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When too little is just right!

Diana 34
A classic Diana 34 breakbarrel rifle.

This report covers:

  • What’s the problem?
  • Why?
  • So what?
  • What do you do?
  • This blog
  • The point?
  • Next

Today’s report was written for reader RidgeRunner and all others like him for whom most of today’s spring-piston air rifles are just too — well, too much!

The following are his comments to the report Crosman Mark 1 Target with new pellets.

RidgeRunner said, For Sale: Diana 34

I will never, ever attempt to shoot it again, so it needs to find a new home. It is not staying at RidgeRunner’s Home For Wayward Airguns.”

To which reader Decksniper responded, “Sorry to hear it didn’t meet expectations. But I did want to know and thanks for the follow up. Mine would be the last to go because it is too accurate.”

Then RidgeRunner explained, Deck,

Yesterday I wore a leather glove to give my hand a better chance. After trying to zero the scope, which I had to reinstall because it was sliding backwards, I slapped the barrel about five times but could not open it. I quit. I was not enjoying shooting that air rifle. It has to go.”

I am glad you enjoy yours. In someone else’s hands, this may be an extraordinary air rifle. I do not like it though. It is not fun for me to shoot. I will no longer waste my time and energy on it. It is a real shame, as I find the quality to be exceptional. Well, it is not the first airgun to leave RRHFWA. I will do my best to see it finds a good home.”

And then I chimed in, RR,

Before you let her go, have you considered a detune?”

Tomorrow’s report is based on your problem.”

BB”

Followed by an even more incredible, “RR,

Better yet, send her to me and I will tame her for you!

BB”

What’s the problem?

The problem is — some people say they are looking for high velocity from their spring-piston air rifles. Marketing departments are focusing on this as if it was a mandate — the only thing consumers want. And for the most part I have to agree with that assessment. Velocity does sell. But why?

Why?

Velocity sells because it’s a descriptive and objective term. You can state the velocity and, if velocity turns out to be “good,” then the 1,200 f.p.s. air rifle is “better” than the 600 f.p.s. air rifle.

What nobody ever tries to consider is why the higher velocity is better. It just is. It’s difficult to explain why a higher velocity is to be preferred over a lower one, though a case can be made. 

1. Higher velocity means greater power that aids in killing game more effectively.

2. Higher velocity means a flatter trajectory which aids in accuracy at longer distances.

OR DOES IT?

1. Elmer Keith proved in around 1930 that a large, heavy slow-moving projectile is extremely effective on big game. He demonstrated that it was effective on larger animals like bovine bulls. In fact, in one instance a .41-caliber Colt bullet moving out at less than 800 f.p.s. penetrated lengthways through a large animal, head to tail. So slow-moving bullets do work, as well as slower-moving pellets.

And, what are we trying to do? If 9,999 shots out of every 10,000 are at inanimate objects and small pests and only once in blue moon do we shoot at something larger for which the power is needed, why are we letting one ten-thousandth of our total shots define what we shoot?

2. Velocity only aids in accuracy at long range if the airgun is accurate to begin with. High velocity doesn’t guarantee accuracy. In fact, it often mitigates against it.

So what?

So — is there a hue and cry for an accurate lower-powered air rifle? Perhaps. But if so it comes from those in the know, which means the people who have experienced airguns of many kinds and now know what they want. In other words, an educated customer base. Are there enough of them and do they spend enough money for marketeers to be interested?

This is not a good consumer group to target. That’s because the closer you get to them the more they start to squirm. Their final battle cry is, “I would buy one of these today, IF ONLY…

* It came with a wood stock
* It came with a walnut stock
* It came with a laminated stock
* It came in stainless steel
* It came with a front sight that accepted interchangeable inserts
* It came with a peep sight
* It sold for less than (insert a number lower than what the gun sells for today)
etc.

Answer one request and they default to another. Get it? Selling to these guys is like trying to nail a drop of mercury to the wall.

What do you do?

This is where the game called You Bet Your Career begins. The silent majority won’t tell you what they want. The vocal minority has lots to say but no follow-through. You have to figure out what to make to satisfy customers who vote with their wallets and will only tell you when you are wrong.

