Old Diana 45, What to do?

Old Diana 45, What to do?

Joined: April 27th, 2009, 5:42 pm

April 9th, 2012, 4:23 pm #1

I have a Diana 45 here that spent it's life in the closet out on a lake on our families house boat. It was nearly forgotten about until this winter, the familiy deceided we were going to sell the house boat and upon cleaning everything out we found this Diana that my Grandfather had bought (maybe 25 years ago?). I guess I'm wondering if there are people out there that are interested in rifles in this type of condition. There is some pretty heavy rust, and the stock needs a good sanding/refinish. There aren't any gouges/scratches and the bore looks clean. Besides feeling completely dry, it cocks supprisingly smooth, and locks up nicely. I'd say this rifle was shot no more than a couple hundred times which is sort of a sad story. It was simply put away and forgotten about while it sat and weathered for years.

I have some pictures here of the right (worst) side, breech area and trigger. Let me know what you think about it, and if it's worth selling as is.

















Reply
Share

Joined: May 31st, 2005, 5:24 am

April 9th, 2012, 5:41 pm #2

and redo it yourself. those guns are great shooters. you'd be surprised what some fine steel wool and wd40 will do on removing rust. go slowly and wipe clean and check every so often to keep from removing the blue. probably going to take some bluing off anyway but some cold blue can touch that up. strip the stock and reseal it with some tung oil. i have a 45 identical to that (without rust) that i replaced the seal and spring with one of the vortex kits. if yours is that old the seal is probably leather and needs replacing anyway. mine is an excellent shooter/hunter shooting the jsb 10.2 grn heavies around 800 fps. the 45 is identical to the 34 on the inside, just cosmetic differences on the outside. the 45 has a recoil pad and a fancier stock, just a dressed up 34 but like i said, great shooters.
Reply
Share

Joined: September 22nd, 2000, 7:58 pm

April 9th, 2012, 7:04 pm #3

I bought an old Diana 45 at a gun show in Dallas with the plan to resell it. After shooting it I am less likely to sell it. In your case, I would clean up the steel and the wood with steel wool. The old leather seals don't need to be replaced, they just need to be lubricated with a mixture of silicone oil and Neat's Foot Oil. If it were me I would just put a little tar on the spring and reuse the original mainspring unless it is rusted badly.

David Enoch

Reply
Share

Joined: January 15th, 2002, 4:53 pm

April 9th, 2012, 7:07 pm #4

I have a Diana 45 here that spent it's life in the closet out on a lake on our families house boat. It was nearly forgotten about until this winter, the familiy deceided we were going to sell the house boat and upon cleaning everything out we found this Diana that my Grandfather had bought (maybe 25 years ago?). I guess I'm wondering if there are people out there that are interested in rifles in this type of condition. There is some pretty heavy rust, and the stock needs a good sanding/refinish. There aren't any gouges/scratches and the bore looks clean. Besides feeling completely dry, it cocks supprisingly smooth, and locks up nicely. I'd say this rifle was shot no more than a couple hundred times which is sort of a sad story. It was simply put away and forgotten about while it sat and weathered for years.

I have some pictures here of the right (worst) side, breech area and trigger. Let me know what you think about it, and if it's worth selling as is.
















IMHO, that looks like it would take a TON of work to get it back in good shape. Unless you have a lot of spare time on your hands+ a good, solid bit of mechanical inclination, I think it would be a LOT TO TAKE ON for most people. I saw a really nice, used Diana 45 last week for sale for about $149, so if you sold it, I doubt you'd get much of anything for it.

So, I'd either keep it and consider it a MAJOR project, but a good learning experience for yourself, (if you're so inclined) or I'd probably "donate" it to someone here, who wants to attempt to restore something for the first time. I'd just charge them for the shipping charges, period.

I may be "way off" on my comments as to value, so take it with a grain of salt and please don't feel offended in any way.

But, sometimes a gun's condition is so far gone, that it's going to take so much knowledge, time and effort to get it back to a decent condition, that it's likely not worth the trouble for the "average joe" to take on.

