This report covers:
- Bottom line
Today I start telling you about my Slavia 612 airgun. But this isn’t the first time you’ve seen this gun. I reported on it in Airgun darts and dart guns Part Two. In that report I called it a Diana model 16, which I thought it was, but I was clearly mistaken. It’s a Slavia 612.
As you can see, this is a Slavia 612.
Perhaps I can be forgiven a little because this airgun came to me in its original box that’s labeled Regent Pellet Rifle. Well, it’s not a rifle, despite what the box says (and it also says that in the listing in the Blue Book of Airguns). There may be a rifled version of the Slavia 612, but the one I have is a smoothbore. I bought it for the sole and specific purpose of shooting darts, but in this report I’ll test it on all three types of ammunition for you. There will be lots more reports about darts that include this gun so in this series I’m going to do a more-or-less conventional report on the gun.
The box my Slavia 612 came in. Nowhere does the name Slavia appear.
The price when the gun was new was $7.88. That means it was probably sold in the 1950s.
The price tag.
The 612 is definitely made for youth. The length is 32-3/4-inches long overall (83.19cm), with a 12-1/4-inch pull (31.12cm). The gun weighs 2 lbs. 6.7 oz./1.097kg. It takes 13 pounds of force to cock the 12-inch barrel.
The buttstock is non-figured wood — probably beech. It is slabbed on both sides and held to the action by two rivets.
The barrel is a soda straw type — so-called because it’s just a thin tube of steel held in a larger outside steel shell by caps at either end.
The 612’s barrel is a soda straw, though it’s not the thinnest I’ve seen.
The rifle has sling attachment points. The rear one is a wood cup screw with a large eye. It’s screwed into the bottom of the wood butt. In the front a curled strip of metal is spot-welded to the underside of the barrel shroud.
The breech seal is leather and forms a pocket for the rounded back of the barrel shroud. It’s set into the end of the compression tube instead of the rear of the barrel. Replacement looks tricky, though this one seems okay. I oil it frequently, just like I do the piston seal that’s also leather.
The breech seal is at the front of the compression tube rather than the back of the breech.
Is this an airgun that can be worked on? I think it might be because the mainspring is loaded with grease that hasn’t hardened. Someone has been inside because grease doesn’t stay fresh for 60+ years. I have no plans to go inside, though. As long as the gun works, all I want to do is shoot it.
The grease on the mainspring is far too fresh to be from the factory.
These airguns usually have a rear sight that’s messed up. This one isn’t. It’s exactly the way it came from the factory.
The rear sight is perfect.
The front sight, though, is flawed. For some reason it has been shortened, which makes the gun shoot too high at the 17-foot distances I shoot. That can be corrected several ways and I’m considering my options.
The front sight is lower than it should be. I’ll have to fix it.
The bottom line is I don’t have a Diana model 16; I have a Slavia model 612. It’s generally in very good condition and in this series I will do a complete conventional test. But don’t forget — I bought it to be a dedicated dart gun.