Build a Custom Airgun

This blog

And that, my friends, is where this blog comes in. We look at such things and decide what we think of them. We are not silent. We say what we mean. So, with that in mind, what can be done for RidgeRunner?

The HW 30 and 30S rifles fill the bill for what he wants, as well as the CZ 634.  But what if he doesn’t own one of those rifles? What if he has a Diana 34? Can anything be done? Probably.

His rifle can probably be tuned down to be easier to cock, easier to open and more fun to shoot. Accuracy should remain where it is. Power will drop, but it doesn’t have to go away altogether. 

This is where reader Michael can step forward and tell everyone about his modern Walther LGV breakbarrel that I tuned for him — twice! My first try was just to inject Tune in a Tube to get rid of the twangy-ness, but too much velocity went away with it. My second try was to fully disassemble the rifle and clean and re-lubricate it. We got back most of the velocity and the rifle still shot dead smooth. It was a very good tune.

Is that what RidgeRunner’s Diana 34 needs? Probably not. It probably needs a lower-powered mainspring, and a lighter detent spring.

The point?

The point is — knowledgeable airgunners don’t want or need all that power. What they want and need are airguns that are fun to shoot. RidgeRunner said as much. Such things are possible for those who want them.

Next

Before he does anything RidgeRunner needs to tell all of us what it is that he wants in this rifle. If it has to be all negatives, we can work with that. 

* Too heavy
* Too hard to cock
* Shoots with too much vibration
* Shoots with too much recoil

The recoil, vibration and cocking effort can be dealt with by tuning. Some power will be lost, maybe even a significant amount. The weight is a tougher issue that requires modifications I am not qualified to make — at least not to someone else’s airgun.

The point is — RidgeRunner — something can be done. Of course you can still sell the rifle and fix the problem that way. The choice is yours, and I am not trying to pressure you to do it my way, despite how this reads.

Tomorrow I’ll tell you all what I did.

56 thoughts on “When too little is just right!”

  1. B.B.,
    I hope RidgeRunner takes you up on your offer and ships the Diana 34 to you so you can “tame her.”
    The results of that would make for a most interesting set of reports for all of us readers. 🙂
    Blessings to you,
    dave

      • B.B., this feels like a Friday blog. A lot to unpack here, but I’m at work and need to get busy.

        Ridgerunner, I recall you were excited about the Diana 34 because you wanted a powerful .177 to fill a gap in your collection, if I recall correctly. That and you got it for a great price. I’m interested to know if I remember correctly and what your criteria would be to make this a keeper. You got this used, right? So I’m surprised it is so difficult to break open. I’m really interested in a detailed report on how B.B. would evaluate and de-tune.

        • RR & BB: As a curmudgeonly springer guy, I will share my experience with my RWS Model 36, which, if I get the history of it at all correctly, is a sexy M-34, ball bearing trigger and all. I confess, openly, that it is my first adult air gun actually purchased by me, and one that gave me fits AT FIRST…

          I didn’t know, back in 1989, that springers are not like the Benjamin Comp that I learned to shoot with on my uncle’s farm back in the early 60’s. It didn’t just go “bang” after a bunch of “arm waving” but doing so perfectly still. No…it owned only ONE arm wrangle and that was significant. Then, it shot and actually kicked into the shoulder, but most annoyingly buzzed the cheek and still does… I also didn’t know other important things like…

          Forget accuracy for the first500 count tin or two of pellets. Get ones that fit the breech snuggly and just shoot them after you first clean the bore to get the manufacturer’s trash out of it. Don’t expect a 10 ring; just try and get in the black somewhere!

          Lube that detent spring; that’s absolutely critical. Indeed, my first dealer, Charles Trepes of now defunct Precision Airgun Sales & Service in eastern Cleveland said that the only tool that RWS would not allow him to have was the one that fixes the ball bearing in the crimped housing – and, in those days, he was an official RWS repair and sales shop. therefore, he said, KEEP IT WELL LUBRICATED! BTW, the slap to the barrel has to be crisp and meaningful on the order of Will Smith to Chris Rock.

