Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 39

Thread: Diana 48/52 history

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    London
    Posts
    6,020

    Diana 48/52 history

    Just wondering if somewhere there is a good detailed timeline history of the Diana 48 and 52. I’ve not seen one.

    General

    From memory, they were introduced in around 1987-88.

    The main model variations over time were the introduction of the TO5 innards in around 2000, and the TO6 ones in 2010-11.

    But there were definitely other changes - for example in the design and manner of attachment of the front sight assembly.

    For a while (mid 1990s?) there were some black tactical 48s (and 34s). I think one with a bipod and muzzle thing/silencer.

    Early ones were marked 48/52. I think that changed later. If so, when?

    U.K. variants/customs

    I think the early U.K. market “sub-12” guns were rendered that way mostly through a weak spring. At some point M&G decided instead to use the standard export/FAC level spring with a transfer port restrictor (making the guns horrid to shoot).

    By the 2000s, there was the 52 carbine, which may have been a U.K.-only model, only or primarily in .22”.

    We had the 80s Frank Dyke (Diana importer) specials marked as “Original” and “CLASSIC” in a CS thumbhole. But stock internals (?). And my standard stock 80s 52 is marked the same, and as a 52, not 48/52.

    And the “Firebirds”, which were Frank D’s slightly tarted-up versions, with gold-coloured medallions in the grip.

    And custom versions by Venom, Ken Turner/Cindy’s Shooting Shop and Manor Firearms. Again, usually in CS TH stocks. Mostly short-stroked, though not all.

    So, that’s a start. No guarantee of complete accuracy.

    I note that M&G’s website history says that the 48/52 was introduced in 1980. Which is nonsense.

    PS - IIRC there were, even in the U.K., a variety of markings: Diana, Original, and RWS.
    Last edited by Geezer; 09-09-2021 at 11:30 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Pontypridd South Wales uk
    Posts
    1,820
    I think you've covered a few bases here Geezer.

    I picked up a 52 from Litts around mid 89 and this was a Firebird variant. My memory is hazy now as to those times but back then I was very much an HW officianado and I was curious as to the upstart challenging the 80. So after a relationship breakdown I treated myself to a Firebird. To my mind the only marque that should have worn that moniker. Thinly veiled dig at BSA there for pinching the branding a few years later
    Anyhow this was my first Diana (it was branded as such then). It struck me as equally well built as the 80 with an air of solidity. The trigger couldn't match a Record but was perfectly adequate. The foresight back in those far off days was a hefty metal casting which I later changed over to a mod the make of which now escapes me but which resides on the gun to this day.
    I concur with the early springs. Later, on stripping the 52 down, I found a quite diminutive spring inside. Clearly to throttle back the 52s ease at making power.
    Despite me thinking I had picked up a reasonably early model of this gun I have found in more recent years that Original branded models exist clearly pre dating that of my own. They must inevitably be a rarer version of these models.
    The 52/4/6 model guns are very well built and can achieve excellent accuracy given a matched pellet. I'm a convert and now use a 54 for much of my hunting. It's spoiled me and I'm loathe to go back to anything else nowadays.
    Dave

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    London
    Posts
    6,020
    Cheers. There was also at least one U.K. aftermarket silencer offered back in the day. My 52 came to me with one. Quite slim, quite short (though making the 52 at least as long as a 22” barrel HW35E) and doubtless not very good at quieting the thing, but it looks nice.

    Given that the 48/52 has been in production for about 35 years, and that, at least in the US, it was a very popular and influential rifle, it just struck me that there’s - I think - a lot less written about its history and development than, say, the various Mks of HW80s, 77s, FWB Sports.

    If there is such info, it’s probably buried on the old American dianawerk forum, which used to be quite good but in the past (?) five years or more appears to have congealed into irrelevance, due in part, I think, to the sad passing of one or more of the more active and constructive members.

    Hoping that Drew or Driskill (to name but two) can add to/correct the above.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Leicester
    Posts
    12,357
    Quote Originally Posted by jonnyone View Post
    Despite me thinking I had picked up a reasonably early model of this gun I have found in more recent years that Original branded models exist clearly pre dating that of my own. They must inevitably be a rarer version of these models.
    The 52/4/6 model guns are very well built and can achieve excellent accuracy given a matched pellet. I'm a convert and now use a 54 for much of my hunting. It's spoiled me and I'm loathe to go back to anything else nowadays.
    Dave
    I just acquired a lovely example of an Original 52 in .177 flavour from guntrader 😊

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Sheffield
    Posts
    1,858
    In 1996 around the same time as the introduction of the HW97 MK1 the black version of the 48 with bipod was on the market from RWS.
    It was designated Diana 48B and sales pitch of having the same power plant ,barrel and trigger of the Airking.
    The 34s carbine was wearing the 38 stock at this time period .

