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!

read more


The Diana model 50 underlever: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana 50
Diana model 50 underlever.

Part 1
Part 2

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Before we begin…
  • Rear sight conversion
  • Accuracy — the test
  • RWS Superdomes
  • H&N Finale Match Light
  • RWS Superpoint
  • RWS Hobby
  • Things I did wrong
  • Summary

We start looking at the accuracy of the .177-caliber Diana model 50 underlever today. I say start because I want to shoot this rifle a lot more. I will look for interesting ways to do that.

Before we begin…

However, before I jump into the accuracy there are a couple things I need to clear up. Reader Halfstep asked about the loading tap. It was shown in the closed position in Part 2 and he asked if I could show it open. He also wondered how far into the tap the pellet falls, so I’ll show that, too.

Diana 50 tap open
The tap is open.

Diana 50 pellet in tap
An RWS Superpoint has been dropped into the tap. See how deep it is?

read more


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.

read more


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.

read more


Hakim airgun trainer at 25 yards

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Hakim air rifle
Hakim air rifle trainer. Anschütz made 2800 of these for the Egyptian army in 1954/55. This one has custom-made wood.

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The test
  • Sight in
  • RWS Superpoints
  • Eley Wasps
  • The experience

Today’s blog arose from the suggestions of several readers. In the end it was Siraniko who pushed me over the line, and, when you see what happened, I think you’ll be glad that he did.

The test

The question is — how well does the Hakim air rifle shoot at extended distances? In the past I have always tested it at 10 meters. Today we will see what it can do at 25 yards. The rifle was rested directly on a sandbag and I used the open sights that came with the gun. My bionic eyes don’t see the rear notch very clearly anymore, and now you will see if that affects my accuracy.

read more


Poor man’s Garand — the Hakim

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Hakim
Egyptian Hakim was a “make-do” battle rifle, designed around cheap ammo.

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • History
  • Development
  • Innovation
  • Cartridges thrown forward
  • Hakim action
  • Accuracy
  • However…
  • Why is the Hakim the “poor man’s Garand”?
  • Corrosive ammo
  • The airgun
  • Summary

You have read about Hakims in this blog many times already, but all of them were air rifles. Today is different. Today we look at the firearm that inspired the pellet rifle trainer — the 8mm Egyptian Hakim!

History

At the end of WWII, the Egyptians found themselves in possession of tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions, of rounds of 7.92 X 57mm Mauser ammunition — the 8mm Mauser round. The Germans had stockpiled it in Egypt, thinking they would be there for a long time. When they left, there were storehouses of munitions left behind that the Egyptians inherited.

read more


Is it okay to pay more?

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Dan Wesson
  • Guns as investments
  • FWB 124
  • Condition matters
  • It’s worth what someone will pay
  • Guns as safe investments
  • Non-pristine, yet solid investments
  • Sheridan Supergrade
  • BSA Airsporter Mark I
  • Bottom line

Of all the reports I have written, this one might just get me in trouble with some of you readers. I’m going to talk about money today. Politics and religion are two topics that are guaranteed to start a conversation, but when the topic is money the talk gets very personal for some people. What I am about to say may hit people the wrong way. But it is what I believe and I am going to defend my position.

Dan Wesson

When I researched material for the first report on the Dan Wesson 4-inch pellet revolver last week, I happened to look up Dan Wesson pistol pacs on the Gun Broker website. There was a very complete one that was selling for around $1,585, the time I first saw it. I checked the expired auctions and discovered that pristine examples had brought over $2,100 in the recent past, so this one seemed undervalued. Of course the auction was still live, so it could still go up.

read more