          A few thousand shoots and repeated tightening of the stock screws (with care not with Popeye’s forearms) will cause a marvelous transition. Things will begin to self-polish. After a couple of 500 count tins of cheaper pellets (without the ego hurt of scattered rounds), it will be time to find the real ones that it likes. Then stick with them…

          About that pesky RWS obsession with the 11mm ramp. I’ve gone the marathon with the darn things; even to the point of taking grit from my bench grinder and tightening the jaws down on that on the ramp. It predictably polished the ramp as the scope moved merrily down the thing. I’ve found that there are only two things to stop it; a scope ring with a stop pin (doesn’t matter if a single or double rings), that fits the holes in the top of the ramp. Or…make a scope or peep sight chassis stop using a piece of steel strapping with a hole for the rear ramp screw (not EVER one of the ramp rivets!) and then make a 3/16″ inch cut on either side where the steel strapping piece is wider than the void between the scope or peep base and the jaws; bend the two outer pieced up at a right angle, shove the center “tongue” under the scope ring or peep base and tighten the whole thing down. Surprisingly the springy nature of the steel strapping material and its thinness makes for a great stop using the rear screw as the anchor. The bit of springiness seems to absorb the recoil energy. Stuff doesn’t move thereafter (well, at least to the rear).

          Now, about scopes on magnum springers….I have them on a couple of brutes, but I have finally come to the conclusion that given practical air gun ranges, scopes are a bit of unnecessary overkill especially on violent springers. And YES, I have several scopes on such rifles – including a Model 34 Panther in .22. What I am finding is that a quality Williams Peep with an adjustable Merit Disc is just about perfect for the springers, They don’t have the mass of a scope and move less and the steel strapping trick stops any movement cold. The Merit Disc allows aperture adjustment for my post-cataract eyeballs to get rid of the fuzzies and keep the sight picture POA nicely centered in the eye.

          Yes, scopes are great for us older fellows with presbyopia (literally, “old eyes”) and cataracts, but within the meaningful range of an air gun, since I don’t do Olympic Competition, the high quality peep works. Full disclosure is that air pistol, on the other hand, now necessitates a pistol scope which has little magnification but the ability to put the reticles flat on the target in the sight picture.

          Tom Gaylord has written somewhat extensively about the artillery hold, so I won’t preach a second sermon, but with a springer you MUST learn it. Once it becomes second nature, just allowing the piece to do the Cleveland Thing (to shake-rattle-and-roll), you won’t notice the twang, the buzz and the shoulder beating so much (with the possible exception of my Hatsan 135, but that’s another story).

          Now, turning about to the point of Tom’s article today, I agree that the velocity race is just not what it is cracked up to be. I purchased a somewhat rare (apparently?) Diana 430L under lever when Airguns of Arizona picked up a pallet of them somehow. It is rated for 830 FPS, if I remember correctly, but I do know it’s a 12 Ft Pd rifle. Of all the springer air arms, it is becoming one of my favorites to shoot. It is intensely accurate, doesn’t sting, is good looking and just a pleasant rifle that makes me a better shot.

          I totally get Tom’s point about speed not being what makes an air rifle great since owning the 430L: the ability to consistently put rounds down range right where they ought to be is THE thing! It doesn’t matter how fast it gets there; it matters if when it arrives it is where it is supposed to be. Indeed, I learned a long time ago to shoot the heaviest pellet I can out of my RWS M-36 to stay under the speed of sound, and that has served me very well with my heirloom piece – the granddad in the arms locker.

          So Ridgerunner, I would not be too hastey about dumping the Model 34. It will loosen up, smooth out and shoot well and you’ll gain some physical fitness in your cocking arm! Drinking wine on the first day in the cask is rather premature; like a good wine, a good springer takes some aging….

          • What do you lube the detent spring with, and how do you get it past the ball to the spring?

            Also can you post a picture of your metal strap scope stop, please?

            I’m a big fan of peep sights. I have to get one of those adjustable merit discs and an adapter so it works with the Williams sight.

