Diana 35: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana 35
Diana 35 pellet rifle.

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Older 35
  • What was the 35?
  • Soup-up
  • The spring isn’t the thing
  • Back to the Diana 35
  • This Diana 35
  • Trigger
  • What to do?
  • Summary

Today begins a long report on the Diana 35 air rifle. If you just found this blog, here is how we came to this point. Several months ago I tuned a Winchester model 427 (really a Diana 27) breakbarrel air rifle for reader Michael. That 9-part report is pretty thorough and worth a read. At the end I told everyone that Michael’s rifle is now the smoothest spring-piston air rifle I have ever experienced and I thought it would be nice to acquire the larger Diana 35 and tune it for smoothness. That would give me an adult-sized breakbarrel that was as perfect as can be — or at least I think so. read more


BSF S54 Match rifle: Part 5

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

BSF S54
BSF S54 target rifle.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Insert
  • The test
  • Sight-in
  • H&N Finale Match Light
  • H&N Match Green
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
  • Why so much better?
  • Finale Match Light again
  • One last time
  • 10-meter rifle?
  • Summary

I said the next step with this BSF S54 was a teardown and lube tune with Tune in a Tube, but I changed my mind. The front sight insert I bought from Chambers arrived and I wanted to give it a go first. I’m glad I did, as you will learn later on.

Insert

Remember, I told you that T.W. Chambers in the UK has some front sight inserts for the S54? RidgeRunner wondered if there was an aperture or ring insert for the front and I thought there might have been, so I looked. Sure enough there was and I ordered one.

BSF S54 sight inserts
The new ring insert, left, will circle the black bull and hopefully give a more precise aim point. read more


Old Blue and White

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Daisy 110
Daisy’s model 110 Rocket Command BB gun.

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The deal
  • What is it?
  • Earlier model 26
  • Blue Book of Airguns
  • Trigger
  • Stock
  • Description
  • Sights
  • Comparison to the 27
  • Summary

Sputnik

When I was a kid in the 1950s, western movies where the big thing. We saw them in the theaters and we also saw westerns on TV. This trend continued into the 1960s, but another trend overlaid it and eventually eclipsed it. In October of 1957 the Soviet union launched the first man-made satellite into orbit. Most people know Sputnik. Technologically it was both crude and incredibly advanced. But what it did to society far eclipsed anything that it did for science!

Sputnik ushered in the space age. Until then only scientists and nerds knew anything about rockets and space travel. After then, space was all that anyone could talk about. read more


BSF S54 Match rifle: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

BSF S54
BSF S54 target rifle.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Something else
  • Rear sight has to come off
  • 1950s design
  • Assemble the rifle again
  • Install the peep sight
  • Ordered a new target front sight insert
  • Accuracy
  • The test
  • H&N Finale High Speed
  • H&N Finale Match Light
  • Discussion
  • Summary

Today will be another accuracy test of the BSF S54 Match rifle. But it’s a test with a twist. In Part 3 we learned which pellet does best in this rifle — the H&N Finale Match High Speed — a 7-grain wadcutter that is no longer being offered. I have received the current Finale Match Light target pellets, so I can start testing with them today, as well.

Something else

And, there is something else. A couple weeks back reader Kevin alerted me to the fact that the seller in Bulgaria from whom I bought the Diana peep sight also had a BSF peep sight for sale. He had it advertised for Anschütz, FWB and Walther, which is why I never noticed it. The price was reasonable and, as before, the shipping was free, so I ordered it. It’s here and I would like to show it to you. read more


BSF S54 Match rifle: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

BSF S54
BSF S54 target rifle.

Part 1
Part 2

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The test
  • RWS Hobby
  • Resting on the sandbag
  • Artillery hold off hand extended
  • Discussion
  • Adjusted the rear sight
  • Falcon pellets
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
  • JSB Exact RS domes
  • H&N Finale Match High Speed target pellet
  • Something extra
  • Summary

Today we look at the accuracy of the BSF S54 Match rifle. Now, while this rifle is called a Match rifle and did come with a large aperture sight, it’s not a serious match rifle and never was. Sometimes I have guys ask me questions like, “Could it be used in a match?” and I have to answer, “Yes” but they don’t let me finish by saying, “… but it will never win!” You see, some guys are so enraptured by the design of the S54 Match (and that huge rear aperture!) that they want it to be a real match rifle. Other guys own one and don’t want to spend the money for something different. The bottom line is — The BSF S54 Match rifle is not for formal competition! I think you will see that today. read more


BSF S54 Match rifle: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

BSF S54
BSF S54 target rifle.

Part 1

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • A little more of the BSF Story
  • Today
  • Front sight
  • BINK!
  • Velocity
  • Superpoints for the proof
  • Firing behavior
  • Cocking effort
  • Trigger pull
  • Summary

A little more of the BSF Story

Bayerische Sportwaffen Fabrik (BSF) was established in 1935. They made some airguns before WW II, but after the war is when they really got going. They were located in Erlangen, a town that’s about 15 kilometers from Nuremberg, but today is more like a suburb.

BSF airgun models ranged from youth guns to serious adult guns. Their lowest model was called the Junior that was a plain-Jane youth breakbarrel. Above that the Media came next. It shared a few parts with the Junior like the trigger but it was longer, heavier and more powerful. Think of them as the Diana 23/25. read more


BSF S54 Match rifle: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

BSF S54
BSF S54 target rifle.

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • BSF
  • The S54
  • Trigger
  • Three variations of the S54
  • Two calibers
  • Hang tag
  • Underlever cocking
  • Loading tap
  • Summary

I’m starting a report on the BSF S54 target rifle today. I reviewed this rifle 4 years ago, but I want to look at it more thoroughly this time.

BSF

Bayerische Sportwaffen Fabrik (Bavarian Sporting Weapons Manufacturer) or BSF, as it was known, operated for several decades, both before and after World War II. They were based in Erlangen, Germany, a suburb of Nuremberg. The guns they made were approximately equivalent in quality to Dianas, though in some respects like power they were ahead for a few years. It was BSF that first broke the 800 f.p.s. barrier with their model S55/S60/S70 breakbarrel. I group those models because they were all the same except for their stocks — kind of like the S54 we are looking at today. read more