Today reader Stephan, whose blog name is CptKlotz, tells us about his new/old Diana 25DS.
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Take it away, Stephan
Diana 25 D S — didn’t see this one coming
This report covers:
- Didn’t see this one coming
- Similar and different at the same time
- Dimensions and appearance
- Shot cycle/power
- Accuracy Test
- Didn’t see this one coming
In my review of the 1967 Diana 27, I said I liked the gun a lot but I was going to see whether I could improve the accuracy. Normally you’d expect me to open the gun, check the spring and piston seal etc. and I have already done that. But that’s not what today’s blog is about. Today, I’m going to report on the Diana 25 D S.
So, how is this going to make the 27 more accurate? It isn’t, of course.
But this rifle is quite similar and this one has a scope rail — so we will get a better picture of the gun’s accuracy rather than my ability to shoot from a rest with open sights.
Similar and different at the same time
I just couldn’t resist buying this one on eGun.de. It came with a Bavaria 4×15 scope which I believe might be a relabeled Glenfield 200 series scope.
I saw this one one eGun.de and thought it looked interesting. The 25 is a little smaller and less powerful than the 27. Just like the 27, this model has been around for ages, at least since the 1920s but possibly longer. [Editor’s note: Diana used the same model numbers over those years but the models they represented were different in many ways.]
As far as I know, the D S models are the premium range of several Diana guns introduced in the 1970s. The 27 and 35 are available in D S versions as well. From what I could gather, the D stands for Druckpunktabzug which loosely translates to two-stage trigger and the S stands for Super which needs no translation. The whole model range seems to have similar stocks and features.
This one was made in 1984 which probably makes it a pretty late model. It is at the same time similar but also quite different from my 27.
The action and barrel clearly have that “Diana look”.
Interestingly, they pulled a Weihrauch on this one and put in an articulated cocking linkage. Unlike Weihrauch, there is no cage welded to the spring tube to guide the linkage. That job is done by a screw on the bottom of the stock that the link rides on.
That’s not all: When the rifle arrived, I cocked it and then wanted to test the trigger while holding the barrel. But that didn’t work. The trigger seemed to be jammed. After a while I realized this rifle sounded a bit like my LP 5 G pistol when I cocked it. What does the LP 5 have? Right… an anti-beartrap device. On this 25, a spring-loaded sheet of metal slides back and blocks the movement of the trigger. It is attached to the cocking linkage and will only free the trigger once the barrel is fully closed. That’s an interesting feature to put on an entry-level product.
The stock is also quite different. It is thicker, has a rubber butt cap and a more squared off front section.
At some point it dawned on me — low power, good trigger, articulated cocking link, square forearm, optics rail and anti-beartrap device. These guns are probably not only fancy versions of breakbarrel springers, they might be entry-level target rifles — aimed at people that found Diana’s top of the line dual-piston, recoil-compensated target rifles too expensive, too heavy or too complicated.
Dimensions and appearance
These are the smaller sized air rifles I have reviewed recently. From top to bottom: Diana Twenty-One FBB, 1967 Diana 27, 1984 Diana 25 D S, 2023 Weihrauch HW 30 S.
The 25 is just a little bit shorter than the Weihrauch HW30S. This is especially noticeable with the stock.
Diana 25 DS stock.
The stock looks quite good for a beech stock. It has some interesting looking grain patterns which I like. There is no stippling or checkering, but they went for at least a bit of luxury and inserted an ornamental piece of white plastic between the gun and the rubber butt plate.
The end of the stock was a bit rough in finish and it showed even with the butt plate on. I couldn’t resist sanding it down a bit and applying some stock oil.
Apart from that, this rifle is in great shape. Apart from a few dings and scratches, it basically looks new. The metal has the finely brushed finish typical of Dianas with a deep, rich blue.
The bluing and markings still look like new.
Ergonomically, I can shoot it fine with open sights. But when I mount my Hawke Vantage 2-7×32 AO with medium height mounts I could use a higher cheekpiece.
Yes, this is a vintage Diana. It just has that look and feel. It cocks very smoothly and the barrel lock is easy to open and close, yet still feels precise.
The D S models have a more angular trigger guard.
This one has the ball bearing trigger as well. The simpler versions have to make do with a direct sear trigger.
This should be the third and last iteration of this trigger design. The first one had a cast trigger blade, the second one (like my 27) had a plastic trigger blade. This one has a stamped metal trigger blade. I think I prefer it slightly to the plastic version but to tell the truth, I didn’t notice the plastic trigger blade was plastic until I read about it.
Apart from that, I don’t have much to add to the previous review. This is a nice trigger and should allow for very good results.
This is a fairly low-powered gun. The official spec seems to be a velocity of 170 meters per second/558 f.p.s. which would put it right at the German limit of 7.5 joules or 5.5 foot pounds.
The shot cycle is dry, calm and very quiet.
This gun probably has the highest-quality rear sight I have seen on a Diana gun so far. It seems to be all-metal, held together by two bolts secured with e-clips. It has four selectable notches, just like the HW30S or the Diana LP 5 G pistol.
The front sight is the same type as the one that is mounted on the 27 — a metal globe sight with a pointed post. It’s possible to install a front sight that accepts inserts.
All of today’s targets were shot at 10 meters.
This rifle has an optics rail, so I used my Hawke Vantage 2-7×32 AO.
The Bavaria scope seems to work, but it is just put to shame by my entry-level Hawke scope.
Maybe somebody can tell me in the comments what kind of scope this really is and if it was considered a decent model back when this rifle was made.
JSB Match S100 – pretty good!
Umarex Cobra – I admit I shot these as a joke. I don’t have a gun that shoots these with anything resembling accuracy. The earlier version of these pellets used to be pretty good.
I am quite happy with this result. It is close to the result I got with my HW30S.
I really like these vintage Dianas. They have a level of quality that you can’t take for granted anymore.
In terms of quality and features, this significantly younger (but still vintage) rifle rivals my “just broken in” HW30S.
Yes, I got slightly better groups with the HW30S, but there are 39 years between these rifles. I haven’t done anything to the 25 other than cleaning and lubricating it a bit. It’s quite possible it could be even more accurate if I replace the spring, seals and maybe tune it a little bit.
For me, the HW30S still wins for two reasons:
1. It has the better front sight.
2. The stock fits me a little bit better.
Number one can be changed fairly easily by swapping out the front sight. Number 2 is subjective — I like the high cheek piece on the HW30S but many people don’t. If you’re one of them, the Diana 25 might be just right for you.
I have to give this one a huge thumbs up.