Diana Outlaw PCP Air Rifle Test Review .22 Caliber
March 1, 2018
Supplied by Airguns of Arizona
Consistent regulated shot count
Side lever cocking
Safety too small for gloved hands
Magazine doesn't block blank discharges when empty
Stock has no adjustable buttpad or cheekpiece
VALUE FOR MONEY
At a Street Price of $499.99, the Diana Outlaw is priced between the rash of $300 PCPs and the more traditional $1,000-ish starting point for the premium brands. However, there are some very strong competitors at the $500 mark. These include the Benjamin Marauder, Hatsan AT-44 and Kral Puncher models.
Probably the Marauder is the gun to beat at the price. Compared to the Outlaw, the Marauder has a better trigger, is quieter and can’t be blank-fired with a magazine in place. But the Diana has a far more consistent regulated shot count, side lever action and more sophisticated looks. It’s a close run thing!
This comparison to the Marauder in itself means that the Diana Outlaw offers very good value for money. That’s always been the Marauder’s strong suit and the Outlaw clearly trades punches with the long-established champion in performance, value and quality.
Yes, the Diana Outlaw is that good…
|HAM Test Rating||87%|
|Value For Money||Vies with the best at this price.|
|Best For||Hunting. Target shooting.|
|Best Pellet Tested||H&N Baracuda Match|
|Street Price at Time of Test||$500+ scope.|
Easy to Shoot
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SPEED AND ACCURACY
The Diana Outlaw tested by HAM achieved a maximum Muzzle velocity of 1051 FPS with 10.3 Grain H&N Field Target Trophy Green alloy pellets. The highest Muzzle Velocity recorded with led was 993.95 FPS with the 11.9 Grain RWS Hobby pellets.
More importantly, Muzzle Energy peaked at 31.11 Ft/Lbs with the heavy, 21.14 Grain H&N Baracuda Match pellets. The average Muzzle Energy across the standard HAM test pellets was 27.58 Ft/Lbs.
It’s likely that many owners of the Diana Outlaw will choose to shoot mid-weight lead pellets in the 14 – 15 Grain range, they will see a Muzzle Energy of around 28 – 29 Ft/Lbs. That’s fine for much airgun hunting.
|Pellet||Average Muzzle Velocity||Average Muzzle Energy||Accuracy|
|Gamo Raptor Platinum 9.7 Grain||1045.94 FPS||23.57 Ft/Lbs||Poor.|
|H&N Field Target Trophy Green 10.03 Grain||1051.14 FPS||26.61 Ft/Lbs||Poor.|
|RWS Hobby 11.9 Grain||993.95 FPS||26.11 Ft/Lbs||Poor.|
|Crosman Premier HP 14.3 Grain||945.80 FPS||28.41 Ft/Lbs||Excellent.|
|JSB Jumbo Exact 14.35 Grain||944.65 FPS||28.44 Ft/Lbs||Very Good.|
|H&N Field Target Trophy 14.66 Grain||940.34 FPS||28.79 Ft/Lbs||Excellent.|
|H&N Baracuda Match 21.14 Grain||814.10 FPS||31.11 Ft/Lbs||Excellent. Best Tested.|
Accuracy was very good or better with 14.3 Grain and heavier pellets. As is frequently the case with quality PCP air rifles, the lighter pellets did not perform very well.
The best accuracy in the Diana outlaw tested by HAM was achieved using the heavy H&N Baracuda Match pellets. At 25 Yards, the 10-shot test group was very respectable at about 0.3-Inches center-to-center using a scope at 9X magnification.
As you can see from the target below, one pellet impacted just slightly to the right, the remaining 9 were in a ragged one hole. Maybe we should blame the shooter for the “flyer”!
TRIGGER AND COCKING EFFORT
The Outlaw has a two-stage trigger. However, the first stage is considerably heavier than is normal and it feels rather more like a single stage trigger with a degree of creep. Sear release is predictable, however, and the overall effect quite pleasant. Pull weight averaged a comfortable 1 Lb 11 Oz.
It does feel a little “mushy” compared to the triggers on more expensive PCPs. But – there again – that could be one of the reasons they cost more money!
