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Thread: Milbro / Diana production records.

  1. #1
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    Milbro / Diana production records.

    Having just acquired a post war Diana 27 I have googled high and low but can find no production records that will accurately date my rifle. Even on the Dianewerk forums there is no information.
    Can anyone point me in the right direction, or are all Milbro records lost for all eternity.?
    Pete.

  2. #2
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    thought so

    So, after 43 people have viewed this post not one reply. This confirms that indeed NO production records from Milbro have survived. That is such a shame, that we have lost the history of one of this country's most prolific airgun makers of the 20th century. How many people out there have learned to shoot with a Milbro Diana.

    Shame 'innit.
    Pete.

  3. #3
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    That is a shame, my dads milbro Diana g80 wasthe first air rifle I ever shot, about 20 years ago, he's still got it but has seen better days, I hope you find what your looking for

  4. #4
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    Diana 27 will be about 1950- 1963. G27 1963 on. Should be a date stamp on the base of the butt, some times gets lost due to wear
    but sometimes you can just make it out with a magnifier.
    Alan.

  5. #5
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    Flat trajectory I understand your angst...someone somewhere should have some sort of record?? Or did nobody give a s###? Judging by the quality offered probably the latter...which is a shame, I have a couple of G80s and they are super rifles...some people like the Cougar as well. It is odd to think that such recent history might as well have been produced in the dark ages.

  6. #6
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    It seems strange to me that we have records for BSA and Webley going back to the beginning of the 20th century, but nothing at all for Millard bros.
    Does anyone know WHY there are no records.? Was there a fire at the factory or did they just not care enough to keep records.?
    Very strange.

    Pete.

  7. #7
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    Milbro went bust in c. 1982. The factory in Motherwell was closed, the pellet business was sold off separately. That survived to become the modern Milbro Guns, the rest.....vanished. These sorts of records just don't get kept. Look at Webley, there really is not thatmuch of actual produciton records. BSA is different, the company is stil going strong and has had averal decent historians write about it. Very few record survive save those which were kept by individuals. I too have been curious about Milbro. Possibly Milbro pellets retains some documentation or some archive in Scotland?

    Shame, I've rather got into Milbro's of late, especially the wries 70 which I once derided. The G79 is o omy mind paerhasp the best all round. All low powered plinkers of course, but simple and straightforward. The machinery they got as reparations from Dinawerk after WW2 was evidently only sufficient to produce guns of max DIana 27 size. Virtually all their rifles were based on that.

  8. #8
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    I really think that they should have done better given that they inherited the tooling for production....it is the same story in the British bike and car industry though....very little seemed to be spent on development.

  9. #9
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    Interesting one this. I have a Diana mod 23 marked on the rear of the cylinder ' Diana mod 23 made in Great Britain .177 cal'
    It has no impressed month/year on the butt and is in near mint condition. It does have a number 233845 stamped on the left hand breech
    flat of the barrel and hidden by the breech jaws when closed.

    I also have a Model 22 similarly marked on the rear of the cylinder, except of course 'mod 22'
    that has 11 60 for November 1960 stamped into the butt.

    So I'm guessing my Mod 23 is of a similar age as cylinder markings did vary from time to time ie ommiting the calibre.

    As is well documented Mayer and Grammelspachers machinery was brought to the UK as part of war reparations and I imagine Millard Bros
    inherited by default and went into production.

    They were probably seen as relatively cheap 'guns' and not being serially numbered and being just after the war, with other things on peoples minds they saw no need to bother with records.

    I have a soft spot for Diana's my first rifle was a Mod 22 on my 14th birthday in 1960. It's still in the family, with my son, for the grandsons.

    I have several diana's both pre and post war, the pre wars dated mid to late 30's. I wish they could talk!

    I think these are much overlooked as they are super guns to shoot and accurate.

    Probably why prices tend to be reasonable as well.

    I have not come across or heard of serial numbers on Diana's before.

    Chris.
    Last edited by CHJF177; 02-03-2013 at 01:28 PM. Reason: Addition

  10. #10
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    And nobody owns up to having worked there or knowing anybody who worked there?
    I think if you look at the numbers of guns produced from Bsa/Webley/Milbro, they are actually very small on a global scale. The Meteor has sold over a million in 54 years, but that is less than 20,000 a year as an average for a popular gun.
    I think that only 4,200 Webley Typhoons were made?
    Bsa Reflex sights? 9,000

    The late 50's and all the 60's guns do seem to have a date stamp on them but I don't think many of the 70,s ones do.

