Diana News from SHOT Show 2015
Our headline photograph shows the Diana booth at the SHOT Show 2015, with Managing Director Herr Zedler displaying the new Diana 350 N-TEC Magnum air rifle.
Recent changes at Diana (Mayer and Gammelspacher GmbH & Co. KG) have caused some concerns among Diana enthusiasts in the US, so I investigated what is happening. Here is the Diana news from SHOT Show 2015.
Herr Zedler explained to me that the old – 125 years old! – Diana factory building has been closed as it was no longer suitable for the modern production requirements of Diana air rifles. But, he said, “it is not the end but a new beginning” and that there will be more investment in new designs and airgun technology in future.
The Diana company was recently sold to GSG GmbH (German Sports Guns). Diana air rifle production continues now at a GSG facility.
GSG is owned by the L&O Group, which also owns a number of other major firearms industry manufacturers, including SIG SAUER, Mauser and Blaser (the latter being best known in Europe).
By coincidence (?) GSG had a booth right next to the Diana booth at the SHOT Show. So I talked to the GSG representatives.
GSG were displaying some prototype air rifles. One was named the Mauser 03, the other the Blaser Success. They are based on Diana technology and are planned to be available in .177 and .22 calibers.. The photograph below shows these models.
The current Diana range continues in production and will continue to be available in the US market through the existing distributor UmarexUSA.
It seems clear that the L&O Group is making a major investment into the airgun market. My guess is that this will be positive for Diana and Diana enthusiasts in the long run…
SIG SAUER also had some very significant new airgun product announcements at the SHOT Show 2015. The SIG SAUER airgun products are very different from the more traditional Diana/Mauser/Blaser direction, however. I believe they are so significant that they will be covered by HAM in a separate post.
Following is some further detailed information from part of an old (2013) Press Release posted by the L&O Group. It clearly indicates the strategic thinking behind L&O Group’s expansion. Please note that this Press Release was issued more than a year before Diana joined the group.
“On the 28th May 2013, the L&O Group, with registered office in Emsdetten, Germany, took over the controlling stake in German Sport Guns GmbH (GSG), with registered office in Ense, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Among other, the company portfolio of the L&O Group includes the leading weapon manufacturers Blaser Jagdwaffen, Mauser Jagdwaffen, J.P. Sauer & Sohn, John Rigby as well as SIG SAUER.
The L&O Group and GSG have been partners for many years; in particular, GSG has been an important strategic supplier of SIG SAUER products in the USA for many years. Significant growth potential is particularly expected in the utilisation of the trademark portfolios of the L&O Group, particularly brands such as “SIG SAUER”, “Blaser”, “Mauser” and “J.P. Sauer & Sohn”. The acceleration of the commodities business is also envisaged. Sales focus of GSG continues to be the US-American market, whereby significant growth potential is anticipated also in other regions worldwide”