Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Well hello there, Diana Stormrider.

Somewhat by accident, I recently noticed the Diana Stormrider precharged pneumatic air rifle.  Actually noticed it.  I've been a bit dormant on the bangy stuff lately, and hadn't even remembered that Tom Gaylord did a series on it, just last year.

You know, that there's an interesting gun, for my contemplation of a suitable platform to come up with an airgun Scout.

Things to like:
  • Sights!  Out of the box this thing has real iron sights, and the platform looks promising both for  ghost-ring irons and even for a scout scope.  One could mount a proper ghost-ring aperture at the back of the receiver on the dovetail with little fuss, and by discarding the "open" rear sight, adding a second barrel band, and adjusting the position of the two bands, have a perfect mount for a real Leupold Scout Scope.
  • The manual safety switch is not perfect, but it is not insane like the Marauder's, and because it's in front of the trigger guard rather than at the back, it's more ergonomic than the Discovery.  It's something one could train with.
  • The interchangeable magazine and single-shot tray is good design--I would argue it is in fact the right design for a beginner and trainer rifle.  Any "airScout" really should be a manual repeater.
  • Stock is old-fashioned wood, and would be very amenable both to shortening LOP and rounding toe and heel, and also to mounting a proper Ching Sling.
  • The bolt system certainly looks pretty robust, and with a longer throw than on the Disco or M-Rod, although it's still going to be shorter than a .22 rimfire.
  • It's light and svelte, from reports, and actually looks like a traditional rifle, instead of the aggravatingly ubiquitous pistol grip pattern of most of the newer offerings.  IOW, it would rate reasonably well on Jeff Cooper's "handiness index", which is the total height of the rifle from bottom of pistol grip to top of sight system.
  • It's reasonably (reasonably) hand-pump friendly, and sounds like it may get over 20 usable and accurate shots per fill--with enough available oomph to hunt with.  

A couple of mostly minor drawbacks:
  • It uses a 3000psi fill, rather than the Disco's 2000psi fill.  That's going to be significant if using a hand pump.  The Disco's ability to deliver many shots on a lower fill pressure, albeit not necessarily at a hunting power level, does still set it apart from others in its class.
  • It's not sound suppressed--but then neither is the Disco.  This is reasonably minor, in light of the advantages.

Promising, in toto.  I find it interesting that it's offered (by Pyramyd Air at least) as a kit, along with its own hand pump.  Someone is paying attention to the success of the Benjamin Discovery!

Anyway, bookmarked for future reference and contemplation.  Interesting indeed!

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