Home Blog  
Education / Training RidgeRunner’s Diana 34 project: Part Five

RidgeRunner’s Diana 34 project: Part Five

Diana 34 RR
RidgeRunner’s Diana 34.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

This report covers:

  • The kit
  • Spring grease
  • Old spring guide
  • This rifle is brand new!
  • After the tune
  • Safety issue
  • Velocity
  • Cocking effort
  • A word about Vortek
  • Summary

Today we’re going to tune reader RidgeRunner’s Diana 34 with a Diana PG4-Steel tune kit. I knew this kit was modular but I forgot how modular. It took me about 90 minutes to install the last (non-Vortek) tune in this rifle. Today took 23 minutes. I know because I timed it. And pictures were taken during that time, too.

Now, Diana 34s are not difficult to work on if you have a mainspring compressor, but it’s next to impossible without one. Fortunately I have a good one that B-Square used to sell. Somebody is missing the boat by not remaking that compressor! However, here’s the deal. All the guys who say today they would pay $250 for a nice compressor like this one will run and hide if one is actually sold. Mainspring compressors are like colonoscopies; you know you need one but nobody wants to get in line.

The kit

This PG4 kit comes with a mainspring, a steel spring guide, a top hat for the piston a small jar of grease and the instructions.

Diana 34 PG4 kit
This is how the Vortek PG4 kit arrives.

Diana 34 PG4 parts
And here are the parts. The spring guide is on the right is steel and houses the back of the mainspring. The white top hat on the left fits inside the Diana factory piston. I didn’t have to take the barrel off because this kit just slides inside! The grease is for the exposed spring coils, because those inside the spring guide are already lubed.

I have installed several of these Vortek tune kits, but this is my first exposure to the PG-4 Steel. Years ago I learned a useful expression from the Springman, Jim Maccari . When a spring guide was on the mainspring tight he called it “nailed on.” This PG4 is certainly that! On both ends the mainspring is either on or in the guide incredibly tight!

Spring grease

The kit arrives with the rear part of the mainspring that’s inside the steel guide already greased. 

Diana 34 PG4 greased
The mainspring coils inside the spring guide are already greased.

At this point I was debating whether to use the brown grease that Vortek always sends with their kits or the red grease like Tune in a Tube. I opened the small jar of grease and what to my wondering eye should appear but RED GREASE! Apparently Tom Gore has upgraded to the tacky red grease, leaving me with no decision to make.

Diana 34 PG4 grease
It’s not necessary to choose between greases, as this Vortek kit comes with tacky red grease.

Old spring guide

I told you wrong in Part 3 when I said the original spring guide was broken. It wasn’t. It looked that way but on close inspection this time I see that there really is a thick black washer that fits over the base of the spring guide. It hasn’t broken off the guide’s base like I thought. The washer is beveled to accept the spring guide. 

The mouth of that black plastic spring guide was bent over and deformed by the piston rod from cocking. It would have straightened itself out in time by pushing the plastic out of the way, but I fixed it by lightly reaming the end that the piston rod fits into. 

This rifle is brand new!

RidgeRunner — I have discovered why this 34 was hard to break open. The rifle is brand new. It has never been broken in! The ball bearing is still stiff and needs exercise to work in. Sometimes it breaks open easier than other times for me, and that is a sure sign she’s breaking in. I remember having similar problems with a Beeman C1 made by Webley and with several older Gamo breakbarrels. This one also needs lubrication that I will do.

I went online and researched this issue and discovered that several owners report the same thing — a rifle that’s extremely hard to break open. After a break-in they report that the same rifle breaks a lot easier.

Stock Up on Shooting Gear

After the tune

Wow! From the first shot I can tell you this is a very nice tune! I estimated it took no more than 27 pounds to cock and perhaps less. I waited until after the velocity test to test the cocking effort.

The rifle now shoots very smoothly, but I can feel a pulse from the piston lunging forward and then stopping. There is no vibration! This is a fun rifle to shoot. It’s what I wanted for RidgeRunner. This 34 is larger than my HW 30S and it recoils more, but the amount of vibration, which is none, is the same. Only a TX200 Mark III is smoother at this power level, and that’s due to the design of the TX piston.

Safety issue

After firing the rifle several times (and it’s so easy to cock that it’s like eating peanuts) the safety refused to disengage. I took the barreled action out of the stock and could see nothing wrong with the trigger. But when taking off the safety it helps to push it both in and up with your thumb at the same time. Sort of wipe it up. It goes off lightly and easily and is off when it barely sticks out of the black plastic end cap.

Diana 34 PG4 safety
The safety is off in this photo.


