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


Tuning BB’s Diana 27: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Tuning time
  • Flat breech seal
  • New breech seal
  • Big lesson number one
  • Was there any change?
  • Oh, my!
  • Smooth
  • But wait…
  • Smoke tripped the chronograph start screen
  • Summary

What a story I have for you today! Talk about a trip to Serendib! I started writing before something incredible happened, so I will leave the start of the report as I originally wrote it and realign things when we get to the good part.

Tuning time

We learned in Part 2 that the Krytox grease that many people tout is no good for dampening vibration. After tuning Michael’s Diana 27 I wanted mine to be as smooth, so in Part two I cleaned out the 20+-year-old lithium grease from my rifle and applied Krytox, as several people have recommended over the years. But no dice. With Krytox my 27 buzzed again, though not as bad as a factory gun might. It also shot a little slower, though I think that might have been due to the breech seal and not the lube. read more


Diana model 26 breakbarrel air rifle: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana 26
The Diana 26 air rifle.

Part 1
Part 2

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The test
  • Sight-in
  • Falcons
  • H&N Finale Match Light
  • RWS Superdome
  • Trigger is great!
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
  • JSB Exact RS
  • H&N Match Green
  • H&N Baracuda Match with 4.50mm head
  • The final test
  • Discussion
  • Summary

Today we look at the accuracy of the Diana 26 I have been testing. Two things are different about this air rifle. It’s a Diana 26, which I didn’t hear of until recently and it’s a .177, which I haven’t had much luck with. So I chose 7 different pellets, in hopes of finding one or more than were accurate.

The test

I shot from 10 meters off a bench using the artillery hold, though I had to hold the rifle tighter than normal because the butt is so slippery against my shoulder. I shot 5-shot groups to speed things up, but decided I would shoot a final 10-shot group with the pellet that was most accurate. read more


Diana model 26 breakbarrel air rifle: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana 26
The Diana 26 air rifle.

Part 1

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • This is a .177
  • RWS Superdome
  • Firing behavior
  • Trigger pull
  • No vibration
  • JSB Exact RS
  • Hobby
  • Barrel tension
  • H&N Baracuda Match with 4.50mm heads
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
  • Discussion
  • Cocking effort
  • Summary

I asked in Part 1 for owners of Diana 26s to tell me of their airguns and I was surprised that so many responded. Apparently I was in the minority for not knowing about the Diana 26. From what they said and what I’ve read I have learned that the 26 was closely related to the model 28 that came out when the model 27 ended production. So models 23, 25, 27 and 35 went away and models 24, 26, 28 and 34 came into being.

The model 34 is a whole story on its own, that I will cover one day, but not today. This report came about because I wanted to get a model 35, to see if I could tune it to be as smooth and light-cocking as a 27 and have a little more power. I got the 35, which is an early rifle with some very curious features, but I also acquired this model 26 and a model 27S that’s equally unusual. We are looking at the 26 in this series, so that’s where the focus will remain today. read more


Blemished airguns — what’s the deal?

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Refurbs, too
  • Different standards
  • What buyers notice
  • The 4 Cs
  • No flawless diamonds
  • The average guy
  • What does blemished mean?
  • What if the blem was missed?
  • What about bad parts?
  • Refurbished airguns
  • It’s gonna get scratched anyhow
  • Summary
  • Why this blog today?

I’m writing this report in response to reader GunFun1 who asked about it after I made a comment a few days ago when I installed a blemished barrel in an airgun to save money. He wanted to know whether blemished guns are a good deal or not.

Refurbs, too

I’m also going to include refurbished guns in this report, because I think they fall into the same category. Many people look at them online and wonder whether the cost savings are worth it, or are they just buying trouble? I hope I can answer that question.

Different standards

I have to begin the report with a qualifier. Every company has its own standards, I will try to address them in the report, but if you do business with a company whose standards are not what I am describing, your experience may be different. However, what I’m about to present is sort of an industry standard for blemished products. read more


Diana model 26 breakbarrel air rifle: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana 26
The Diana 26 air rifle.

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

I have written a lot about Diana air rifles over the course of this blog. A quick look finds 2 articles about the Diana model 25, and 6 articles about the Diana 27. There are probably more on each rifle, but they may be titled so I can’t find them. While I have written a lot about these Diana models, I never heard of the Diana 26 until reader Carel from the Netherlands told me he had one.

The deal

Back in February I mentioned on the blog that I would like to find a Diana model 35 to detune, just to see how sweet it could be. Carel contacted me and told me he had a nice old one I might like. Then he told me about this model 26. I had never heard of it, and he tells me they are quite scarce in Europe, too. I think the gap between the models 25 and 27 was too narrow to support another model. read more


Hatsan SpeedFire Vortex multi-shot breakbarrel air rifle: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

Hatsan Speedfire
Hatsan SpeedFire Vortex breakbarrel repeater.

This report covers:

  • Hatsan response
  • Good data
  • Velocity Baracuda Hunter Extreme
  • String two
  • String three
  • Discussion
  • Vortex Supreme
  • Air Arms Field
  • Newboy Junior
  • Firing cycle
  • Cocking effort
  • Trigger pull
  • Summary

Today we resume our look at the .22-caliber Hatsan Speedfire Vortex multi-shot rifle. In Part 2 I got some velocities that seemed far too low, so I assumed the rifle was damaged in some way. I returned it to Hatsan and asked them to look at it and, if possible, please repair it so I could resume the test with the same rifle.

Daniel Settle of Hatsan got back with me and here is what he said.

Hatsan response

Tom,

We took some time to test out your sample SpeedFire this afternoon.  This was tested “as-is” out of the box – original gun, original magazines.  We did experience a larger extreme spread with one magazine (41) versus the other (23) with our Vortex Supreme pellets.  The “bad” magazine had some damage around the pellet exit opening on the muzzle side of the body.  I expect this might be interfering with and damaging the pellet skirts as they are pushed through. read more