the 34.
    Great shooting I must add.
    Have a good day

    • Bill,

      as far as I know, the spring-powered K98 is not a breakbarrel but uses a modified and rotated Diana 48 action. That makes it a fixed barrel, under-lever gun.

      It seems they did a good job with that one, but I haven’t seen one in real life.

      Stephan

      • Stephan
        You said it exactly. These are some the reasons I really want a K 98 some time now. I still like the D 35 Commemorative for other reasons though. Third in my wish list is the side lever AK look alike with the folding stock, the SP 47 in your country.

        • Bill
          Are you talking about the Xisico BAM XS-B3 (AK47)? I have not seen that for sale since Compasseco and possibly Archer Airguns were selling them. I have the all black version with the fold under stock. Can’t remember the official name or even find it on the internet these days. One solid little airgun.

        • Bill,

          I had been on the lookout for the SP47, or BAM XS-B3, or whatever it was marketed as in Britain back then, when I read a review of it in Airgun World sometime in the late 80s or early 90s.

          I found one in a gunshop in Frankfurt in 2019 and was profoundly disappointed when I shouldered the rifle, as the length of pull was so short that it looks to have been designed for a 10 year old child. That was a deal breaker for me.

          • Bob
            Now you know why I called it a solid ‘little’ airgun. The fold under stock is very similar to the one on a real AK47 the butt straightens out flat when completely folded and it rests directly under the forward stock section. It ends at the rear of the forward stock section in pretty much the same place before the butt is flattened out, but it may be a slight bit longer. I will try to dig it out and get a measurement. Not sure exactly where it is or if I still have the China made square dot sight on it. Almost 6AM here and I have not gone to sleep yet. Your only option would be a thick slip-on pad.
            They are small airguns in every way. Folded hip shooters? And not exactly a light pack rifle.

          • Bob
            For the life of me I can’t find mine, but it really would not help. I wanted to look at the point at which they both line up with the receiver when folded but they have different pivot points so the LOP can only be measured against each other in the extended position.
            Did some research. They may be considered different airguns entirely. Mine is called an Industry Brand QB-6, not a Xixico BAM3-A1. Hard Air did a report on it back on 31 Jan 2011 and evidently Archer found a hoard of them around the same time to replace to discontinued BAM 3.
            Looking at pictures, it does appear to have a slightly longer LOP but that’s just my opinion. Found a few pics on a Bing internet search.
            I hope it’s not the one I lent to a friend of mine who passed away, and I forgot about it?

          • Bob,
            Just remembered, I stored the QB-6 in an unused Airsoft airgun box. Question is, which one, and where is it?
            Now I have to find it just to satisfy my curiosity. But not tonight !

        • Bill,

          I looked at the website of one German airgun dealer and they have the SP47 and K98 lined up for you on the same page and just above them, the venerable Baikal MP60 – talk about a one-stop shop! πŸ˜‰

          • Bob
            If only you knew how many times a day I look at this same page. Being European this is my preferred place to shop since they provide excellent service above other reasons.
            Thank you for your concern.

          • Bob
            Sorry about no reply yet on the fold under stock LOP for the SP47. I had an emergency situation come up with an old Navy shipmate with Alsheimer’s. They decided to evict him from his sailboat in the Navy marina here in San Diego. He is getting bad and a danger to himself living there. Try soon.
            Between him and chores for my disabled ex-wife I feel like I have two kids again. Did not plan for this in retirement.

  2. Stephan,

    Thanks for the review of a renewed favorite and in the process allaying fears of further degradation of the Diana brand. You didn’t show it in the pictures but does this model use the new barrel retention system that raised the hopes of many of easily swapping barrels?

    Siraniko

  3. CptKlotz, I like your consistently accurate shooting. πŸ™‚
    If I may, would you also show a pellet on it’s side in your next review please, thanks.

    Am I right to assume that the dimensions, including trigger-to-butt distance, mirror the Diana 34, and that that means they’re the same weight?

      • Bob,

        good question.

        My impression was actually that it was a German model, but who knows.

        My friend wanted to buy a decent air rifle for a good price (here in Germany). So I started comparing prices of guns I know to be good. The HW30S was sold out at that point, the HW50S was more expensive.

        But the 35 Commemorative looked very interesting for the price. Maybe the reason is that the model has been around for a while and German dealers still have it in stock while American ones don’t…

        Stephan

  4. CK,

    I like commemorative guns. I just wish I knew what they were commemorating?
    I once saw a very special D 34 commemorative. It had complete engraving on all the metal parts, maybe even gold leave? As well as a super fancy engraved stock. I believe that it was one of three made for the special occasion.