Once again this isn’t really a test of this Diana 34. It’s a confirmation of the rifle’s performance after installing these new parts. I tested it after the first tune in Part 4 and what we saw wasn’t what we wanted. The velocity with Crosman Premier 10.5-grain domes started out at 921 f.p.s. and dropped in a more-or-less straight line to 759 f.p.s. after just 13 shots. The rifle vibrated like all of the older Diana 34s did and the cocking effort was 32 pounds. Let’s see how it is now.

Wowie, wow, wow wow! RidgeRunner, this is the nicest Diana 34 I have ever shot. I lubed the ball bearing detent and the rifle now breaks open as easily as my HW 30S! Here are two strings of shots.


The average for this string is 655 f.p.s.. At that speed the 10.5-grain Crosman pellet puts out 10.01 foot-pounds at the muzzle. There is a 24 f.p.s. difference between the slowest and fastest shot, but as I look at this string I can see a trend. This tune is breaking in! Let’s see a second ten shots with the same pellet.


The average for this string is 678 f.p.s. If you couldn’t see it before you sure can now. This tune is breaking in. At the average velocity this pellet now generates 10.72 foot-pounds at the muzzle. The low to high variation is 29 f.p.s. Still breaking in. This pellet is heavy and lighter pellets develop more power in springers. This tune will get up to around 12 foot-pounds with a 7.3 grain pellet, and even this one will break 11 foot pounds in time.

Cocking effort

This rifle now cocks with 25 pounds of effort. You read that right — 25 pounds! I am so pleased.

A word about Vortek

I said it before but it bears repeating. Tom Gore, the owner of Vortek, is an airgunner. Better still — he is a spring gunner. He understands. This PG-4 Steel tune-up kit is the finest one I have ever tested for a Diana and I am thrilled that I also bought one for my HW50-S. That will get that rifle back to what it was before Weihrauch tried to turn it into a mini R9. I will probably also put one of these in my Diana 45. I can’t wait to see what that one does!


This was a brief excursion into the world of “make mine better.” And I want to thank reader RidgeRunner for trusting me with this pristine spring rifle.

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

33 thoughts on “RidgeRunner’s Diana 34 project: Part Five”

  1. BB,

    THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU! What you have done to that 34 will most likely mean it has a permanent home here at RidgeRunner’s Home For Wayward Airguns. I can hardly wait until she is home again.

    Very likely I will replace that front globe sight with a Weihrauch, although I will likely give that perlkorn globe a good tryout first. This gal may end up with a low powered scope on it also. I am already getting the feeling she is going to be my go-to for short ranges.

    I still have to find new homes for some of these gals. It is getting pretty crowded around here. I guess I will have to put a more serious effort into such. Really, it is hard to see any of them move out and go to a new home. Just so you folks out there do not waste your time and mine, there are only two people who can get there hands on this air rifle now. One of them has already been trying it out. 😉

  2. Just so you folks out there in airgun land know, it is my intention to write a guest blog or two concerning the further adventures of this gal here at RRHFWA.

    • I thought they had been discontinued too. I’ve been trolling for a secondhand one with no luck so far. Thanks for the link. And congrats to you on your tuned up Diana 34.

      If you are going to do guest blogs, I would really like to see the workings of that trigger.

  3. Would not let that Diana walk away from Casa FM either, if it resided here, which it doesn’t. It’s getting to be Casa HW around here in any case.

      • RR,

        I could cry when I see what they have done to the HW35E stock. Its elegant, classic finger grooves are gone, replaced with an advertising billboard pressed into the forearm.

        Some people may love the new design, and good luck to them, but to me it’s the New Coke of Weihrauch stocks.

        • If a picture is worth a thousand words…… Coming from me they would all be bad. I actually got a little queasy when I saw that, compared to the traditional hw35 stock.
          I have an hw54 El barracuda
          That wears an hw35 stock. Comparatively that one is the Mona Lisa….. The new one is just a moan.
          One man’s opinion Frank B

          • Frank,

            You have a HW Barracuda? Wow! Those are extremely rare. Lucky you!

            How much muzzle energy does yours produce, with and without ether?

            Maybe the new style HW35E stock will grow on me eventually, but I am very glad I bought an old style one a couple of years ago.

            The finger grooves, as well as giving the rifle its ultra-cool 1950s looks, are also very comfortable to the touch and condusive to linear recoil when held lightly.

