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 Hatsan Sortie PCP pistol: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Hatsan Sortie
Hatsan Sortie semiautomatic pistol.

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • An announcement
  • Today
  • Familiarization
  • Still learning the magazine
  • The trigger
  • The test
  • The sights
  • RWS Superdome — sight in
  • JSB Exact RS
  • H&N Baracuda with 5.50mm head
  • H&N Field Target Trophy with 5.53mm head
  • Summary

An announcement

This morning I shaved with a straight razor in a completely different way, after reading a book about shaving that was written in 1905. While very different from anything I had been doing, it all sounded very good and authoritative until I tried it. Then I needed a pint of blood after finishing! The author of this book says many things that run contrary to conventional wisdom and what is being taught today.

As a result of this experience, I have decided that there is more to sharpening a straight razor than I thought. There will be another report coming in which I examine some of the facts and some old wive’s tales about sharpening straight razors. I will try to show you the results more graphically. I don’t want to wreck the surprises that I hope are coming, so that is all I will say at this time. Let’s now turn our attention to today’s report.

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Something else

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Always something else
  • Change it
  • Make ‘em pumpers
  • Farco air shotgun
  • A good rifle
  • The 1873 Springfield
  • A long shot
  • The point
  • Summary

Always something else

One thing has stood out about airgunners for me. No matter what you are talking about, they always seem to want something else — something different. I remember many years ago when powerful precharged guns didn’t exist, the Yewah 3B Dynamite multi pump from Korea was looked at as a big deal. It was powerful, large caliber (.25) and airgunners were in awe of it — mainly because few of them had ever seen one.

Change it

Then I read about a guy who had one and reported how very powerful it was, but, man, was it ever hard to pump! The 3B required 150 pump strokes to fill initially, and then you could top it off after every shot with another 20 pumps. This fellow liked the power but hated all the work. So he machined a fill coupling and turned his 3B into a precharged airgun! He said the gun became lighter when the pump mechanism was removed, and it was no longer a chore to fill.

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Getting started with a precharged air rifle: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • The PCP boom
  • A gamble
  • Buy in bulk?
  • The advantages of a PCP
  • How to get into PCPs
  • Entry-level PCPs
  • 2000 psi fill rifles
  • Benjamin Wildfire
  • 3000 psi rifles
  • What if you just want to dive in?
  • Advanced PCPs that are forgiving
  • If you ignore my advice
  • Summary

There has been a lot of discussion on the blog about getting into precharged pneumatic (PCP) airguns. I want to weigh in on this discussion.

The PCP boom

Ten years ago the world had one entry-level precharged pneumatic (PCP) air rifle — the Benjamin Discovery. It came to market in 2007 and revolutionized the airgun world. When it hit the market it established the parameters of what an entry-level PCP should be and cost.

Benjamin Discovery
The Benjamin Discovery, packaged with a hand pump at an affordable price, broke the PCP market open in 2007.

A gamble

Before it was launched no one knew how the Discovery would be received. When I pitched the idea to Crosman in 2006, their CEO, Ken D’Arcy, asked me if I thought they could sell a thousand of them in a year. I told him I thought they could sell two thousand! Of course I didn’t know for certain, because something like this had never been done before. But I did know airgunners. I knew they were very curious about PCPs, but also quite cautious. Companies like Crosman had tried putting their name on PCPs made by others before (Logan, in Crosman’s case) and it didn’t turn out very well. Once airgunners discovered who really made the guns, they reasoned why buy from Crosman who had to mark up the guns to make a profit? If you wanted a Logan, why not go directly to the source? With the internet it is impossible to conceal things like this today.

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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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How to sharpen a straight razor: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Dealers matter!
  • Let’s resume
  • Sharpening
  • All blades honed
  • Something new
  • Results
  • Care for the stones
  • Dress all waterstones?
  • How does it shave?
  • Proof of sharpness
  • Summary

Boy, there were a lot of questions and discussion on Part 2 of this report! Today I will tell you how to both hone the razor and also how to take care of the waterstones that are so essential. And I have some things to clear up and correct.

As you recall, I’m writing this report to put myself in the shoes of a new airgunner. What is it like to not know what you don’t know, and don’t even know who or where to ask? That’s what it was like for me, learning how to sharpen a straight razor!

Dealers matter!

I have been spoiled by the service Pyramyd Air gives their customers. I forgot that most web retailers do not do the same. For example, I found one website — shavenation.com — that is laid out well and easy to navigate. The owner of the site, a man who calls himself geofatboy, makes great videos about topics that deal with shaving. Those videos are a lot like this blog, except he doesn’t have any easy way on his website for viewers to comment.

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