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


A million questions

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Lots of questions
  • Down to the basics
  • Shape and balance
  • Accuracy
  • What about droop?
  • Reliability
  • Which does BB enjoy the most?
  • Who makes what?
  • BB’s evaluation
  • It takes time

I get a lot of questions on other parts of the blog. Sometimes the people asking them seem frustrated by all the things they don’t know. Last week I received this comment from reader Winterz.

“Yes, I am the person who uses obscure threads to ask you questions like the dual collaborative piston breakbarrel air rifle. I also wrote you about the Forge review.

I don’t know where to ask this, and it might be worthy of a writing topic, but of the springer varieties – breakbarrel – underlever — sidelever…. which style do you most enjoy shooting? Which is the most reliable?

Sidelevers look awkward to me, and seem to add complexity. Underlevers are less attractive…but if they have a durability benefit or if droop is a serious problem in some rifles, then they could be considered.

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


Umarex Forge combo: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Forge
Umarex Forge.

This report covers:

  • Mounting the scope
  • Sight in
  • The test
  • Poor scope
  • JSB Exact RS
  • Falcon pellets
  • H&N Hammer pellets
  • Don’t care for the flex
  • Evaluation so far — world class!
  • Next

Today I mount the scope that came with the Umarex Forge and I’ll step back to 25 yards to test the accuracy. Part 3 was a blessing because I found two good pellets and I also learned the best way to hold the rifle That sped up today’s preparation time a lot.

Mounting the scope

Mounting the scope was easy. The rings have two screws per cap, so there is no need to tighten them in any pattern and the base is a Weaver that fits the Forge’s Picatinny rail well. Since I knew the Forge doesn’t recoil too much, I also knew the mounting screws only needed to be snug.

read more


Umarex Embark breakbarrel spring rifle: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Unarex Embark
Umarex Embark air rifle.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

This report covers:

  • Hard to scope
  • The test
  • Shooting experience
  • Journey pellets
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellets
  • Falcon pellets
  • Evaluation

Today I shoot the Embark air rifle from 25 yardfs. This was supposed to be a test with a scope, but that didn’t happen and I will tell you why.

Hard to scope

For several reasons the Embark is difficult to scope. First, it is a youth-sized rifle, so the pull of the stock is short. You therefore want to mount the scope far enough forward to get good eye relief, but once again, this is a youth rifle. The spring tube is also very short, and if the scope goes too far forward, the breech hits it when you break the barrel to cock the rifle. You need a short scope — a very short scope.

read more


Collecting airguns: Fakes and counterfeits 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Scarcity Part 1
Condition Part 2
What is collecting? Part 3

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Counterfeiting
  • The racketeer nickel
  • Made to deceive
  • The tale
  • People want them!
  • Fake airguns
  • Refinishing and modifying
  • Personality airguns
  • The Rosetta Stone

Here we go again. Today we will look at the shady side of collecting — the works of intentional deception. In some collecting fields fakes and counterfeits are so common that they have become a whole area of study within the field. Let’s look at the oldest of all — the counterfeiting of money.

Counterfeiting

Long ago it was more possible to counterfeit money because there were fewer ways of determining whether something was fake or real. It wasn’t until old Archimedes came up with a way of knowing how much gold was present in an object (Eureka!) that people had much of a chance of knowing what was real and what wasn’t. They learned to trust the money issued by certain governments (Rome) or kingdoms (Babylon) because those authorities made every effort to police their own money. The death penalty was usually the price for counterfeiting, because the authorities did not want the expense of policing the currency.

read more


Umarex Forge combo: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

Forge
Umarex Forge.

This report covers:

  • What we know
  • Say hello to my little friend!
  • Today’s test
  • JSB Exact RS
  • Rested on the bag
  • Was this a fluke?
  • Air Arms Falcons
  • Trigger report
  • RWS Superdomes
  • H&N Baracuda Match 4.50mm heads
  • Evaluation
  • HOWEVER

Today we begin seeing how accurate the Umarex Forge is. Many of us are holding a lot of hope for this air rifle, because so far it seems to have the stuff of greatness. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was a fine air rifle priced where this one is?

What we know

To this point we have discovered several things. The power ranges from 12.8 to 14.5 foot-pounds. So it’s probably a solid 14 foot pound gun with the right pellet.

The trigger is 2-stage and breaks very heavy. I will discover more about the trigger when I shoot the rifle for accuracy today.

We know that the cocking effort is 26 lbs., which is light for a gas spring. It’s entirely suitable for the power this gun puts out.

read more