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Fun Diana model 25 D S

Diana model 25 D S

Today reader Stephan, whose blog name is CptKlotz, tells us about his new/old Diana 25DS.

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

Take it away, Stephan

Diana 25 D S — didn’t see this one coming
by CptKlotz

This report covers:

  • Didn’t see this one coming
  • Similar and different at the same time
  • Dimensions and appearance
  • Trigger
  • Shot cycle/power
  • Sights
  • Accuracy Test
  • Conclusion
  • 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

D25DS
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. 

D25DS cocking linkage
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

rifle comparison
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.

D25DS 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.

D25DS metal logo
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.

Trigger

D25DS trigger
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.

Shot cycle/power

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.

Build a Custom Airgun

Sights

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.

D25DS rear sight
Rear sight.

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.

Accuracy Test

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.


H&N Excite Econ II — Ignore the single shot on the lower left. The actual 10 shot group is on the upper right and it isn’t too bad.

D25DS H&N Sport
H&N Sport — These rarely disappoint.


RWS R10 — good, but not amazing for a match pellet.

D25DS S100
JSB Match S100 – pretty good!

D25DS Cobra
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.

D25DS Finale Match Heavy
The H&N Finale Match Heavy gave the best group of the test and very good in my opinion.

I am quite happy with this result. It is close to the result I got with my HW30S.

Conclusion

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. 

46 thoughts on “Diana model 25 D S”

  1. Stephan
    Thank you for your today’s excellent presentation. And what can we say about that Finale Match group! Congratulations.
    Just one boring question; what’s the value of this Diana?

    • Bill,

      happy to hear you liked the review.

      I paid € 120 for it which I think is reasonable considering how well-preserved it is.

      I can’t really say how common these rifles are in countries other than Germany, but my impression is they are not exactly rare.

      Stephan

    • Bill,

      I sometimes check the swisswaffen website to get an idea when and for how much a particular airgun actually sold (link to today’s Diana 25 D S: https://www.swisswaffen.com/market/egunde/raritatselten-luftgewehr-diana-mod-25-d-s-mit-zielfernrohr/mn2ve16sysuy/?LP=ST1 ).

      _________
      CptKlotz,

      wow, once again I am impressed by your shooting!

      Nice to see a sideview of the pellet used.
      Thanks for one of my favourite types of picture, the comparison. 🙂

      Today’s review has made the Diana 25 desirable. I wonder how to know which Dianas have a) the more precise barrels and b) 2-stage and light triggers?

      • Hihihi
        Here in Greece there are some D 25s for sale but they are in the 150-250 euros.
        As much as I would love to have a vintage Diana I think I will keep my nickel HW 35E with the Vortek kit as an every day relaxing exercise. With the Williams rear sight even RR would give his approval.

  2. Stephan,

    Excellent report and very well organized. So much better than my report.
    You really made my day with showing those groups. Seeing the last 2-3 blogs of guns that couldn’t shoot straight was really depressing me. As the Godfather had taught me, if they are not accurate at any distance, then they have just been a waste of resources!

    Yes, these older guns were very interesting. Love the accuracy. Sure the stock is not sized for a scope, if it were open sights would not aline well.

    May we assume that all those groups, most of which were excellent, were shot at 10 meters?

    Great report!

    -Yogi

    PS loved te link to B.B.’s blog on triggers and sears.

  3. Stephan,

    Nice little plinker you have there. A very nice addition to your collection. I have an older model HW30S which I really enjoy shooting.

    I have one of those Hawke scopes with the illuminated reticle. They may be considered an entry level scope, but they are really nice. They are also the perfect size power for most hunting sproingers.

  4. Great report, thanks! The Bavaria scope appears to have shorter mounts than the larger Hawke scope. So, it might work better for you with that stock if it will focus at the 10-meters that you said you usually shoot at. Congratulations on the beautiful gun, enjoy!

  5. hihihi,

    I’m not 100% sure if there is a reliable way to always tell whether these guns have a rifled barrel. My impression is that most people bought the rifled versions since the price difference was quite small. In fact I didn’t get why anyone would get the smoothbore – until BB’s recent post on airgun darts.

    I guess if in doubt it might be best to just ask the seller.

    Stephan

    • CptKlotz,

      yes of course, you’re right, that’s just common sense, like asking for directions… 🙂

      Anyway, I wondered whether among Diana’s barrels there are differences in precision beyond rifled- or smooth bore and whether these could be identified in a simlar way to, for example, the different types of trigger?