            • Roamin Greco: I’ll try and draw the strapping thing as I’d have to disassemble the thing where I have it. I will do this when my daughter isn’t hounding me to finish hanging her new kitchen cabinets…. If you are one FB, I’m there as Lance Franke. PM me and I’ll send it off….

              All one has to do to lube the spring behind the ball bearing is use some RWS lube, probably any quality oil will do that doesn’t gum up, and put a drop on the side of the ball bearing. Capillarity will take care of the rest, If you leave the rifle open, you don’t have to even cock it all the way, you can then position it in a muzzle downward attitude to help the oil migrate. I lube my detent spring and ball (or wedge on some of my springers) each time I do the drops to the barrel hinge points. IT DOESN’T TAKE MUCH; JUST A DROP OR TWO. If you over do it, it will just run out and it will let you know – trust me, my early lubrication enthusiasm was “corrected” by weeping oil on the connecting arm…

              The Merit Disc doesn’t need an adapter. It screws into the standard Williams chassis. The only problem is finding a washer between the Williams chassis and the disc. I used a small fiber one that fit perfectly. It also provided enough friction so that turning the adjusting part of the Merit Disc didn’t unscrew the whole thing from the chassis. Blue Loctite would probably do the same thing, but one doesn’t want that anywhere near the mechanism of the adjustable iris of the disc.

              Hope this helps.

              • Thank you, that is extremely helpful. One doesn’t always remember to lube that detent ball and spring. I will have to give all my springers a bit of attention. And thanks also for the tips on the merit aperture.

    • OhioPlinker,

      I was told by Pyramyd AIR that the cost of the Bronco has risen so high that they feel it’s priced out of the market.

      BB

  2. Well we could limit all airguns to 12 fpe!
    That is all I need, other people may want more….

    Well we could limit all airguns to 12 fpe.
    That is all I need, others may need/want more.

    -Y

    y

    • 12 FPE for a sproinger sounds great. I really do think the Brits are on to something there. If you simply have to have more, you can go with a PCP.

  3. RR,

    Which calibre is your Diana 34? I’m guessing .177.

    If that’s the case, swapping the barrel for a .22 might make for a more pleasant shooting experience.

    • Bob,

      The actual shooting is not the problem. It has a very nice trigger and I do not notice any vibration. The problem is breaking it open and cocking it. This old, fat, bald-headed geezer does not have the arm strength of Hercules.

      • RR

        I had the pleasure of meeting you at the Newton show. There is no way you should have any difficulty opening the barrel from its detent on a Diana 34 You are not a frail man. When new mine was quite stiff but even then one slap would open it. I’m glad you are sending it to BB. We all will be finding out why the barrel lockup is so unruly.

        Deck

      • RR, you do not need to have the arm strength of Hercules for our hobby. However, you should try to keep your muscles reasonably well toned and “springy.” Recommend you work out 2-3 times a week with a little bit of weight – even 10 lb dumbbells would be good. Or do pushups and then add pullups as your arm and chest muscles improve. It will make a difference. And do not neglect your legs. Take daily walks if nothing else. That’s a tuneup we can all use.

        No doubt B.B. will “tame” your Diana. Glad you are not giving up on it. You sound like FM did with his MGs at various times during ownership – yet stubborn FM refused to give up on ’em and found that the more he learned to work on them himself, the better they ran. Certainly his patience improved, something which has helped in many areas. 😉 And by the way, speaking of power, they were fun enough even at less than 100 horsepower.

        FM is planning to make it to Newton this year and hope you and perhaps other members of this blog-tribe will be there.

        • FM,

          No, I am not Hercules, but that thing is way too hard to open. I can hope BB tames it down a bit. If not, it will find a new home, even if I take it to Newton.

          I would happily trade this 34 for a MG, even a Midget.

          I am planning on being at the Newton show on the Saturday.

          • Funny – this pint-sized type drove a ’68 Midget for his first sports car. Just rightly-sized for FM! 🙂

            Dang it! Friday is right now FM’s show day; committed to being at our friends in Beech Mtn. Saturday. 🙁

            • FM,

              Beech Mountain, NC? I have been there! It was many moons ago with a Kite Festival.