    Both myself and Mr Ogilkes, have described the 70's guns as being "British Leylandy" and that may be true.
    I had the pleasure of doing a couple of G79/80's a few years ago, (one that Oglikes very kindly sent me) and I sent them on to Gamocfx.
    They do have faults but are accurate guns. Another pin to stop the "rocking trigger" would have helped as would a piston that wasn,t made out of crap metal that wears.
    I am currently playing about with a couple of Milbro cougars (must bump the thread for spares) and it is almost like they had the basis of a decent "Scottish Scorpion" but then they handed it over to a bloke who had been sacked from British Leyland for being a half wit
    They have a die cast Trigger housing that weighs about the same as a Webley pistol and grips made out of the most brittle plastic known to man.
    I am trying to "roll it in glitter", because it is reckoned that you can't polish a turd. Hopefully with the help of a couple of the bbsers, I will get a working pistol that will be better than the standard one, but hardly any different, in the respect that the factory could have done it themselves with very little effort.

  11. #11
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    My early 1950's model 27 does not have any date stamps anywhere,not even on the stock. It would seem to be very well made and assembled, more Germanic than the later Milbro developed models.
    I love the term ... BritishLeylandy, very apt. As an RAC patrol during the 70's to 00's I have worked on many of Longbridges finest and they were utter crap. Tolerances could be measured with a callender, nevermind a micrometer........l.o.l.

    Pete.

  12. #12
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    Milbros were slightly better than Longbirdge, although that damn plastic trigger unit for the later G70/G80 which wobbled all over the shop was very much of that ilk. Its a shame, they made what could have been decent youth rifles, it just needed a bit more commitment. I suppose that was the problem. The whole operation was set up on the cheap with filched equipment and no one really bothered.

  13. #13
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    The G80s are very much appreciated and regularily used, The .177 is very accurate and the rifles have a very decent stock....I cannot fathom how they managed to go under with such a good start? Records must exist somewhere...maybe one day they will turn up, where was the factory? Some employee will know what happened.

  14. #14
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    I agree it's a shame more isn't known about Milbro's manufacturing history. I'm curious to know how the company came to make the G55, which appears to be a copy of the post-War Diana mod 50. Did they license the design from Diana or what? I can't see Diana wanting to do that as it would have eaten into sales of the Diana-made Originals.

    I also wonder what Diana made of Milbro, which apparently had little of the German company's drive to be the best that it could be, despite the British company having something of a head start in the 1950s. Then again, perhaps having to start from scratch with new machinery helped Diana quickly overtake Milbro, with its old-tech pre-War machinery and designs! It's hard to imagine Milbro having come up with the technological wizardry that made the recoilless Diana 60 such a magnificent piece of machinery, for example!

    I have a soft spot for Milbro despite not having a very high opinion of its post-War output, because I spent many, many happy hours plinking with a Milbro-made "Diana" tinplate in my youth. It saddens me to think that Scottish youngsters won't be able to enjoy this harmless pleasure in the future if the SNP licensing scheme banning plinking in private homes and gardens goes through.

    OBJECT TO THE SCOTTISH PROPOSALS - CLICK HERE!
    Vintage Airguns Gallery
    ..Above link posted with permission from Gareth W-B
    In British slang an anorak is a person who has a very strong interest in niche subjects.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by flatrajectory View Post
    So, after 43 people have viewed this post not one reply. This confirms that indeed NO production records from Milbro have survived. That is such a shame, that we have lost the history of one of this country's most prolific airgun makers of the 20th century. How many people out there have learned to shoot with a Milbro Diana.

    Shame 'innit.
    Pete.
    you are right there , I along with most of my mates learnt to shoot with Diana air rifles or pistols in the sixties and then bought several others later in life ,
    I have an early model G80 i bought new in.177 i think this was around 1980 along with a new BSA mercury , I have four model IV pistols some of which are marked Diana and some are Milbro (one boxed ) they were first pistol I ever used before a Gat even
    a gun is just a tool how its used is dependant on the person behind the trigger .
    This is why constant restrictions on legal users will have no effect on the unlawfull use of guns or knives !

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