It’s quite possible that the trigger would respond well to a little careful tuning. It is adjustable for pull length and sear engagement. Both adjustments are achieved by using hex wrenches inserted through appropriate holes in the trigger guard. However, as always, HAM tested the trigger as received.
The cocking lever works well and easily. Again, it’s less slick than that of more expensive PCPs, but it’s definitely better than any bolt action the HAM Team can think of. We noticed a definite roughness in chambering some pellets, primarily the alloys, FTTs and Baracudas. However, that clearly made no difference to accuracy so far as the heavier H&N pellets were concerned.
The Diana Outlaw has a trigger block safety of manual type. It is located in a similar position to that on Air Arms models. It’s actually in the trigger blade and has a side-to-side action.
As you can see from the photograph below, this safety has a red indicator for “off safe”. When engaged, the other side of the safety projects and prevents movement of the trigger by striking against the trigger guard itself. It’s an elegant concept.
This safety is simple to operate for a right-handed shooter. It’s less convenient for a left-hander, however, as a change of hold is required to operate by Southpaws. We also found it too small for effective use in cold weather when wearing gloves.
COMPARISON TO MAKERS CLAIMS
The manufacturer is restrained in it’s claims for the Diana Outlaw – as befits higher-end air rifles. Published specifications call for a maximum Muzzle velocity of 985 FPS (probably with lead pellets, it’s not stated).
The Outlaw tested by HAM just exceeded that number using RWS Hobby pellets at 993.93 FPS. It significantly exceeded the specification using the alloys, of course.
Diana claims a maximum Muzzle energy of 35 Ft/Lbs for the Outlaw in .22 caliber. The maximum achieved in HAM testing was 31.11 Ft/Lbs using the 21.14 Grain Baracuda Match pellets. As heavier pellets usually give a higher Muzzle Energy with PCP air rifles, it’s likely that our maximum could be exceeded. However, it’s quite a long way from 31 to 35 Ft/Lbs…
Surprisingly, the manufacturer makes no consistent shot count claim for the Diana Outlaw. As can be seen below, it clearly attains around 50 consistent shots per fill. That’s not at all bad and the HAM Team suggests that Diana adds this claim to the product specs.
The Diana Outlaw has a regulated action. This produces a good, consistent Muzzle Velocity for 49 shots, as you can see from the graph below. From shot 50, pressure had fallen sufficiently that the regulator was no longer activated. The FPS then dropped steadily from shot-to-shot, as is expected.
This test was made using JSB-manufactured Daystate Rangemaster, 15.9 Grain pellets.
The average Standard Deviation (the measure of shot-to-shot variation in a string) was also low at an average of 5.17 FPS, another indication of good FPS consistency.
Also the trigger of the Diana Outlaw tested by HAM proved to be very consistent. Trigger pull weight readings varied by only an ounce or two either side of the average 1 Lb 11 Oz. None of our trigger fingers can detect that degree of variability when shooting…
Accuracy was also consistently very good or better with mid-weight and heavier domed pellets.
Overall, this gives the Diana Outlaw a strong score for consistency.
The Diana Outlaw air rifle has a fully-shrouded barrel. This gives a fairly quiet report. It’s not “Marauder quiet”, however, it’s certainly backyard-friendly, in the HAM Team’s opinion.
An interesting design feature is the series of tiny holes drilled in the rear of the shroud. Air can be felt exhausting from these holes whenever a shot is taken. It’s not a strong rush of air, but you can detect it with a hand in the right place.
Although slightly unusual, this did not cause any issues in normal operation of the Diana Outlaw. The shroud certainly seems to work in its intended purpose!
SIGHTS AND SCOPE
The Diana Outlaw is, as expected, not fitted with any iron sights. As with most higher-end air rifles, it’s not bundled with a scope either, thus leaving the choice of optics to the owner.
The top of the breech is grooved with standard airgun dovetails. As there’s minimal recoil when firing, a Weaver/Picatinny mount is not required.
The magazine does protrude above the top of the breech. However, there’s still sufficient clearance for the scope above the clip, even when using medium height rings.
One issue is that the magazine is loaded from the left side of the gun. This may cause issues with large diameter scope sidewheels, so the new owner should check this aspect before selecting a scope.
