My life with my Diana 430L so far
I've had it about 2 weeks, but being the holidays, I haven't had near enough shooting time. As I said before, I have self-imposed a limit of a full 400 ct tin of CP 10.5 before messing with the gun, just to give it an honest break-in, and to give myself a decent familiarity period.
Well, I'm probably about 1/2 way through the tin of pellets, and the gun has already changed. Cocking effort has gone down quite noticeably, and the shot cycle has settled. The trigger remains extremely predictable, and one of the best I've ever shot out of the box. Thus far, I haven't shot the gun at distance, deciding rather to shoot at cans in the basement at 7 yds. for the break-in. I put an Adco Alpha dot sight on it, and they seem to mesh well.
I'm really tempted at this point to lube the pivot points to see if that will effect cocking effort, but I am committed to a 400 shot run-in.
All I can say at this point is, if you're on the fence, get one NOW while they're still available at the unbelievable price of $149!
Once I finish my run-in, I'll start testing pellets and doing chrony work, but for now, this is a pretty impressive spring gun!
I did the full run in on the one I bought and it did seem to smooth out some with use and I did lubricate the cocking linkage pins which helped some. The internals are lubed at the factory so a lube tune really isn't needed for a while.
Keep an eye on the muzzle velocity shooting under size pellets threw it will show signs of inconsistency. They tend to favor a 4.53" pellet and won't fall out as easily as others.
I would also recommend reading Hector M.'s blog entries on this gun since it has lots of good info on it.
If you guys are ever planning on stripping the gun to do a lube tune (which it would benefit from) you might as well swap the spring with one that fits the guide better. Use a tacky Red Lucas oil grease on the spring and guide (not a lot) just enough to lightly coat it. And then a high moly on the piston body and a light smear on the OD of the piston seal and a very little smidge on the ID of the compression tube. Then slip it in and out multiple times to evenly spread it. This is all done after cleaning/ degreasing all the parts.
The lube inside the gun is a very very light viscosity oil not like a grease at all.
The spring that fits the factory guide best would be the Vortek .118 wire at .775/.780 OD @ 28/29 coils.
This might lower power slightly. BUT it will make for a much smoother feeling gun and easier cocking. Add a tophat and you're in business.
The piston seals are generally oversized in Diana's, (out of the 10+ I've worked on)
By resizing the seal I've actually jumped 2fpe in a Diana 48 in .22 Cal. Not the case in this rifle, but it helped smoothen out things.
I bought mine in February because I thought it was a good deal. I think I shot it a total of three times before tearing it apart - the cocking was that difficult. Cleaning, lubing, and sizing the piston seal made a HUGE difference but for 12 fpe it was still difficult to cock, though quite accurate. I went shopping for a lighter spring - a .120 to replace the factory .123 or .124. My chosen spring had a larger outside diameter for longer life and I had a spring guide made to fit it. The gun is now much easier to cock and still shoots well. I don't notice any reduction in pellet speed but I've not put it across my Chrony yet either. My only real remaining complaint is how loosely the pellets fit in the breech but as was suggested above a larger diameter pellet would probably help.
Well, I'm about 1/2 way thru a 400ct tin of Crosman 10.5, and I still am getting a faint whiff of what I call that electric train smell, so clearly not everything has burned off yet. I did take it out of the stock and lube the pivot points, as well as CA glue in the stock screw sockets.
The cocking has gotten easier, but it's still pretty stout for the output. But still better than my BSA Airsporter, which was a GORGEOUS gun, but a bear to cock, and even less powerful than the 430L.
Accuracy in the basement is single-hole, and the trigger remains very impressive. I haven't touched it since I took it out of the box.
I haven't noticed any issues with pellet fitment. The 10.5 Crosman Premiers are actually a very tight fit. But I do have a stock of various 4.52s if it becomes an issue.