              The Midget is a wee bit small for me, but I would rather have one than no MG.

      • You also said the scope walks back on you. Is it sliding back in the rings or are the rings sliding back? I would suggest you send the gun with the scope so B.B. can diagnose the entire set up for us.

        I am thinking a lot about scopes and rings lately. What base(s) if any are you using with your ’34, and what rings and scope? How does everything fit you as far as your cheek weld and seeing through the scope? The reason I ask is because I have a Diana 350 Magnum T05 in .22 that does not walk back due to a UTC dovetail to Weaver base that overhangs the dovetail. The issue I have is everything is too high without a pad on the comb to raise my face. I need to find the right pad or lower rings if that one is going to stay.

  4. Tom,

    “. . . What are we trying to do? If 9,999 shots out of every 10,000 are at inanimate objects and small pests and only once in blue moon do we shoot at something larger for which the power is needed, why are we letting one ten-thousandth of our total shots define what we shoot?”

    Very well said. A month or so ago I found myself drooling over a Hatsan’s Model 135QE Vortex for sale at an auction site. It was in .25, and the price was seductively low. But then I snapped out of it, remembering that I shoot feral soda cans and paper in my backyard.

    “Higher velocity means a flatter trajectory which aids in accuracy at longer distances. Or does it?”

    I remember a comment you made in the blog perhaps ten years ago. A reader described a particular air rifle of his as having a “rainbow trajectory.” You responded, “A rainbow trajectory doesn’t matter if you know your gun.”

    It is good to read these kernals of wisdom now and again.

    Michael

  5. BB,

    I will indeed send this Diana 34 to you to detune and write a detailed blog about it. I gave serious thought to detuning it myself but decided to put my efforts into other airgun projects I have.

    The main problem is that it takes a real good whack to break it open. The lock-up bearing spring is way too strong, I looked at that, but if the tension is adjustable, it will require a total disassemble.

    Another issue is that it is just too powerful for my needs. I personally think that the Brits are really onto something when they limited their sproingers to around 12FPE. Sadly, their government carried that power level over to PCPs. If I want more power, I can pull out my .457 Texan LSS.

    I really like the weight and feel of this air rifle and the quality is top shelf, most especially for a “beginner level” air rifle.

    Be sure to give a good look around inside the box. You will find a little accessory for your Diana 35. 😉

    • RR,
      Have you ever considered taking a half round jewelers file, or whatever works, to the ball detent to create a ramp for the ball to slide out easier?
      Just be careful not to take it too far and render it useless. A little at a time.

      • Bob M,

        It is on its way to BB right now. He said it needed a lighter ball spring and I am hoping he will detune it to around 12 FPE. That will give it enough umph to pop the bushy-tailed tree rats and other small critters, yet tame the recoils, twists and vibrations way down.

        It has a sweet T05 trigger. I am thinking of removing that automatic safety though. That would not be hard to do and likely get rid of that annoying feature.

  6. I have a half dozen or so “Magnum” springers. Some of which I do not like to shoot at my age, and some were just because I could afford them for plinking as well. I don’t spend hours shooting them.

    I was looking for something to replace a .22 Cal rifle for pesting, having a relatively shorter range, my property.
    I figured I could use a heavier pellet and have a flatter trajectory. The accuracy I thought would be okay for say 50 yards at most. More like 30. They were replaced for use with PCP’s.

    Now they are just something to play with. Just like all the rest and I really have no need for more with PCP’s moving in. CO2 and pumpers take care of plinking.

    Since I do not spend a lot of time target shooting, I have no real need for a mild-mannered extremely accurate, quality, springer. That can be said for most all of the airguns I own, but they are fun to shoot, like most, and enhance any collection.

    • I have some pretty mild mannered early sproingers. They are doing around 6 FPE. If I can get this Diana 34 at about 12FPE, it will be bridging the gap between the older gals and my PCPs.