    I wish there were more things to commemorate!

    -Y

  5. Stephan,

    Thanks for a spiel on this jewel. I have a feeling I am going to regret not getting a Diana 34 T06 when I had the chance. I already regret not gettting the K98 when it was available.

    • RR,

      aren’t the current 350 models the same thing as well? I wonder what name for the same gun they’re going to come up with next year πŸ™‚

      Maybe they really should bring back the 27 with a T06 trigger instead of renaming their products every year and slapping the Diana label on import guns of varying quality…

      Stephan

      • Stephan,

        I believe it was made from the Diana 460 Magnum.

        You also have to keep in mind that Diana is no more. It is cheaper for the conglomerate to “slap” the Diana name on some cheap import than to manufacture something. They are more concerned with profit margin than quality. They bought Diana for the name. They will allow Diana to build a few of the top line models as long as they are making the corporation money.

        Look at the disaster they have created with the 34 EMS. Their marketeers took one of the most famous Diana air rifles and destroyed it. That is why I was bemoaning not getting my hands on a 34 when I had the chance.

  6. Stephan

    Enjoyed your reports and thank you. It is indeed good for the airgun world to know that Diana quality has not changed in the factory switch. I am lucky enough to have the 34 T06, 35 (HyScore) and a 28. Accuracy and quality are similar for all. I don’t have the K98 airgun but do have the real one which gets some action at the rifle range.

    Deck

    • Decksniper, I like the idea of shooting the real deal K98.
      I have a distant lookalike. πŸ™‚

      ——————–
      I noticed some interest in the spring powered Diana Mauser K98 from persons who imagine a quality product. Erm, mine has a few areas of cosmetic shortcomings that I would like to share:

      I think the wood finish is really good but the fit, well, see for yourself (five pictures)… πŸ™‚

        • hihihi,

          MisFIT
          SLOP!
          Come to mind along with a few saltier terms….

          That is criminal not even a little brown wax crayon to mute the SCREAMING RAW wood!
          I have normally seen butt pads be oversized and gunsmith/Stock Maker will grind them DOWN to match the stock dimensions.

          shootski

        • hihihi
          You definitely got shortchanged on your K98 springer. Mine has no raw wood exposed at all. The butt end plate fits perfect. The wood actually seems to be tapered down to fit. The front two clamps are not an exact fit but at least they are centered.
          And speaking of that, the underlever is retained by a spring-loaded cam on the right half that pops out inside the front clamp. If that clamp is rotated a little counterclockwise like in your picture the cam may not be engaging fully allowing the underlever to drop out when fired.
          Question is, did you get an early issue or a later one. My S/N is 20069878. Made in Germany DE 2016. ( Stamped on tube )

        • Hihihi,

          I agree with Shootski. That is unacceptable fit and finish for a $450 gun, if I recall.

          I also have the spring K98. Mine does not have those fit/finish problems at all, especially at the buttplate. It would seem odd that mine came from the factory spot on, but yours did not.

          I wonder how there could be that much variability on the production line?

          I will say that mine shoots great. It is my most accurate springer. I got the .22 cal. Love it.

          StarboatdRower

  7. Stephan,

    Nice review. The 35 Commemorative looks a great buy, especially now that the Diana 34 proper has been largely replaced by the 34 EMS abomination.

    Super that the 35 Commemorative has a tunnel front sight and no fibre optics. It’s just a shame Diana still uses plastic for rear sights, safeties and cylinder end caps.

    Does the 35 have significant barrel droop like the 34?

  8. B.B. and Readership,

    As promised a brief update on the procedure.
    So far the Cataract removal this morning in my Left eye seems to have been very successful.
    The vision improvement, even through the “clear” plastic shield is fantastic.
    The replacement lense used: https://www.jnjvisionpro.com/products/Eyhance
    Is a Mono Focal billed as for distance focus but the technology is changing rapidly so the USA medical bureaucrats will not allow the lense to be called an extended depth of focus (EDOF) Ocular device!
    My Opthalmologists have said they anticipate that I will be able to clearly focus on a front rifle iron sight as well as a front handgun sight even with a extended two hand hold. They will not do my Right eye since my vision is still fully correctable to 20:20 or better. It is a risk-benefit decision by them…perhaps some day if I live that long according to one of the doctors. I can’t ask for more.

    Thank you for your prayers and best wishes.

    shootski

    • Hello Eagle Eye, erm shootski! πŸ™‚

      A long time ago (maybe in the late eighties), my girlfriend was a nurse who worked mainly in eye operations.
      One day she brought home a copy of their cataract operation instruction video.