Once I'm done with my run-in, I'll probably open her up and do a full de-burr and tar-and-moly tune. I may go your way with a lighter spring and some sizing of the seal, but overall, I'm damn impressed by this $149 German-made rifle with an Italian-made beech stock! (Check the fine print on the recoil pad)
I also used a Vortek .118 spring in mine as posted by Cam. Mine was one of those where you specified coil count. I think I got 31 coils. I added a top hat also as I always do. That spring seems a nice compromise on shot cycle and power and cocking effort. 10.4 fpe I think, and there was still perhaps .2" of spacing open yet, but the shot cycle was nicest right there. That gun seems very smooth shooting anyhow with the weight and the added vibration isolation of the sliding receiver.
A little more info to chew on.
I ordered a .118" wire .780" OD 3o coil spring from Vortek on Cam's suggestion. Vortek sent me a 31 coil spring instead. I was debating on sending it but kept it and installed it instead since with the cost of the return shipping I would have the price of a spring in shipping alone,
Cleaned up the spring ends and polished them to a mirror finish.
The new spring fit snugly on the OEM guide with no problem.
I lubed the spring and guide with Ultimox super lube making sure to lube the spring with a light coating inside and out including the spring ends.
Made a sleeve out of .003mm thick Teflon sheet and placed in the piston using a little Ultimox to help hold it in place lubed the piston stem a long with the piston skirt and seal with the same lube alone with a light skim inside the sliding chamber before installing the piston. I left the OEM piston seal on the piston and it seemed to fit nicely with no extra effort or force. The piston slid in and out of the chamber before lubing so I don't think it was over or under size. I also put a smear of lube on the tail end of the out side of the chamber so it would slide easy inside the action tube.
The breach seal was replaced with a Kit from @hector-j-medina-g. since the breach seal was bad after 1000 pellets and needed to be replaced.
Hector's kit replaces the OEM transfer port spacer and has a short neck that protects the seal from the hot gas. Does it work? don't know but I'll find out. Also the rifle was left cocked for 2hrs to set the spring.
Bottom line I did experience a lighter cocking effort yes, did I loose power I don't think so since this rifle never got more then 800 fps new except for with light alloy pellets. There seemed to be less recoil since the rifle would bounce when fired with the OEM spring and now it just lays on the rest and is a lot quieter.
I chronied 7.9 gr CHP 10 shot avg 765.05 10.26 FPE, JSB 8.44 gr 4.53" 10 shot avg 780.12 fps 11.40 FPE, Stoeger/ H&N FTT 8.64 gr 4.50" 10 shot avg 797.3 FPS 12.19 FPE, These were shot in 31 degree weather slight over cast with the chrony placed 6" in front of the rifle muzzle.
Side note - the CHP and Stoeger/H&N pellets had been lubed with T9 Boeing super lube and the JSB pellets were dry.
I have 35 shots on the tune so it may get faster as it breaks in.
I was looking to get close to factory claimed performance with less cocking effort and that is what I got though it may not be enough for some it is definitely an improvement for me.
As stated earlier, I tried the Vortek .118 spring in my 430L. I have always used JM springs, but ordered a couple Vortek springs awhile ago with wire diameter between .110" and .120" which was what JM didn't have at that time. I liked the lighter wire offerings vs those over .120".
Others who have the 430L have expressed interest in lighter cocking. My gun which was a Pyramid demo low powered gun came with a .105" wire. I thought I got a great bargain at $150, but now you guys are getting them new for that price. FYI, even that .105" spring wasn't super easy to cock. With the .118" cocking was reasonable, and I am getting about 10.6fpe with AA 8.44 Fields with that spring not spaced quite to max.
Others after a bit less power and lighter cocking may also wish to try one of the thinner ones. I have a Diana guide from something, so I tried a couple of these springs to post about fit. The Vortek .113X.780X28 is a nice fit to the stock guide. The newer JM E500XL .113" is a tight fit on the stock guide, but should also work. I would think that either of these would give in the range of maybe 9fpe and somewhat lighter cocking. No recommendations here, but just posting some info from parts on hand.