Diana 23: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Dioana 23
Diana 23.

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • A stripper
  • The rifle
  • Two versions of the later rifle
  • Trigger
  • Breech seal and locking detent
  • Sights
  • Cocking
  • What is it good for?
  • Summary

This report should be titled, “By any other name” because the airgun I’m writing about doesn’t say Diana anywhere. It says Gecado, Mod. 23. I know it is a Diana because I have paid attention to Diana air rifles for the past four decades, or so. They can also be named Hy Score, Winchester, Peerless, Original, Milbro, RWS, Geco (of which Gecado is a derivative) and Beeman. And I bet there are more names I haven’t mentioned.

Dioana 23 markings
These are the principal markings on the rifle. There is no serial number, caliber or date of manufacture.

A stripper

Decades ago a new car that was basic and was priced as low as that model would go was called a stripper. Well, the Diana 23 is the stripper of Diana pellet rifles. In the photograph above the rifle appears to be the same size as a Diana 27, but when you see them together the difference becomes obvious. read more


The Webley Hurricane: Part 5

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Hurricane
Webley Hurricane

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Remember
  • The test
  • H&N Finale Match Light
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy 
  • Air Arms Falcon
  • Firing behavior
  • RWS R10 Match Pistol
  • Gamo Match
  • H&N Baracuda with 4.50mm head
  • Summary

Today we see the accuracy of the Webley Hurricane. I have to tell you, this has never been a particularly accurate airgun in the past, so I’m not looking for much today. I will do my best though.

Remember…

No — I am not carrying Mr. Spock’s katra — Star Trek III, The Search for Spock. I want you to remember what I am trying to do with this report.

One thing I’m especially interested in with the Hurricane is how well the Extreme Weapons Grease performs. I used it on all the places where there was galling of the metal. You can read about that in Part 3. Normally I would have used moly grease, but I had a small tube of this stuff that was given to me at some SHOT Show and I decided to see if it was really up to the task. So I’m watching how smoothly the pistol cocks. read more


The Webley Hurricane: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Hurricane
Webley Hurricane

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The Great Enabler
  • Before we test
  • The velocity table
  • Air Arms Falcon pellets
  • RWS Hobby pellets
  • What happened?
  • A test
  • Crosman Premier Lights
  • Do you see what is happening?
  • But wait!
  • RWS Hobbys
  • Air Arms Falcons
  • A huge lesson!
  • Cocking effort
  • Trigger pull
  • Summary

Today is one of the best blog articles I have ever written. A series of what what looked like minor failures turned around and became a huge success and a fantastic learning opportunity. Today we test the velocity of the recently lube-tuned Webley Hurricane.

The Great Enabler

Spouses beware! Today I will once more demonstrate how I earned the title of The Great Enabler.

Before we test

I was as much in the dark as the rest of you. I had not chronographed the Hurricane until this morning, and I knew as much as you did about what might happen. I did note that the pistol now cocks smoothly, though I doubt it is much easier than before. Maybe just a little because there is no feel from galling. It also shoots very smoothly, where before it had a slight buzz. read more


The Webley Hurricane: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Hurricane
Webley Hurricane

Part 1
Part 2

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Qualifier
  • Lotsa pix!
  • Begin
  • Remove the stocksides
  • STOP!
  • Roll pin 3
  • Roll pins 4 and 5
  • Safety
  • Remove plastic forend
  • Remove the barrel pivot pin
  • Remove the barrel and cocking link from the gun
  • BB’s first tip
  • Not a lot of spring tension
  • Remove the mainspring and guide
  • Problem identified!
  • What to do?
  • Three lubricants
  • BB’s next tip
  • Test the pistol
  • BB’s final tip
  • Summary

Better put on a whole pot of coffee. This is the longest blog I have ever written.

Here we go — diving into the Webley Hurricane — an air pistol I have never wanted to see the insides of! I was warned about little springs that might fly everywhere. There aren’t any. But there is a sear spring that is attached to absolutely NOTHING, and yet does its job well — IF PUT BACK IN THE GUN THE WAY IT WAS BEFORE IT CAME OUT!

There are several things like that — things the blog that reader Derrick directed us to never mentioned or showed. Things that the Webley manual got wrong!!! My aim is to set the record straight and then to advise most of you to never go inside this pistol or a Tempest. I will show how it comes apart and describe how it goes back goes together, but before you undertake such a task take a look at my qualifier, below. read more


The Webley Hurricane: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Hurricane
Webley Hurricane.

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • History
  • The Webley Premier
  • Webley Junior
  • Premier Mark II changes to Hurricane
  • Webley Premier Mark III
  • Quick fix?
  • The Hurricane
  • So?
  • Webley Tempest
  • There is more…
  • Back to the Hurricane
  • Cocking
  • What to expect
  • Summary

Today I begin a report that I thought I had already written. But when I looked in the archive I find that I have never reported on this pistol in the traditional way. I have included it in other reports and I have referred to it many times but I have never done a full report on the Webley Hurricane.

History

Because of my oversight I have decided to spend additional time covering part of the history of Webley air pistols and the things that lead up to the Hurricane. This will be from my perspective, because there are probably several different stories about how the Hurricane came to be. read more


Diana 27S: Part 5

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana 27S
Diana 27S.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

A history of airguns

This report covers:

The ball bearing cage spring and guide
TW Chambers
Assembly
Assembling the anti-beartrap
The first test
How much lube?
Here we go!
Air Arms Falcons
JSB Exact Heavy
RWS Hobby
Cocking effort
Summary

Today I finish assembling the Diana 27S, and we test it for velocity. Since I’m using the same mainspring that it came with, this will be a good test of how Tune in a Tube affects velocity. Let’s get started.

The ball bearing cage spring and guide

When we left the rifle I told you that it didn’t have a spring guide for the spring that fits between the inner and outer ball bearing cages. These two cages control the movement of the three ball bearings that are fundamentally the sear of the rifle, and that spring is essential to their operation. I could have assembled the rifle with just the spring, because that is how it came to me. But that’s a sloppy job and, since I don’t plan on taking this powerplant apart again, I wanted it to be right. read more


IZH-61 repeating spring air rifle: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

IZH 61
The IZH 61 sidelever repeating air rifle.

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The start
  • Fast-forward to 2019
  • Incomplete?
  • Get a clip
  • The rifle
  • Sights
  • Front sight
  • Rear sight
  • Repeating function
  • Clip release
  • Barrel
  • Summary

“I hear it’s really a 10-meter target rifle the Russians disguised as a cheap toy, so their kids would learn to shoot like marksmen.”

“No, it’s a magnum in disguise. They export it shooting 500 f.p.s., but with a little tweaking you can get it over 800 f.p.s. with no problem.”

“The ones with metal magazines and steel receivers are the only ones to buy. When they switched to plastic the rifle went in the trash can.”

“I used to buy them 10 at a time for $30.”

“I know a guy who spent over $500 dressing one up to shoot as a target rifle. He beat FWB match rifles with it.” read more