            • Hi Bob Ryan!
              Like all my air guns the barracuda has a crazy story.
              I actually purchased it from an airgun collector in Canada.
              I am in Huntsville Alabama.
              In other deals we have explored the difficulty level of sending an air gun North to Canada. Trust me it’s quite complicated.
              A truly ironic twist….. He shipped the barracuda here
              With zero difficulty!
              I was thrilled when I got it because all the metal work was pristine. The bummer was
              This was a rifle that clearly rode in an old school back window of the truck rifle rack.
              To quote Tom it looks like it had been chewed on by angry beavers.
              To soothe my aesthetic sensibilities, I purchased a beautifully figured hw35 stock
              Which it now wears.
              I cannot quote muzzle energy numbers right now. I am currently physically limited as to what is possible.
              If you care to discuss this further or wish to give it a new home……
              Please hit me up at Frank bhsv
              @I would love to hear from you and send some pics!

  4. RG,

    I will try to remember to show the trigger assembly when I do one.

    They had been discontinued for a time. They are really nice working mechanisms. The price has more than doubled since I bought mine, but it is most worth it if you are going into a sproinger. There are very few it will not work with.

    I guess this one is a good alternative, but will not work with such air rifles as this one.


  5. Ridge runner….. Whatever will you do.
    This one is coming back but it is no longer wayward. I hope it gets along with the others.lol
    Hope you had a great Independence Day!
    I honestly think of you anytime one of my old springers makes me smile.
    Of course I think of Tom as well.
    I owe most of my experience with airguns to his mentorship.
    Enable enable enable. Frank B

Leave a Comment

Buy With Confidence

  • Free Shipping

    Get FREE shipping on qualifying orders! Any order $150+ with a shipping address in the contiguous US will receive the option for free ground shipping on items sold & shipped by Pyramyd AIR during checkout. Certain restrictions apply.

    Free shipping may not be combined with a coupon unless stated otherwise.

    View Shipping Info

  • Shipping Time Frame

    We work hard to get all orders placed by 12 pm EST out the door within 24 hours on weekdays because we know how excited you are to receive your order. Weekends and holiday shipping times will vary.

    During busy holidays, we step our efforts to ship all orders as fast as possible, but you may experience an additional 1-2 day delay before your order ships. This may also happen if you change your order during processing.

    View Shipping Times

  • Shipping Restrictions

    It's important to know that due to state and local laws, there are certain restrictions for various products. It's up to you to research and comply with the laws in your state, county, and city. If you live in a state or city where air guns are treated as firearms you may be able to take advantage of our FFL special program.

    U.S. federal law requires that all airsoft guns are sold with a 1/4-inch blaze orange muzzle or an orange flash hider to avoid the guns being mistaken for firearms.

    View Shipping Restrictions

  • Expert Service and Repair

    Get the most out of your equipment when you work with the expert technicians at Pyramyd AIR. With over 25 years of combined experience, we offer a range of comprehensive in-house services tailored to kickstart your next adventure.

    If you're picking up a new air gun, our team can test and tune the equipment before it leaves the warehouse. We can even set up an optic or other equipment so you can get out shooting without the hassle. For bowhunters, our certified master bow technicians provide services such as assembly, optics zeroing, and full equipment setup, which can maximize the potential of your purchase.

    By leveraging our expertise and precision, we ensure that your equipment is finely tuned to meet your specific needs and get you ready for your outdoor pursuits. So look out for our services when shopping for something new, and let our experts help you get the most from your outdoor adventures.

    View Service Info

  • Warranty Info

    Shop and purchase with confidence knowing that all of our air guns (except airsoft) are protected by a minimum 1-year manufacturer's warranty from the date of purchase unless otherwise noted on the product page.

    A warranty is provided by each manufacturer to ensure that your product is free of defect in both materials and workmanship.

    View Warranty Details

  • Exchanges / Refunds

    Didn't get what you wanted or have a problem? We understand that sometimes things aren't right and our team is serious about resolving these issues quickly. We can often help you fix small to medium issues over the phone or email.

    If you need to return an item please read our return policy.

    Learn About Returns

Get FREE shipping on qualifying orders! Any order $150+ with a shipping address in the contiguous US will receive the option for free ground shipping on items sold & shipped by Pyramyd AIR during checkout. Certain restrictions apply.

Free shipping may not be combined with a coupon unless stated otherwise.

View Shipping Info

Text JOIN to 91256 and get $10 OFF Your Next $50+ Order!

* By providing your number above, you agree to receive recurring autodialed marketing text msgs (e.g. cart reminders) to the mobile number used at opt-in from Pyramyd AIR on 91256. Reply with birthday MM/DD/YYYY to verify legal age of 18+ in order to receive texts. Consent is not a condition of purchase. Msg frequency may vary. Msg & data rates may apply. Reply HELP for help and STOP to cancel. See Terms and Conditions & Privacy Policy.