Looking at the Diana pistols section, there is another variant of the Model 2 that could be added -one that I only found out about fairly recently. This is characterised by a dark walnut chequered grip with NO ridges around the edge, unlike the relatively common post-war gun with a light (beech?) wood grip that has both chequering and ridges. As the former is marked "Made in West Germany" and the latter "Made in Germany" it is reasonable to assume that the walnut grip version came first after the war, before German reunification.
I have only come across a handful of these guns - and only one in the UK and the rest in Germany, which suggests that few were imported here. I assume that any intended for the UK market would have been marked "Original", but those I know of all have the Diana name.
This precision recoilless break barrel pistol was made from 1975 to about 1990. (Source: John Griffiths, Encyclopedia of Spring Pistols 2008)
This example comes in its original case, which is lined with very 1970s-style orange foam rubber and covered with brown vinyl.
It is a first pattern mod 10 and the serial number shows it to be one of the earliest of these pistols ever made. The model 10 has a plastic barrel shroud/cocking aid which rotates 180 degrees to protect your palm from the front sight digging into it when cocking.
This example has a fixed rear sight and an eccentric sleeve adjustable to bear down on the web of the hand for extra stability. The second pattern mod 10 lacked this sleeve, had a rear sight that could be fixed in three positions and a lead weight fixed beneath the barrel shroud.
The barrel weight fixing bolts were drilled through the plastic shroud and created a weakness, so the second model is sometimes encountered with cracks in the shroud at this point.
Note the matt black phosphate finish.
Note the various ways in which the walnut anatomical match grips are adjustable.
Note also the front sight, which has a rotating element which alters the visible width of the post. Quite a few of these pistols turn up with this rotating element missing, but the fixed metal post behind it works perfectly well on its own.
Diana's opposing piston recoil cancellation system ensures that the pistol feels dead to shoot. Its long, low sight base make it feel very pointable, like an extension of your hand. It's quite stiff to cock. The trigger is magnificent.
This version of the mod 10, introduced in January 1977, had a detachable lead weight under the barrel shroud/cocking aid. The rear sight could be moved along the cylinder and lock in three positions. The sight locking bolts screwed into lugs brazed onto the top of the cylinder.
These are pretty rare pistols, although not as rare as first thought. But a boxed one is exceptionally unusual. It dates from around 1960. Note the walnut wood grips and the beautifully detailed steel rear sight.
Note also the differences between the hand grip stippling detail and the profile of the fore end tips on the box illustration and the pistol in reality. This is not the first time a factory graphics dept was out of synch with the manufacturing shop floor! The first Walther LP53 brochure springs to mind, which showed wood grips rather than plastic, though none has ever showed up.
Note that the owner's manual accompanying this pistol is different to both the one shown in the post above and the scans supplied by Trevor A in New Zealand elsewhere. Instead of blue type heading each page, there is red type proclaiming the new Diana no.5, strongly suggesting it is an earlier manual.
This highly unusual model 5 is engraved by the British master engraver Don Blocksidge. It's currently for sale on the airgunbbs.com for £475 or very near offer. If anyone's interested in purchasing it, let me know and I'll pass on your details. Thanks to Craig for the pics.