      You might give some thought to a .22 Discovery/Maximus. They are light and fairly accurate out to about 50 yards and easy to fill with a hand pump. They push about 20 FPE, plenty enough for small critters.

      • RR
        I was just offering a reason why I got those magnum springers and like I said PCP’s have replaced the need for them now, especially the self-contained pump-up PCP’s I have. I do have a Wildfire PCP also.

        • I do understand. Once upon a time I had a very powerful compound bow. My torn shoulder decided I needed to get rid of it.

          I quit hunting back in 1985. I do not need a lot of power these days either. I do have my ,457 Texan LSS and a nice Barnett Crossbow, just in case. 😉

          • RR
            Well, one thing old has taught us for sure. “Just in case” is far better than “Wish I had.”
            I have a lot of just in case equipment acquired over the years.
            Probably why they call us “Preppers”. 😉

  7. I detuned a 16 foot pound TX200 in 22 last weekend. I could not get decent groups out of it. Just to much movement when fired. Simply clipping two full coils and using tune in a tube dropped it down to a smooth 13.8 foot pounds. The next four groups shrunk down to all touching at 25 yards. A much more pleasant shot and cocking cycle. Night and day difference. Now enjoyable to shoot.

    • Gunfun1 did very much the same thing to his. He really likes the way it is now. You just do not need all of that power in a sproinger. I do not believe they are really designed for it. If you need a lot of power, go to a PCP.

  8. “Velocity sells because it’s a descriptive and objective term. You can state the velocity and, if velocity turns out to be “good,” then the 1,200 f.p.s. air rifle is “better” than the 600 f.p.s. air rifle.”

    I experienced this not too long ago before finding this blog. I was in the store looking at the airguns and the only data screaming at me on the colorful boxes was “1300 fps!” “1600 fps!” My sense of logic and value says well if I’m going to spend $159.99 I should get the best value so I’ll go with 1600, because that’s 10 fps per dollar and the other gun is more expensive per fps. What would be nice is a different measuring stick: what if the box said: “guaranteed to put 10 shots inside an inch at 20 yards with enough power for hunting rabbits and squirrels–test target included.” A hunter can appreciate usable accuracy and power. After all, I would not buy a .300 Weatherby Magnum over a .308 Winchester just because the Weatherby achieves a higher velocity.

    What if the box said, “match grade accuracy in a backyard friendly package; perfect for plinking and target shooting out to 15 yards.” Hey my back yard is right up to my neighbir’s fence, so I have to be careful to keep the pellets in my own yard. That Magnum springer should like it would zip through 3/4 inch plywood, but this less powerful gun may be just the ticket.

    What if the box said “endorsed by 9 out of 10 NRA youth shooting instructors.” That was my market segment just a couple of years ago. I settled on the Umarex Embark after reading B.B. reviews. Nothing else at Wallyworld seemed to be geared to teaching kids how to shoot.

      • All I can say is (1) “match” may have already become a meaningless term; Gamo sells “match” pellets that are anything but, and (2) I think you get my point: airguns should compete on some other objective factor other than exaggerated velocity claims.

        • Roamin Greco,

          Totally agree with your box label improvement ideas.

          Couldn’t resist commenting about typical Big Box buyer shooting skills ;^)

          shootski

          • I loaned RG a Diana 50 a while back. He knows what a shooter should be. No, you will not find it at WallyWorld.

            The Embark was not a bad one to start with.

            • The Embark should have been a winner, but I am convinced that mine suffers from a bore and a dovetail that are out of alignment. There’s just enough windage adjustment in the peep sight on it when cranked to the max, but forget about plinking with it at varying distances. It also had a terrible and as far as I can tell, nonadjustable trigger with too much travel and little predictability once the creep smoothed itself out. Others were able to perform surgery on their triggers, but I know my limitations.

              Diana’s Vintage Model 23 or 22 would be fine starter guns and enjoyable by adults for informal fun.

  9. RidgeRunner,
    First off, let me agree with you in that I would just sell the gun and move on. If BB wants to detune it for you it would be interesting to all of us to see how it goes.

    An easy way to detune a gun it to just leave it cocked. You could do something similar with the detent to permanently reduce the strength of that spring.

