Today reader RidgeRunner continues his blog series on his experiences with the Diana 34 I tuned for him. If you’d like to write a guest post for this blog, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Take it away, RidgeRunner
RidgeRunner’sDiana 34 Project: Part Seven
Ridgerunner’s Diana 34.
This report covers:
- The scope
- My previous attempt
- H&N Field Target Trophy
- JSB Exact 8.44-grain dome
- H&N Baracuda Match
- Just for Yogi
- Editor’s summary
Well, here we go. I have mounted my Hawke Optics 2-7X32 AO IR scope on this air rifle to see just what she is capable of at 25 yards. My thinking with this particular scope is it is small and light and the power will be useful on a 25 yard sproinger, especially in the woods.
My previous attempt
I had tried this rifle out awhile back, but was sorely disappointed with the results. I decided to try again with a different type of hold and rest. Before I had rested it on my shooting bags with it supported over a good part of the forearm. This time I narrowed the amount of bag it was resting on and had it right up against the trigger guard. This worked much better.
H&N Field Target Trophy
The first pellet I tried out was the H&N Field Target Trophy. I used it first as it happened to be on top when I opened up my .177 ammo can. The very first thing I did was use these to roughly zero the air rifle and then I proceeded to shoot ten-shot groups.
Ten shots went into a group that was roughly a hair over 1.2 inches, but six of them went into a group of about 0.33 inches. Hmm.
JSB Exact 8.44-grain
The next pellet I gave a try to was the JSB Exact 8.44-grain dome that I have found to be the best pellet in many airguns. Maybe not this time though. Ten of them made a group of about 1.4 inches, but six of them made a hole about 0.19 inches in diameter — ON THE OUTSIDE!
H&N Baracuda Match
OK, by now I noticed that this air rifle seems to really want to shoot, so I pulled out the H&N Baracuda Match pellets and settled myself down for some real shooting. Ten of these heavy honkers then made a group of almost 1.4 inches, but nine of the pellets made two large holes in a span of a hair over 0.8 inches.
Just for Yogi
A while back Yogi had asked me to try this air rifle out at 50 yards. Well, the truth is I had not held out much hope of this thing doing much at this range, but what the heck. I moved my target out to 50 yards and let fly ten more of the Baracuda Match pellets. I really did not hold out much hope of doing anything serious. I could hear the pellets hitting the target, but I could not see any holes at that range with that scope. I held up two mil dots and let fly ten “Hail Mary”’s.
After that I put all my stuff away in the back of my SUV and walked down to collect my target. Boy, was I ever surprised by the group I had just shot. Not only was it pretty well centered on my aim point, but it was not that big. It only measured about 2.8 inches with five of them in about 0.76 inches! I was impressed.
For those who don’t know, the American quarter coin shown in the image above is larger than the American dime. Here they are shown together.
American quarter coin on the left and dime on the right.
What this all means is I am going to have to try a whole bunch more pellets and also I need to learn to shoot this air rifle a lot better. I am also intending to take this scope off and possibly replace the sights with a Tru-Glo front sight that Faulty Manuel sent me and a Williams rear peep. It is looking like I am going to have another awesome plinker. Who knows, I might even tell you all about it.
What this tells me is RidgeRunner has found the correct place to balance his Diana 34 but he isn’t doing it consistently. When this happens to me I have to slow down and concentrate on my hold. That 10-shot group of JSB 8.4 grain pellets that has six of the ten in 0.19-inches ON THE OUTSIDE is a 0.013-inch group between centers! Subtract 0.177 from the outside diameter of the group to get the radius. That is a screamer. All you need to do is learn to hold that rifle more consistently.
My advice to RidgeRunner is to get the rifle off the bag and use the artillery hold with your hand where the bag is now. Diana 34s are known to be hold sensitive, but they will also train you to be a better shot.