The Diana 27: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana 27
My .22 caliber Diana 27 is actually a Hy Score 807.

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Not the pre-war 27
  • First time
  • Why a 27?
  • Great feeling!
  • Description
  • Sights
  • Seals
  • Breech seal
  • Trigger
  • Overall evaluation

What is a classic? One dictionary defines it as “…of the first or highest quality, class or rank. Serving as a standard, model or guide.” Although that definition is somewhat subjective, I believe it captures the essence of the word. The Diana model 27 air rifle is certainly a classic by that definition.

Not the pre-war 27

Before we dive in let’s understand that Diana also made a model 27 before World War II. That one had only a wooden buttstock with no forearm. It looks significantly different than the rifle we are examining today. It’s not the same air rifle.

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The Beeman R10/HW 85: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

HW 85
Weihrauch HW 85.

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • A word on straight razors
  • History
  • Weihrauch model numbers
  • Enter the R10/HW 85
  • Son of R1
  • Thin spring tube
  • Trigger
  • Description
  • Stock
  • Sights
  • Summary

A word on straight razors

Before we start I have a word on straight razor sharpening. I made a major discovery yesterday morning. It has to do with sharpness, the shape of the blade, how the blade is ground and its applicability to the task at hand. Very similar to airguns and power! It will be in my next report, which will be in a few weeks.

Now, let’s look at the Beeman R10/HW 85.

History

The FWB 124 started the velocity wars in the very early 1970s. But Dr. Beeman invented the rifle he called the R1, that was also produced as the Weihrauch HW 80. That air rifle really broke things open. It came out in 1981. Inside of 18 months Beeman had gotten the muzzle velocity of the .177 R1 from 940 f.p.s. to 1,000 f.p.s. and the race was on! Before we continue, let’s see how they did it.

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The Diana model 50 underlever: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana 50
Diana model 50 underlever.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Low light
  • The test
  • RWS Superdomes
  • RWS Superpoints
  • Falcon pellets
  • Discussion of the results
  • Next

Today we are back with the Diana model 50 underlever spring rifle, shooting at 25 yards. I have a couple things to tell, so let’s get started.

Low light

First, my quartz light that I always us to illuminate the target was on the fritz, so for all of today’s shooting I illuminated the target with a powerful flashlight. It wasn’t ideal, but I believe it worked okay. I learned one thing for sure — I need a backup quartz light!

I remembered to switch the front sight post to the large square-topped one that’s best for target shooting. I wouldn’t have that as an excuse for poor marksmanship!

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The Hatsan Sortie PCP pistol: Part 1

Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Hatsan Sortie
Hatsan Sortie.

This report covers:

  • What is it?
  • Power
  • Presentation is important
  • Semiautomatic!
  • Description
  • Sights
  • The action
  • Silencer?
  • Evaluation so far

Today I will do the impossible. It’s not perpetual motion and it’s not levitation. Today I will scoop myself! Today I will start a report on something I was hoping to surprise you with in Part 3 of the Texas Airgun Show next week.

I haven’t reported on all the dealers who were at the show yet, and Hatsan is one I planned to cover next time. Well, I figured you needed to see an airgun after all these other reports, so I opened a large box Hatsan sent me recently and, lo and behold, inside there is an airgun I hadn’t heard of before seeing one at the airgun show — the Hatsan Sortie.

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The 2017 Texas airgun show: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Smaller show
  • Fewer dealers?
  • On the other hand…
  • TX200 Mark III
  • Behind me — a Supergrade and …
  • What about dealers — Sig
  • Crosman
  • Umarex
  • More to come

Last Saturday the 4th annual Texas airgun show was held at the Arlington Sportsman Club in Mansfield, Texas. Let’s begin with the weather, since Hurricane Harvey had many people concerned.

Smaller show

We lost many dealers from south Texas. It’s hard to say how many for sure, but I estimate 5-10 at least. Then there was the loss of the public that I would put around 50. They had to stay home and contend with the weather, and I understand that.

But there were also lost a lot of folks from other states who read the word Texas and Hurricane and thought the entire state was getting hit. Folks, Texas is large. Very large. The airgun show is hundreds of miles inland from any coast (about the distance NYC is from Washington D.C.), so by the time it gets up here it’s just a lot of constant misting rain and perhaps a constant gusting wind of 40-50 mph. The Arlington Sportsman Club ranges are all covered very well, so shooters and guns didn’t get wet from the several brief showers we did have. The wind was very pleasant 10 mph and the day was a balmy 78 degrees at the hottest. That’s paradise in Texas in August! I’m saying the weather was perfect for the show and anyone who was there will tell you the same thing.

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The Diana model 50 underlever: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana 50
Diana model 50 underlever.

Part 1

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Loading tap
  • Rear sight
  • Pre-test preparation
  • Fastest way
  • Velocity RWS Superpoints
  • JSB Exact RS
  • RWS Hobby
  • Cocking effort
  • Trigger pull
  • Evaluation so far

Today we will learn the velocity of my new/old .177 caliber Diana model 50. But there are several things I need to clear up before we get to that. Let’s start with the loading tap.

Loading tap

The Diana model 50 is an underlever spring-piston air rifle. That means the barrel doesn’t open like a breakbarrel, so there has to be another way to load a pellet. On some underlevers the entire compression chamber slides back, exposing the breech, but others like the model 50 use a loading tap. A tap sits behind the barrel and rotates open to load the pellet and closed to align the pellet with the breech.

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The Diana model 50 underlever: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana 50
Diana model 50 underlever.

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • History
  • Findlay
  • Fortune smiles!
  • Not the first
  • Taploader — oh oh!
  • Description
  • Evaluation so far

Enough about straight razors and coin collections! Let’s get back to vintage airguns. Today we begin a series that looks at the venerable Diana model 50 underlever air rifle.

History

According to the Blue Book of Airguns, Diana’s model 50 was produced from 1952 until 1965, when the T01 variant took over. That one lasted until 1987, so in all the rifle had nearly a 4-decade run.

The model 50 is an underlever spring-piston air rifle that came in both .177 and .22 calibers. I think the .22 isn’t as common, since the 50 was seen as a target gun and Europeans were already using .177 caliber for that. Maybe .22 was a nod toward marketing Americans, with whom the larger caliber was much more popular at the time.

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