B.B.’s Treasure Chest – The Daisy Avanti Champion Model 499

By B.B. Pelletier

Today is the longest day and shortest night of the year – in the Northern Hemisphere, at least.

Moms and dads – if you have children to train, this one’s for you!

Daisy leads the world in BB gun training
In 1959, Daisy introduced their first specialized BB gun to support the shooter education program. The model 99 was a gravity-feed gun in the first year and held 850 shots. Then, the design was changed to a 50-shot forced-feed magazine similar to that found in a model 25 pump gun. Those gravity-feed variations command a small collector’s premium today because of their scarcity.

The model 99 has an inexpensive peep sight that stays put by friction when adjusted. Some versions also had a cloth sling that was nearly worthless for any use.

Over the years, there were several configurations of the model 99, but they were all basically the same gun. Though it looked the part of a target rifle, it really wasn’t, and coaches all around America clamored to Daisy for something better. In 1980, they got it – the 499. Known as “The world’s most accurate BB gun,” the 499 soon lived up to its name by revolutionizing BB gun accuracy.

It’s a muzzleloading single-shot
The Daisy 499 is not a general purpose BB gun, despite how it looks. For starters, it’s a single-shot that’s loaded through the muzzle. One BB is dropped into the wide funnel-like muzzle to find its way down to the true barrel. The barrel is a precision tube, and it takes a BB several seconds to roll down because of the air it displaces as it goes. It hits the bottom with an audible click because of a magnetic shot seat.

After loading, the gun is cocked. This is when you notice the incredibly light effort needed to work the plastic lever. No BB gun ever cocked so easily! There IS a safety on the right side of the receiver. But to their credit, Daisy made it a manual type, so you aren’t bothered by it. Safeties on target arms are next to useless, because safety on a formal range is ensured by the vigilance of the range officer and all shooters following range safety procedures.

It has peep sights for proper target training
If you’re going to train your kids to shoot targets, do it right with peep sights. They’re easier than open sights and almost as easy as scopes, which is why most armies have used them on their battle rifles for the past half-century and longer. All the shooter has to do is look through the rear aperture and center the bullseye in the front ring.

You’ll be surprised by the accuracy!
The 499 is made for shooting at 5 meters, which is 16.4 feet. At that range, you should be able to shoot 10 shots into a group the size of a dime from the standing position. With practice, that group will shrink to the size of a pencil eraser.

Other stuff you need besides the gun
Always wear safety glasses when shooting anything, and especially a BB gun! Real targets are a must with this gun because the slow-moving BB will only tear a piece of copier paper. You’ll never know where it went through. Finally, you need a good BB trap. I like Crosman’s model 850 BB trap, which stands up to a lot of shots from a gun like the 499.

Don’t forget BBs
You need ammo, and I recommend Daisy BBs to go with a Daisy gun. A box of 1,500 should last a long time.

A lot of fun for under $100
Although the 499 was developed for young shooters, plenty of oldsters shoot it, too. In fact, as long as you have a good trap to catch all those BBs, this is the nicest indoor airgun made. I think you’ll be very surprised by the accuracy.

34 thoughts on “B.B.’s Treasure Chest – The Daisy Avanti Champion Model 499

  1. Ya just keep bringing back memories. I have one of these 499′s. Mine has a fancier rear sight that may have been an extra cost option. If you have young kids or grandkids get one or more of these. An added bonus is, these are almost accurate enough for bug busting, out to 10-12 feet. Just don’t shoot against hard backstops.


  2. Denny,

    I’m glad to hear about your 499. Aren’t they great?

    I think the better rear sight might have been sold with the gun at some time in the recent past (10 years or so). I have an optional one, but for some reason, I seem to have the smaller one installed.

    Great tip on bug busting. I never though of that!

    B.B.




  3. Hi BB,

    I’d love to hear what the 499′s accuracy opens up to when fired at 10m. Have you done this?

    -Joe



  4. Is it at all possible to put on the 4×32 Mini AO Bug Buster Scope, Illuminated Red/Green Mil-Dot Reticle, Flip-Open Lens Covers? Even though it says that is is not made for it can it be made to fit one?

    Rob E.

    (for my brother)


  5. Rob,

    No. A thousand times, no!

    The 499 is purpose-built as a 5 meter target gun. Putting a scope on it (if it were possible, which I cannot see how it could be done affordably) would be the equivalent of putting a trailer hitch on a Ferrari.

    Buy the 499 to shoot with peep sights and definitely get the upgraded rear sight.

    Tell your brother to look into the IZH 61 or a Beeman R7.

    B.B.


  6. I recomended those two already but you have to abmit the IZH 61 looks alittle…diffrent. I can try to convinse him to get the 61.

    Rob E.


  7. I used to have one of the old model 99′s you mentioned. Then the bane of all grown men hit … my mother … she sold it while I was away. Is ther any place that I can get one again? I loved that old thing.





  8. At age 61, I feel that life has come full circle in an important way. As a child in the 1950′s, my friends and I had Daisy BB guns. We were terrors to the local bird population. As an adult, I graduated to firearms, both shooting and reloading. When my wife and I moved to a subdivision from the country, I acquired the taste for shooting a Daisy 747, a Beeman R7 and a S&W 586 in my backyard. I shoot paintballs off a golf tee. I’ve adjusted to cheaper ammo, not wearing hearing protection, and lack of recoil. Now, I have ordered a 499. Back to a BB gun. Life is now complete. I’ve been skeptical of how a BB gun could be very accurate, but I’ll keep an open mind, at least for 5 yards.

    I enjoy reading your blogs, BB.


  9. sk73,

    I’m 60, and had the same upbringing as you.

    I also shoot firearms, reload and cast bullets, but I shoot airguns a lot more because the opportunity is there.

    B.B.


  10. I’m in the same boat as all of you. I started with a Daisy Model 1894, graduated to louder guns, and came back to air guns. Why pay current prices for gasoline when you can go down to the basement?

    I was just playing with my Model 99 (a garage sale find). The removable barrel/magazine is a great feature for firing lines with young shooters. All a range official has to do is see the barrel separate from the gun, and he/she knows the gun is disabled.

    Now that I think of it, the 1894 wasn’t really my first air gun. Remember those Daisy pop guns that were essentially a BB gun without the barrel? Find dad’s pliers, remove the rivet across the muzzle, and you’ve got a dirt clod flinger.

    Slavia


  11. I’ve had the 499 a couple of weeks now and I really enjoy it. It’s a great gun for the backyard. It’s extraordinarily accurate. You forget it’s a BB gun. When I first got it, I disliked the trigger and the short stock. But either the trigger smoothed out or I adjusted to it, and I added a Limb Saver recoil pad which adds about an inch to the stock and that fixed that problem. The gun needs a recoil pad anyway because it slips off your shoulder. And it even helps the look.



  12. Wonderful job as usual, B.B.!

    FYI if you belong to a shooting organization you can call Daisy at 1-800-713-2479 and order a 499B for $80 plus shipping. Normally Daisy charges $179. They didn’t even ask what shooting organization I belong to. Mine came with the better rear peep sight and extra inserts for the front, plus a sling (but no sling mounts….ah well).

    Keep up the great work, B.B.!


  13. My shooting “career” started with a daisy 499. I’m a little curious about the intro date of 1980 though. I notice that even Daisy has this on their website. I shot in the International Championshipmin Iowa in 1978 with a 499. It differed from the current 499 in that the stock was a heavy solid plastic of some sort and it had no safety. The lever was also metal not plastic like the newer ones. I still have the gun and the certificate from the match. I know the 499 was touted as a new gun that year.


  14. Before there was a 499 there was a 299. Then came the 499 and then the 499 B.

    I used the Daisy dates for the origin. They may differ because of their fielding program. That is, there may have been 299s and 499s out at the same time but the 299 may still have been the official designation.

    B.B.


  15. question – I have an old Model 99 and it just wont shoot the BB’s. What do I need to look for? Cock and fire, but nothing comes out?? Occassionally one will come out a few inches and hit the ground.
    Thanks
    Danny


  16. Danny,

    It’s one of two things. When did you oil the gun last? If you can’t re,member, oil it now–a lot! Maybe 10 drops through the oil hole.

    If not thet I suspect a broken air tube. That’s on the end of the piston and it pushes the BB up to about 50 f.p.s/. before the air blast takes over. If it’s that, the gun needs to be repaired.

    This guy can do it:

    Jim Coplen, PO Box 7297, Rochester, MN. 55903 (507)281-2314.
    5522 Clearwater Rd. Rochester, MN 55901

    Daisy doesn’t sell parts for old models like your, so parts have to be scrounged or made.

    B.B.


  17. B.B. – Looking for some advice. I'd like to introduce my daughter to shooting, and maybe she will pick up an interest so we could do it together. I'm at a loss however, between the 499 and the classic Red Ryder as her introduction. The RR is nice for a plinker, cock and fire over and over, but my (very limited) experience with the RR is a bit wanting in the accuracy department. I don't want her to get frustrated and lose interest become of that. The 499 doesn't suffer from that issue at all but being a single shot… might be a little less exciting for a child. I'm thinking that is her skill improves, the 499 would be up to the task and she could get the satisfaction of making her shot. I've never shot the 499, so I'm not sure if the loading is a kill joy or not, it may be but I'd think the precision shot would make up for it. What do you think? Do children tend to prefer general plinking or the satisfaction of a perfect shot? I'm not sure if she'll find this hobby a fun thing to continue with or not, but I certainly do, and I'd like to give her a great experience if she does.


  18. Bristolview,

    I suppose children have different desires and likes just like everyone else. So I can only speak for my self.

    When I was a youngster, I found shooting interesting only if I could hit what I shot at. The BB guns of my youth were disappointing, once I discovered how inaccurate they were. And the first pellet rifle I owned was accurate (it was a CZ) but the pellets were not, plus I didn't know about the artillery hold.

    So for me, accuracy reigns supreme. Also, don't assume that kids are as impatient as adults have become, Remember everything is still new and undiscovered for them.

    B.B.


  19. BB. Thanks. I agree, accuracy reigns supreme for me too. I wasn't sure if others were as off-center as me in that regard. I would go with the 499 myself, but I don't want to push my interests, I want her to find hers. Thanks.


  20. I came into possession of a Model 299/499/499B ?? this weekend and I cannot find any name or model number on it other than DAISY on the cocking lever. Can you help me determine the model number or variation info.


  21. Mike,

    The model number of the 499B is on the right side of the outer barrel jacket (what most people call the barrel) just above the middle of the forearm/.

    On the older 299 the model number might be located on top of the receiver, above the trigger and in front of the rear sight.

    The lettering is thin so look close and under different kinds of light. The letters are large, though. They should be clear, once you find them.

    B.B.


  22. Thanks for that and when I get home tonight I will look it over more closely. I have seen so many conflicting pictures online with conflicting names. The receiver is all metal and I read on Daisy's website that the cocking lever was plastic. Mine has no plastic on it, I don't think. The stock is straighter than all of the 499's that I see in pictures and on the front of the 499B ops manual. The stock has the emblem on it and the rear sight is broken off. The surface of the metal is kinda rough and bumpy from corrosion I guess.



  23. B.B. I'M 57 and have decided to come full circle Myself and get a 499 as soon as they come back in stock at P.A.. Can You explain (The Artillery Hold ) to Me for Airguns. Many Thanks Gary W.L.




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