      I remember being fascinated to see the eye scalpelled open and various other instruments dipping in and out of the eyeball. All fascinating stuff, with supplementary comments by my girlfriend. But the most remarkable memory is that the patient was awake, conscious and aware throughout,
      I hope that things have moved on from then! πŸ™‚

      Anyway, now that you’re post op’ I assume it’s patient time, or time to be patient. πŸ™‚

      • hihihi,.

        Your girlfriend is still correct! “…the patient (shootski) was awake, conscious and aware throughout,
        I hope that things have moved on from then! ”
        They did have an Anethstisiologist in the Operating Theater along with a student Anethstisiologist. They didn’t get to do anything other than join in a lively conversation about sea kayaking.
        Walter Reed is my assigned hospital and the Flagship Military Medical Center in the USA so i am very lucky to get World Class healthcare. Walter Reed is also a teaching hospital with a Medical School on the campus; so i often get to be a teaching aid/”beta” test subject since everything is typically state-of-the-art and the extended campus includes (NIH) the National Institutes of Health.
        It certainly is time to be a patient Patient since my activities are severely, in my opinion, limited by my discharge orders! Bummer, no kayaking, no lifting more than 5 kilo, no this that and ONE REALLY important thing is Verboten for TWO WHOLE WEEKS! NOT to speak of the month long eye drop regimen.
        Mutter, mutter, mutter….

        shootski

      • StarboardRower,

        Thank you for your kind wishes!
        This is all so i can shoot with my non dominant eye.
        Looks like the Right one will not go bionic for a while.
        Smaller groups are always welcomed and my New Years Wish for you and all the rest of the Readership!

        shootski

    • Shootski,

      Good to hear that you are recovering as well as any patient and complaining how you have to baby yourself for a few weeks to give the eye time to heal. Conservative doctors will wait for the patient to be virtually blind before operating on a cataract since there is no 100% guarantee regarding quality of vision after the surgery.

      Siraniko

      • Siraniko,

        Thank you for your reality check.
        I certainly suffered with 6 months of procrastinating on making the decision to have the procedure on my non dominant eye. In the end the inability to land an aircraft using binocular vision for depth perception, to shoot reliably with my left eye only decided the dilemma. My confidence in the Opthalmologist’s honesty on the risks balanced by his outcome record helped a great deal. I also spent some serious time on my knees asking for the guidance on what to do from my Maker.
        Needing only one eye to be done for now helped and if/when the other eye gets done i will know if i remain at least minimally functional with this Left eye.
        I am a miserable patient during the recovery phase.
        So far so good in the early stage of recovery; initial follow-up in the morning will be instructive.

        shootski

        • Shootski
          Morning came here and before reading today’s blog I went through the good news of yesterday. Very happy for you and I hope the follow up will be even better. Don’t rush, the paddle and the sea will be waiting two weeks.
          See you on today’s meeting.

          • Bill,

            The follow-up went superbly in the Opthalmologist’s opinion based on the improvement in vision acuity and degree of clarity. Also, the physical wound healing and postoperative swelling reduction was much better than expected.

            The river is iced in currently so kayaking will be on hold for the time being unless I travel to the Atlantic Coast or this weekend’s weather results in a major thaw.

            shootski

        • Good to see this – pun intended. Would suspect most of us, FM included, are impatient patients. Seems all will be well with you; happy your eyes will keep serving you well in 2023 and beyond. Let’s all resolve to care for our vision and stay on target with that.

    • Shootski,

      So happy for you that things have been looking good, I have seen all your posts up to 2:52 on the 28th.

      Hoping all goes well going forward, yes your new religion is drops without fail truly the key to success.

      Mike

      • Mike in Atl,

        Yup! Mike I have become a Zealot….
        Mike the drops are now just like my Kool Aid.
        I hope it helps others understand what can be a very confusing (by the INTERNET’s “information overload and misdirection”) decision for those of us that need our eyes for shooting airguns and such.

        shootski

        • Shootski,

          I too am having the cataracts invading my left eye, but Dr Dan the eyeball man says lets wait till it gets ugly to do the surgery, I am with him on that. Cannot see in the dark but daytime is ok, so until daylight vision fades we will wait.

          Other problem is a total lack of binocular vision since birth but I have worked the angles thru visual therapy and have learned how to overcome that disability without actually curing it, just learning to deal with it.

          Cataract surgery will no doubt send me on another therapy session to find actual binocular vision, again it will probably be just understanding how to deal with it.

          Mike

  9. Stephan,
    So, it doesn’t have a ton of power…who cares?
    What it does have is what it’s supposed to have…great accuracy!
    Great report; thank you. πŸ™‚
    Blessings to you,
    dave

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