      ———
      I wanted a low powered smoothbore (darts), saw a little Diana 23 for sale and…
      … it’s rifled – should’a asked, eh…

  6. Stephan,

    Thanks for the blog. It sure does look like a budget 10m target rifle in the making especially if you place an aperture peep for the rear sight and a matching interchangeable front sight.

    Siraniko

  7. Stephan,
    Thank you for this excellent report, it was beautifully written and you crammed a lot of good content and clear photos into a brief report. Good marksmanship too, I initially assumed they were five-shot groups, not 10!
    You found a very fine shooter that fits nicely into your Diana collection and at a good price. Congratulations and enjoy!
    You’ve inspired me to go shoot some targets with my sweet little Diana 24 at 10 meters in the basement with open sights on the rest. It’s a slow, meditative exercise in what has become an enjoyable lifelong practice.
    Regards,
    Will

  8. I thoroughly enjoyed your report. I have an earlier direct seer 25 and although accuracy isn’t that great with it yet, it is still one of the most fun guns I have to shoot. I have not had it long so still getting used to it but I love the size and weight and all day shootability of it. I gave a $100 for mine plus $28 for tax and shipping, and it came in shooting condition without me having to reseal it. My HW30s is my favorite springer but this is definitely 2nd at this point in time. Mine has been refinished at some point with a blond colored stock which looks quite nice IMO.

    I must say, mine has a the worst barrel droop of any sproinger that I have ever shot.

    Thanks for the blog!

    Bob

  9. CptKlotz,

    Toll. Stephan you have almost convinced me to look for a LOW power but high quality gas Spring break barrel.
    Perhap some day it will fall into my hands.
    I have never shot the Umarex Cobra pellets but your results support my contention that the center of pressure and center of Mass on pointed pellets, almost without exception, makes them inaccurate at any distance beyond the muzzle.

    Thank you for the informative Guest Blog.

    shootski

  10. Stephan,
    Wonderful report! Love your excellent shooting, too. Perhaps the Cobra pellet got its name because it snakes through the air? 🙂
    The Falke 50 is a small smoothbore German break barrel. I’ve never tried shooting darts through mine.
    -Andy

  11. Off Topic.

    My favorite springer, an HW 30S in .177, is sick. Over time it became progressively stiff to cock and close, slowly at first and getting worse fast. I am taking it apart this weekend. I vaguely remember that this problem has been discussed before, but I couldn’t find specific info. Has any of you seen this, and if so what was the culprit/solution?

    And then occurred to me, while I have it on the operating table, it would be a good opportunity to install a JM or Vortek kit. I am somewhat familiar with the latter, having installed one a few years ago in my Diana 34. Has anyone any experience with their current offering, the PG4-STEEL HO Tune Kit?

    Any advice or suggestions will be appreciated.

    Henry

  12. Stephan,
    Thank you for this excellent and detailed report on a fine air rifle.
    I once acquired a used Diana model 23 that lacked a rear sight.
    I was able to construct a decent peep sight, and the rifle became a nice accurate plinker for my nephew.
    Your Diana 25 D S looks to be notch above that in quality and accuracy…an excellent find. 🙂
    Blessings and good shooting to you,
    dave

  13. Stephan,

    Great report! That is a very nice looking and shooting rifle! I think that it represents what got me interested in airguns (especially German manufacture): quality & style.

    Bill

  14. Fun with a lower-powered airgun (just adding to what BB has already said in the past =>)

    BB & Readership, as Stephan showed us with his excellent report, even without a lot of power, you can have a very nice accurate air rifle.
    I picked up a pair of Haenel model 1 air rifles from Frank B (a loyal supporter of BB’s blog).
    The one on the left is .177 caliber, and the one on the right is .22 caliber.
    Both are quite lightweight at 4.4 pounds; for comparison, my scoped HW30S weighs 7.6 pounds.

    BB did a nice report on the Haenel model 1 here:
    https://www.pyramydair.com/blog/2009/04/haenel-model-1-part-4a-compulsive-airgun-buy/

    Both rifles have been sighted in from the bench on my 15-yard range; and both can hit a 7/8″-diameter plastic bottle bottom (from my contact re-wetting drops) at that range…from a rest, on the bench.
    However, I never shoot them that way; being so light, and lacking scope grooves, these rifles beg to be shot offhand, and that’s how they get used.