    David Enoch

  10. B.B.,

    Today’s Blog is certainly not written for an airgunner like me. I hunt some bigger stuff.
    “And, what are we trying to do? If 9,999 shots out of every 10,000 are at inanimate objects and small pests and only once in blue moon do we shoot at something larger for which the power is needed, why are we letting one ten-thousandth of our total shots define what we shoot?”
    That is why you need to KNOW the purpose you intend for that airgun before you purchase it and then stick to that use. I think RidgeRunner knew what he wanted going in on the Diana purchase but doesn’t like having to beat on the barrel (rubber mallet time!) to start the cocking stroke. Perhaps someone in Assembly put the wrong spring in the detent? The detent catch slot is not formed to specification? It isn’t a SIG ASP20… couldn’t resist that one!
    I will now posit a reason for wanting the ENERGY on that one shot out of ten thousand. You need that ENERGY to do the job humanely; at longer ranges velocity reduces the TOF (Time Of Flight) to the target which lowers the chances of a miss or worse a wounded animal that runs off to die a slow death.
    That is the reason some of us want the F=MA on every shot, for practice and the much more infrequent kill shot.

    shootski

  11. “When too little is just right!”
    Well, I can tell you when.
    Take a look at the pic below; it shows 3 airguns, and their usual targets.
    At the top is a Daisy Buck; it can hit eyedrop bottles, standing up, at 10 meters.
    (While my Red Ryder hits 300 fps for 1 fpe, this only makes 260 fps…a piddlin’ 3/4ths of an fpe.)
    Next is the HW30S; 7.5 fpe; it can usually hit a .22 hull at 15 yards, but it will never miss the end of a .38 SPL hull.
    At the bottom is the Dragonfly Mark2; 10 pumps=13.5 fpe; it can hit the eyedrop bottle end-on out to 30 yards.
    So, which one gets the most use? (Hint: I’m in rural Georgia, and it’s summer time.)

    The winner is the $14 Daisy BB gun, ‘cuz it’s grillin’ time!
    And my wife does not want any lead anywhere near food prep areas.
    Hence, for every shot from the Mark2, I fire hundreds from the HW30, but thousands from the Daisy!
    I never like to leave the grill while cooking; and I don’t play with my phone either.
    Yet I will throw a can from the deck; then, between flipping steaks or burgers, shoot it and flip it end over end.
    I keep shooting BBs till the can is out of range…by then, the food is usually done anyway. 😉

    • Note: I had to do some sight twisting and filing to get that Daisy to shoot straight.
      Also, the trigger pull is REALLY heavy, but predictable.
      I wish I could say it’s lightened up over many thousands of shots…but I really don’t think so. 🙂

  12. i just want an underlever or sidelever spring piston pellet rifle with open sights and medium power, with better out of the box quality than a b3. why that is too much to ask for i will never understand. i’m willing to bet it’s not something i’ll ever see though. guess i’m doomed to settle for my .177 P1 and .22 hw45, both with scopes and adjustable stocks. i would would be much happier with a rifle or two with open sights. c’est la vie.

    edit: for reference all i shoot is paper, knockdowns, and spinners at around 10 yards

    • Look for an HW30S or Beeman R7 on sale or refurbished and treat yourself. I bought a very gently used R7 a couple of years ago and it will give me 0.2 inch groups at 10 yards with a very lightly set trigger, as soon as the sights are on, a gentle touch and the pellet goes where it was pointed. I have a vintage R7 that I may sell soon. If you want slightly more power, look to the HW50. They are all heirloom guns.

      • i’m in the market for sub 600fps and have a personal aversion to break barrels, simply as a personal preference. i’m sure they’re fine, lots of people have them and like them. i’ve just never had one and more than likely never will. i suppose i’m too niche of a market for any manufacturer to cater to.

  13. Oh sorry, I read your post too quickly. I don’t know of any low to mid powered underlevers or side levers in production, but you might find a used one on line or at an airgun show. Otherwise, you might be able to detune a Magnum with a weaker spring.

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