Also, the relatively slight size of the Outlaw led the HAM Team to consider that a mid-size scope – like a typical 3-9 x40AO – is ideal. Bigger, heavier scopes run the risk of making the rig top heavy.
The HAM Team found the Diana Outlaw very easy and comfortable to shoot. The stock design worked well for us, even though there is no adjustable buttpad or cheekpiece, as is now becoming common in similarly-priced PCP air rifles.
The magazine is of an interesting, quite complex design and has an 11-shot capacity in .22 caliber, one more than many competitive products. It feels robust and substantial in construction. It’s also easy to load without the need to hold back a sprung cover plate, as is often the case with other rotary magazines, due to an internal ratcheting system.
However, it does not block the action when all pellets are used and there’s no pellet counter. This means that it’s necessary to keep count of the shots fired to avoid a blank discharge.
And HAM testers did find it easier to load rested on a bench than held directly in the hand.
The magazine worked well in our testing. It also slides easily and slickly into the breech, being retained in place by a magnet. Capacity is 13 pellets in .177 cal, 11 in .22 and 9 pellets in .25 caliber.
There is are flats on the side of the rotating pellet holder in the magazine. When a flat is in the vertical position for the second time, it’s a visual indication that the magazine is empty.
There’s a single shot tray supplied with the Diana Outlaw too, although somehow it had gone AWOL from our test gun.
The Diana Outlaw is also fairly light. Weight of the sample tested by HAM was 6 Lbs 10 Oz without scope. This compares to the 7 Lbs 5 Oz of a synthetic Marauder.
APPEARANCE AND FINISH
Opinions on appearance are, of course, always personal. However the HAM Team feels that the Diana outlaw is an attractive air rifle with an elegant look.
Machining finish is very good, with most metal parts having a uniform, black matt finish.
The stock has a simple design with no unnecessary curves or shaping. Wood finish is generally good and smooth, with areas of machine-made “checkering” on the forend and pistol grip to aid a good grip. The expected rubber buttpad seemed well-shaped and comfortable against the shoulder.
BUYING AND OWNING
The Diana Outlaw is readily available online from Airguns of Arizona and through Precision Airgun Distribution dealers. It’s less likely to be available at your local big box sporting goods store, however.
The Diana Outlaw uses a probe filling system to charge it with High Pressure Air. HAM Testers do not like fill probes due to the lack of standardization and potential opportunity for dirt to enter the gun through an open probe port. However, the Outlaw’s probe-filling system is by far the best we have yet seen!
Firstly, the probe itself has a standard “Foster” quick disconnect on the other end. This enables it to be connected directly to the standard female quick disconnect fitting found on HPA tanks and pumps without the usual, annoying need for an additional adapter. This makes it quick and easy to use, particularly for owners with other PCPs having a standard male fill nipple.
Secondly, the cover for the fill port is spring-loaded. It’s pulled forward to insert the fill probe, then released back after filling. This is a far better solution – in the HAM Team’s opinion – than the more common separate screw-thread or push-in cover for the fill port.
Now there’s no chance of losing or dropping the cover and the fill port itself is automatically protected from the possible ingress of dirt. This is a first-rate feature that we have not seen on other PCP air rifles.
The HPA pressure gauge is in the end of the pressure tube of the Diana Outlaw. As always, the HAM Team does not like this position due to safety concerns. However, the Outlaw’s design does make it possible to read the gauge from one side, without the need to look directly down the barrel.
The Diana Outlaw is supplied with a well-written and illustrated User’s Guide. This gives clear instructions for use in English, German, French and Spanish languages.
Unusually, there’s also a complete set of tools and O rings included with the Diana Outlaw.
One magazine is supplied with the gun. Additional magazines are available as required, although at $39.95 – they are relatively expensive. However, it’s clear from the design of the magazine that this is a fair price for the sophistication of the item.
The Outlaw is covered by a one year warranty that’s provided in the USA through Airguns of Arizona. This, of course, used to be the standard period for air rifle warranties. However, it’s now out-classed by the three and five year warranties offered by Crosman/Benjamin and Umarex.
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