Diana 35: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana 35
Diana 35 pellet rifle.

Part 1
Part 2

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The test
  • Sight in
  • Air Arms Falcons
  • Season the bore
  • Other pellets
  • RWS Superdome
  • RWS Superpoint
  • Discussion
  • Summary

I’m testing the accuracy of the Diana 35 today. I hadn’t planned to do that before I opened the rifle and at least lubricated it, but I’m now glad that I did. The trigger on this rifle is adjusted as good as I can get it, but it’s still a bit vague where stage two begins. I think a good lubrication of the trigger parts will help that a lot. So, what you see today could improve.

Also, I note that this rifle is cocking as easily as a Diana 27, yet it is more powerful. It isn’t up to the full spec of a 35, but the cocking effort is so much less that, unless the mainspring is severely canted, I might just leave it as it is. It’s sort of exactly what I was hoping for when I dreamed the whole thing up while working on Michael’s Winchester 427/Diana 27. read more


Smith & Wesson 78G and 79G target pistols: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

S&W 78G
My S&W 78G pistol.

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • History
  • Physical description
  • CO2
  • Fit
  • Loading
  • Adjustable power
  • My observation

Before I get into today’s report I have a surprise for you. I had a conversation with Val Gamerman on Friday about the TR-5 and together we discovered something neither of us had ever thought of. You’ll read about it tomorrow.

History

The .22 caliber 78G and .177 caliber 79G single-shot target pistols were made (actually, produced) by Smith & Wesson from 1971 through 1980. They were first made in their Tampa, Florida, plant. In 1973, they moved the airgun division up to Springfield, Mass. In 1978, they moved airguns back to Florida. From this point forward, I’ll speak specifically about the .22 caliber 78G, unless I indicate otherwise, though much of what goes for one gun holds for the other pistol, as well. read more


Diana 35: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana 35
Diana 35 pellet rifle.

Part 1

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The rear sight
  • Breech seal
  • What to expect?
  • RWS Hobby
  • Cocking effort
  • Trigger
  • Summary

Today we start looking at this Diana 35 that I got from reader Carel in the Netherlands. This is an older rifle that doesn’t have a manufacturing date, but it was probably made between 1953 and 1964. It has the features of the early model (stock with finger grooves), yet it has a hooded front sight with a fixed post that isn’t usually found on rifles this early. Of course the sight could have been added at some later time. The rear sight, though, is quite different.

Diana 35 rear sight 1
The Diana 35 rear sight is different than any I’ve seen. read more


Marksman Premium Grade steel BBs and speedloader: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Marksman BBs
Marksman Premium Grade steel BBs and speedloader.

This report covers:

  • Steel BBs
  • Steel doesn’t give!
  • Will they fit any BB gun?
  • Do I have a BB gun with a big barrel?
  • Loading through the magazine
  • What now?
  • Benjamin 700
  • More testing
  • Weight
  • The speedloader
  • Summary

No history report today, but there will be a lot of history as the report unfolds.

Steel BBs

If you are a veteran reader of mine, you know that I have harped for many years on the fact that steel BBs are labeled as 4.5mm, when they are really 4.3mm or so. Steel BBs range in size from 0.171- to 0.1735-inches in diameter. If you are curious about where the BB came from, read this report.

And then came the Marksman Premium Grade steel BB. To the best of my knowledge, it is the only steel BB in the world that comes close to 0.177-inches in diameter. read more


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


What’s in a picture?

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • What is important
  • Opportunity seized
  • All is not lost
  • Bad picture — something’s wrong
  • What to do?
  • Lit the fire
  • Poor descriptions
  • Bad description
  • Blessings in disguise
  • Summary

Today will be different. It’s sort of a guest blog, with help from me. I’ll explain as we go.

Several years ago I wrote two multiple-part blogs about taking pictures of airguns. Several readers were having difficulty taking the pictures they wanted, and I tried to coach them a little. The most recent report is a 2-parter from 2014. It’s okay and even has a few useful tips, but the first report from 2008 is more detailed. I think it’s the better one.

What is important

Taking good pictures is indeed important, but it’s not the subject of today’s report. Today I want to discuss how a bad picture can cost you a fortune! I have addressed this subject in the past, but there hasn’t been a specific blog devoted to it. So, here we go! read more


Pioneer model BB76 BB gun: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Pioneer BB gun
Pioneer BB76 BB gun.

Part 1

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • More about the gun
  • Feeding
  • Velocity
  • Hornady Black Diamond
  • Dust Devils
  • Air Venturi H&N Smart Shot
  • More ammo
  • Marksman Premium Grade steel BBs
  • Cocking effort
  • Anti-beartrap
  • Summary

Well, well. I finally found something to write about that a lot of you didn’t know about. You guys are getting so savvy that it’s harder and harder to do. I actually did write about this BB gun back in 2005 when the blog got started, but that was a one-time report and this will be a full test. So, it’s the same gun but different stuff being reported, and a whole lot more this time.

More about the gun

I said I’d have more to say about the gun as we went, so here are a couple new things. The first is that the rear sight is adjustable — sort of. It slides up and down on an inclined ramp, and, because the notch is only fastened by a single screw, you can also swing it to the right and left — a little. read more