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Glenrothes
    Posts
    1,301

    48/52

    Oof. Slightly easier than 34 chronology but most things are. There has been good input so far on the thread and many angles covered.

    I maybe wrong but I thought the 52 was introduced first in late 1986. I think Frank Dyke still had the upper hand as I recall there seemed to be more Originals than Diana or RWS 52"s in the earliest years. Soon there were Firebird 52's also, but I believe this branding as being quite short lived, most being from 1989 until 1992ish. The 48 seemed to be far less common then and it gave me the impression that it was released late. I may be mistaken.

    The "Frank Dyke Specials" have the CS walnut stocks and I've always thought they had standard internals. The thumbhole stock is a fair lump of wood and, for me, it makes this variant a range or hide gun. As has been said earlier TO1's had a bit more in the way of steel fittings about them -front sight assembly, trigger blade and guard.

    Like a lot of M&G ways and means, I'm not sure there was any rhyme or reason to the 48/52/Classic stampings as these seemed to turn up in many markets. In the UK, its most associated with the Original brand.

    The 48B was the main variation in the UK and it later became known as the Black Pro. There were a few variations on the TO5 era 52, mostly based on the stock fitted, 52 Superior and Luxus, but there was a 48 with a stock with an adjustable cheekpiece that I have never seen in the UK. The 52 Ultra Carbine looked very cool and I have only ever seen it in .22. An HC in the thumbhole stock would be something special.

    Leaving the 54 aside, the model lives on as the 48 only. Diana continuing to pare back their German made model range.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    London
    Posts
    6,020
    Good stuff, thanks. As I understand it a Superior had a plain walnut stock, the Luxus had beech (?) but with chequering on the grip and fore-end and a contrasting very dark wood fore end tip. And both are pretty rare.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Glenrothes
    Posts
    1,301
    Quote Originally Posted by Geezer View Post
    Good stuff, thanks. As I understand it a Superior had a plain walnut stock, the Luxus had beech (?) but with chequering on the grip and fore-end and a contrasting very dark wood fore end tip. And both are pretty rare.
    Im not totally sure. I always thought that one had a walnut stock and the other had a plain beech stock "dipped?" to produce a very fancy walnut looking stock with a hint of laminate effect. I do recall the dark wood forend tip though.
    Occasionally, I think about biying a new 48 and fiddlimg with it over time. Im up to my neck in projects I have no time for as it is though.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Leicester
    Posts
    12,357
    Quote Originally Posted by Geezer View Post
    Good stuff, thanks. As I understand it a Superior had a plain walnut stock, the Luxus had beech (?) but with chequering on the grip and fore-end and a contrasting very dark wood fore end tip. And both are pretty rare.
    My original 52 has a chequered pistol grip and fire end and no dark section, so many variations gets confusing!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Pontypridd South Wales uk
    Posts
    1,820
    Quote Originally Posted by ikarma70 View Post
    I just acquired a lovely example of an Original 52 in .177 flavour from guntrader 😊
    That's quite a catch. I wonder what trigger set up it has? The various iterations of Diana triggers confuse me so I'd guess it would be same as mine.
    Out of interest what month/ year is the action stamped?
    Dave

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Dorset
    Posts
    1,997
    Quote Originally Posted by Geezer View Post
    Good stuff, thanks. As I understand it a Superior had a plain walnut stock, the Luxus had beech (?) but with chequering on the grip and fore-end and a contrasting very dark wood fore end tip. And both are pretty rare.
    I have a Diana catalogue that shows the 52 Luxus with a rather nice walnut stock and rather plain coloured to match the stock fore end tip.

    Superior Diana models had dipped stocks from the info I've read

    The really rare model from Diana could well be the Mod. 46 Stutzen Prestige with walnut stock and carvings in front of the butt pad and hand cut checkering but maybe not that much rarer than a factory walnut stocked 52

    And just to add, a slightly scaled down model 48/52 & 54 made for our market would have been a peach of a rifle
    Luftgewehre du siehst nicht das ganze bild

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    oldbury
    Posts
    1,309

    52

    I have a recollection the 52 variant first arrived in 86 and to cut costs slightly a 48 model with plain stock was introduced a year ish latter ?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Quigley Hollow, Nuneaton
    Posts
    14,387
    Quote Originally Posted by original45 View Post
    I have a recollection the 52 variant first arrived in 86 and to cut costs slightly a 48 model with plain stock was introduced a year ish latter ?
    I have a feeling that my 52 is from 1986 --- I'll have to dig it out and have a look tomorrow.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Leicester
    Posts
    12,357
    Quote Originally Posted by jonnyone View Post
    That's quite a catch. I wonder what trigger set up it has? The various iterations of Diana triggers confuse me so I'd guess it would be same as mine.
    Out of interest what month/ year is the action stamped?
    Dave

    11 88

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    London
    Posts
    6,020
    Quote Originally Posted by ikarma70 View Post
    11 88
    “T01” then.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •