I would say with some certainty that the gun/seals are that old. If they weren't, then it would not be a 1988 gun.
Okay, seriously, the Diana 34 hasn't changed much over the years. You might plan on replacing the breech seal (easy). Check that the scope mount rail is tight. If you can disassemble the rifle, you could check/replace the piston seal, or possibly put in a Maccari kit. While disassembled, you could check for any rust or corrosion inside the compression chamber. Short of physical damage from accident or abuse, I can't think of much else that goes wrong.
FWIW, you can buy a new Diana 34 (bare gun) for $150 or less; combo kits for ~$200. I'm not sure that the new guns are better, but they are new. With a new rifle, you can also opt for a 16" barrel as well as several different stock options. I've railed on elsewhere about the useless pain of a 20" barrel. If you go with the used rifle, you could always shorten the barrel - not too difficult.
Trigger group on your gun should be a T01, I have a 36 from that period....
January 11 2010, 11:28 AM
Current guns have a T05 Trigger group which only has one adjustment screw and the T01 has 2. Seals may or may not be good, gonna have to shoot it over the chrony and find out. Current 34's give a couple of stock options in wood and synthetic. From the period of your 34, there were some nickel plated actions with black(wood iirc) stocks available as well.
Chances are the gun will be a twangy beast for sure and benefit highly from an aftermarket spring kit.
Better trigger and they feel better workmanship, to some extent. I don't think too much has changed aside from the trigger and, of course, the stock configuration, as mentioned. On top of the compression tube it should say T01 below the Diana logo (unless it happens to have the RWS logo, instead - they were the distributor.) I went to see if I could find the ad but the search is out of whack today.
Oh, and it might need some lube, as suggested, but that's no different from the new ones that being sold today. You might use what's been given here as some bargaining chips.
I have a very early 35,takes the current seals etc... no issues
January 11 2010, 1:52 PM
I like the early triggers much better. Mine also shoots @860's with CPL's after a home tune. Mine has a very early scope rail in the tube. Unfortunately it's about 2 degrees left!!! Luckily I have some C-mounts that allow me to scope it.
But I took the scope off. The factory open sights are very nice & a globe insert in front works well even for my old eyes.
I just bought a 34 dated Nov 1988.
It was accurate enough from the start but needed a lube tune badly.
If it wasn't freezing out I would have enjoyed it today a bit more than
I did. Frozen thumb, shakey hands. We do what we can do.
The older ones (like yours) have a much more adjustable trigger system, can get them adjusted for a nice pull, which helps a good bit.
Data for the 1993 version should be close. Stanbdard weight pellets (7.8-8.3gr.) 850-880fps. You'd think teh heavier weitghts would always be slower, but in such a narrow weight range, pellet fit to the barrel has more to do with speed than a few 1/10ths of a grain.
Good rifle...simple, reliable, and pretty easy to shoot.
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