Diana Stormrider Gen 2 Air Rifle Review .22 Caliber
February 20, 2020
Supplied by Pyramyd Air
Upgraded by HAM with second barrel band and regulator.
Small and light.
Only a 12-month warranty.
Single-loading can be fiddly.
Rough loading with some pellets.
VALUE FOR MONEY
The Diana Stormrider Gen 2 tested in this review has been modified by installing additional Diana parts. The cost of the individual parts are as follows:
Diana Stormrider Gen 2 Air Rifle – $199.99
Diana Stormrider Barrel Band – $9.99
Diana Stormrider Regulator – $89.99
Diana Stormrider Fill Valve/Gauge Assembly – $24.99
The following HAM posts provide the information necessary to make these upgrades:
These increase the price of the gun from $199.99 to $324.96, however HAM believes these upgrades are well worth the money. They can also be added as funds are available, so spreading the purchase price if required. That – in itself – is a benefit for many people.
The additional barrel band provides additional support for the Stormrider’s long, thin barrel. That was a concern back when we reviewed the Stormrider Gen 1 model some time back.
The Diana regulator provides much improved consistency of FPS. This much flatter “shot curve” allows for improved practical accuracy in the field across more shots – in spite of the slight reduction it causes in available HPA fill volume.
Combining it with the Fill Adapter/Gauge Assembly gives the operational benefit of having two pressure gauges – even if one is at the end of the pressure tube. Now you can see the main fill pressure on one gauge and the regulator set pressure on the other. This is a feature un-matched by any other PCP air rifle even at twice the price!
Overall, the Diana Stormrider Gen 2 is excellent value for money as a low cost, multi-shot PCP air rifle. The upgraded version reviewed here continues that great value proposition.
BUY FROM PYRAMYD AIR
Diana Stormrider Multi-shot PCP Air Rifle 0.22
Diana Regulator for Stormrider & Bandit
SPEED AND ACCURACY
The Diana Stormrider Gen 2 tested by HAM achieved a maximum Muzzle Velocity of 875.31 FPS with the light Gamo Platinum alloy pellets. It’s important to note that this – and all other – performance figures quoted in this review relate to the air rifle when fitted with the Diana regulator set to 150 Bar.
Installing the regulator greatly increases the consistent shot count. However it does somewhat reduce the maximum FPS achievable, as we’ll see below. But for most shooters, this is a very acceptable compromise.
The maximum Muzzle Velocity with lead pellets was 808.93 FPS. This was achieved – as expected with the light RWS Hobby pellets.
|Pellet||Average Muzzle Velocity||Average Muzzle Energy||Accuracy|
|Gamo Raptor Platinum 9.7 Grain||875.31 FPS||16.51 Ft/Lbs||Poor.|
|H&N Field Target Trophy Green 10.03 Grain||880.50 FPS||17.27 Ft/Lbs||Very Good|
|RWS Hobby 11.9 Grain||808.93 FPS||17.30 Ft/Lbs||Poor.|
|Crosman Premier HP 14.3 Grain||769.89 FPS||18.13 Ft/Lbs||Very Good.|
|JSB Jumbo Exact 14.35 Grain||776.02 FPS||19.19 Ft/Lbs||Excellent. Best Tested.|
|H&N Field Target Trophy 14.66 Grain||767.44 FPS||19.19 Ft/Lbs||Excellent.|
|H&N Baracuda Match 21.14 Grain||650.34 FPS||19.86 Ft/Lbs||Excellent.|
We did not undertake comparative accuracy tests with and without the additional front barrel band. However, it’s clear that accuracy was very good – or better – with mid-weight and heavier lead pellets.
Even if the additional barrel band did not actually help accuracy, it’s unlikely to have hindered it. Also it makes the whole barrel assembly feel more solid and less likely to be knocked out of alignment by an unintended impact.
Shooting at 25 Yards, the Stormrider produced a creditable 10-shot group. It’s likely that the “flier” was actually caused by a slight gust of wind on our outdoor range, rather than being a fault of the gun itself.
TRIGGER AND COCKING EFFORT
The trigger pull weight of the Diana Stormrider Gen 2 air rifle tested by HAM averaged just 1 Lb 13.8 Oz. This is very light for an air rifle of this price and type.
In HAM testing, the trigger felt smooth and predictable. There was a very light take-up of the first stage, combined with a distinct “wall” when the second stage was reached. The Gen 1 version had a single-stage, non-adjustable trigger.
Obviously this is not a $1,000 target rifle trigger! However it’s very good for a $200 PCP. There’s two setscrews which can be used to provide some adjustment to the trigger feel. The front screw adjusts sear engagement, the rear one trigger pull weight.
However, as always, HAM tests triggers as received from the manufacturer. We would not change the settings on the test gun…
Cocking effort is fairly stout. However the travel is quite short and the larger bolt handle – compared to the Gen 1 version – makes it fairly easy to operate.
COMPARISON TO MAKERS CLAIMS
Because the Diana Stormrider Gen 2 air rifle tested by HAM was modified by installing the regulator, it doesn’t match the manufacturer’s Muzzle Velocity claims. However, this is as expected and is not a slam against the product…
If you want maximum FPS for a few shots, do NOT install the regulator. If you prefer to trade-off some FPS for a more consistently-accurate shooting experience – as the HAM Team does – the regulator is clearly the way to go.