Just my 2 cents.
Reply
Share

Joined: September 22nd, 2000, 7:58 pm

April 9th, 2012, 8:02 pm #5

Some guns just don't get the respect they deserve. The old Diana 45 is in that group. It is a well made German gun that is easy to cock and shoot and is very accurate. I think they should sell for at least $200. I always thought that big square trigger guard made it look odd and I think that is the reason it isn't more popular. I know if people shot the gun they would like it.

I like guns like the one in this post. Just clean off the rust and keep it as a shooter. It's a gun that you don't have to worry about getting dinged on the screen door. You don't have to worry about leaving finger prints on it. Just clean it up, lube it, and shoot it.

David Enoch

Reply
Share

Joined: October 15th, 2002, 6:54 pm

April 10th, 2012, 12:13 am #6

I have a Diana 45 here that spent it's life in the closet out on a lake on our families house boat. It was nearly forgotten about until this winter, the familiy deceided we were going to sell the house boat and upon cleaning everything out we found this Diana that my Grandfather had bought (maybe 25 years ago?). I guess I'm wondering if there are people out there that are interested in rifles in this type of condition. There is some pretty heavy rust, and the stock needs a good sanding/refinish. There aren't any gouges/scratches and the bore looks clean. Besides feeling completely dry, it cocks supprisingly smooth, and locks up nicely. I'd say this rifle was shot no more than a couple hundred times which is sort of a sad story. It was simply put away and forgotten about while it sat and weathered for years.

I have some pictures here of the right (worst) side, breech area and trigger. Let me know what you think about it, and if it's worth selling as is.
















If you're interested, I'd be happy to take this one on. You would pay shipping both ways, and I would do what I could for it, at no charge. I make no promises, and my timeframe may be on the longer side, but I LOVE saving guns like this. I offer at the very least that I could get it shooting close to original specs, and I could greatly improve its appearance. No, it won't look new, but yes, it will look MUCH better than it does now. I've saved a few that were much further gone than this one, including an FWB 300, a Diana 27, and a Haenel I that were well documented on the vintage forum. I do these projects out of love for neglected rifles. Email me if you are interested.

I think we're all Bozos on this bus.
Reply
Share

Joined: October 22nd, 2009, 6:06 am

April 10th, 2012, 3:19 am #7

Take it to Paul Watt and let him work his magic. Sure it will cost you, but....you will have a Paul Watts tuned Mod45 and there is nothing better then that. As a previous owner of a fine Mod45 I think my recommendation is a very valid option.
Reply
Share

Joined: April 27th, 2009, 5:42 pm

April 10th, 2012, 4:27 am #8

I have a Diana 45 here that spent it's life in the closet out on a lake on our families house boat. It was nearly forgotten about until this winter, the familiy deceided we were going to sell the house boat and upon cleaning everything out we found this Diana that my Grandfather had bought (maybe 25 years ago?). I guess I'm wondering if there are people out there that are interested in rifles in this type of condition. There is some pretty heavy rust, and the stock needs a good sanding/refinish. There aren't any gouges/scratches and the bore looks clean. Besides feeling completely dry, it cocks supprisingly smooth, and locks up nicely. I'd say this rifle was shot no more than a couple hundred times which is sort of a sad story. It was simply put away and forgotten about while it sat and weathered for years.

I have some pictures here of the right (worst) side, breech area and trigger. Let me know what you think about it, and if it's worth selling as is.
















I cleaned the rust up the best I could without ruining the blue. The internals were not rusted so I cleaned everything up, put tar on the main spring, moly on everything else and some Neatsfoot on the leather seal. As for the stock, I sanded it down and am in the process of refinishing it.

Cocking isn't very smooth, the black sleeve that goes over the spring on the piston end has a pretty bad fit so there is some "honking" when cocking the rifle. Before I sand the finish in the morning for another coat I'm going to get it back in the action and see what the firing cycle is like. It may be a keeper, so lets keep our fingers crossed.
Reply
Share