    The .177 caliber rifle shoots JSB RS 7.33-grain pellets at an average of 560 fps for 5 fpe.
    The .22 caliber rifle shoots JSB RS 13.43-grain pellets at an average of 390 fps for 4.4 fpe.
    Note how that bears out what BB said here:
    “The Haenel Model 1 is a nice old vintage springer that would be okay in .177 but is maybe too underpowered for the .22-caliber it’s in.”

    I got the .177 first, but then Frank convinced me that the .22 is “the penultimate plinker.”
    And while I really like the .177, if I’m in a hurry to run out and do some plinking, the .22 is the one I take.
    *shrugs*
    I can’t really define why.
    I guess you could say it “puts the smackin’ on things.”
    It really sends steel cans flying. 🙂
    Also, for some odd reason, I find it a bit easier to hit with that rifle, especially offhand.

    The best I can do standing offhand is the hit the bottom of a 3-ounce WD-40 can (1-3/4″ diameter).
    If I lean against the garage, I can hit the steel bug spray can sitting on a cinder block on the 40-yard range.
    Hence, as BB further noted:
    “For me, this now becomes a plinking rifle. It’s a minute-of-pop-can gun at 20 yards and a Necco wafer blaster at 10–for me. I’ll treat it for what it is–a fine vintage air rifle that’s been brought back to life by a very skilled craftsman.”

    Yes, both of these Haenels have been well-cared for by Frank; both are wonderful little plinkers, and they both get more shooting time than my HW30S…because that rifle weighs an extra 3.2 pounds…
    …and I’m getting older and weaker, so I appreciate the weight reduction! 😉
    Blessings and good shooting to all,
    dave

  15. Good morning BB,
    I tried twice to change
    “…because that rifle weighs and extra 3.2 pounds…”
    to
    “…because that rifle weighs an extra 3.2 pounds…”
    (so I wouldn’t look too ignorant, LOL! =>)
    but both times “SAVE” brought me to an endless loop; I’m not sure why.
    Blessed Sunday to you! 🙂
    dave

    • P.S. Your report on the Haenel model 1 is what got me interested in Frank’s .177 Haenel model 1.
      It turned out to be such a little gem (wonderful craftsmanship!) that I added the .22 version, too.
      Both these rifles are over 8 decades old, yet shoot just as well as the day they were made.
      I wonder how many airguns made today will be able to make the same claim? Time will tell. 😉

    • thedavemyster,

      from my recent experience with editing:
      If I include a picture, pyramydair (I don’t actually know who) immediately takes ownership of- and locks that comment, ie no editing attempts will succeed. 🙁

      However, if a comment is text only, then I am permitted to make changes, during thirty minutes after the first posting.

      ———
      If one were running close to the end of that window of opportunity, when an enhancement occured, then it’s worth deleting that comment altogether. Followed by a re-write, including any edits, and a renewed posting. 🙂

      Also, in case of a long essay, I must remember to always make a copy first before posting! I don’t know what the size limit is, but I was once refused until I shortened my original comment. 🙁

      ———
      Multiple times have I read about various shortcomings of how this comments section works. I have also seen some changes, of which not all were an improvement. 🙁

      All I know is, it compares rather unfavourably with any other online community mechanism I have ever participated in.
      Trouble is, I have also never communicated with a more polite group of humans. 🙂

      In other words, I am not here because of pyramydair, but because of people like you, thedavemyster. 🙂

      By the way, thanks for your interesting report on your two Haenel Model 1s and their side-by-side picture.

      • “…thanks for your interesting report on your two Haenel Model 1s and their side-by-side picture.”
        hihihi,
        Thank you for your reply and clarifications.
        And I am glad you enjoyed my take on the two Haenels; I love them both.
        To me, they’re both examples of German engineering (actually engineering in general) at its finest. 😉
        Blessings to you,
        dave

    • thedavemyster,

      You certainly aren’t ignorant. This “system” is built on a shifting sands foundation with patches on top of patches causing all manner of deviltry. The number of times i have made an edit seemingly have it take and then subsequently revert to the original can’t be counted on my fingers and toes!

      hihihi did a wonderful job of covering all the problems, as well as some workarounds, to the blogs’ system; as well as the REAL REASON most of us put up with them!

      shootski

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