Even with the regulator installed and set to 150 Bar, Muzzle Energy was in the 18 – 20 Ft/Lbs range, which is very acceptable for much general shooting and hunting.
Note, though, that the results achieved with the regulator did not correspond very well to those in Diana’s instructions.
There’s no doubt that the shot-to-shot consistency – and vertical accuracy – of the Diana Stormrider Gen 2 was greatly improved by installing the Diana regulator.
As with most regulators, there’s a range of pressures that can be set. This is easily changed using a very long screwdriver, if required. As the chart below shows, the unregulated gives 10 or less reasonably-consistent shots – the red dots.
Setting the reg to the 125 Bar setting gave the results shown by the blue dots. That’s at least 40 very consistent shots. This is outstanding from one fill of the Stormrider’s small HPA tube, but it produced less than 650 FPS with 13.43 Grain pellets.
As this is rather slower than most people would like, we set the reg to 150 Bar (its maximum). This produced 18 extremely consistent shots – the green dots – before the reg set point was reached and further shots became incrementally slower. Considering that this improved shot count is achieved with minimal modification to the gun, HAM believes this is a good improvement over the unregulated gun’s performance.
This shot-to-shot consistency for the regulated Diana Stormrider Gen 2 was reflected in the standard HAM shooting tests. The average Standard deviation across all the HAM test pellets was just 2.4 FPS. That’s a very low (good) figure.
Excellent consistency was also demonstrated when we measured the trigger pull weight. This averaged a light 1 Lb 14 Oz, with a variation of just +/- Ozs in the individual tests. Again, this is excellent performance!
The Diana Stormrider Gen 2 is fitted with a short silencer. This seemed somewhat quieter than the original Gen 1 Stormrider. So it qualifies as reasonably backyard-friendly. However it’s clearly a fair amount louder than a Benjamin Marauder – HAM’s “gold standard” for low report.
SIGHTS AND SCOPE
The Diana Stormrider Gen 2 air rifle is equipped with iron sights. The front sight is a fixed post, while the rear sight has windage and elevation adjustment capability. The rear sight is fitted atop the barrel band (the rear one in our case). This will almost certainly need to be removed when installing a scope, although this is easy to do.
The other scope-mounting issue is the very limited range of mounting flexibility inherent in the short breech. This means that regular-length riflescopes are unlikely to be usable with the Stormrider as they will sit too far back for acceptable eye relief.
The answer is to mount a Leapers UTG Bugbuster scope! These short, light scopes match well with the Stormrider Gen 2. Just make sure that there’s clearance between the scope and the pellet magazine, as seen in the photograph below. Careful adjustment can make this workable, however.
Overall, the Diana Stormrider Gen 2 is light, comfortable and easy to shoot. The balance is good and the light weight will make it popular with those of smaller stature – or who just prefer a lightweight air rifle.
The breech area is fairly confined for loading the single-shot tray if you have big hands. But that’s why the Stormrider is also supplied with a convenient 7-shot (9-shot in .177 cal.) rotary magazine!
Loading tends to be rather rough with some pellets. The JSBs and Hobbys in the standard HAM test suite loaded easily: the others were somewhat rough and needed an additional push forward on the bolt handle to load correctly.
The inclusion of open sights will be welcomed by a proportion of shooters. However the limitations on scope size and placement may prove to be an issue for others. Overall, the HAM conclusion is that this is a pleasant air rifle to shoot.
The new, longer, bolt handle is easier to grasp than the version on the Gen 1 model and we definitely think the trigger is an improvement, too.
APPEARANCE AND FINISH
Overall, the Diana Stormrider Gen 2 is finished at the level you would expect for the price. Metal parts are smoothly-machined. Although there’s a variety of “black” finishes to different metal parts, the overall effect is fine.
The hardwood stock is simply designed. There’s somewhat of a slab-sided effect to the forearm and the color is somewhat restrained. However, it’s certainly functional and practical in use. We wouldn’t describe the overall design as “sexy”, but it’s definitely not unattractive.
BUYING AND OWNING
The Diana Stormrider Gen 2 is readily available from Pyramyd Air, Airgun Depot and other major online dealers.
The ready availability of easy upgrade parts through Pyramyd Air definitely increases the attractiveness of the Stormrider platform. Furthermore, a supply of spare O rings is included with the gun, together with the magazine, single shot tray and fill probe.
HAM definitely suggests fitting an additional barrel band. This give much improved solidity to the barrel, thus overcoming one concern in our review of the Gen 1 Stormrider.
The modest 2,900 PSI fill pressure will be a distinct benefit to many users – particularly if they are filling with a hand pump. Sure, the air capacity of the Diana Stormrider Gen 2 is low, but it’s easy to fill up again!
The operator’s manual is well-illustrated and provides sections in English, German, French and Spanish.
Unlike most other probe-filling systems, there is no cover for the filling port in the end of the HPA tube. This could allow dirt, dust and other junk to make its way into the gun when it is filled, causing potentially serious leaks in the valve.
One area where the Stormrider falls behind the market leaders is in the provision of a 12-month warranty. Many other companies have now moved to 3- or 5-year warranties for their PCP air rifles and there’s considerable feeling of security provided by the longer coverage period.
BUY FROM PYRAMYD AIR
Diana Stormrider Multi-shot PCP Air Rifle 0.22
Diana Regulator for Stormrider & Bandit
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