By B.B. Pelletier
We learned about Daisy’s early Targeteers in the May 25 post, The BB pistol that didn’t shoot BBs. Today, we’ll finish that story.
Daisy brought the Targeteer back!
Daisy stopped making the .118-caliber Targeteer pistol in 1952. In 1957, they brought it back as a BB-caliber pistol that some people mistakenly call .177. The model NUMBER is 177, but the caliber is BB. Regular steel BBs are smaller than .177; but, at 0.171 to 0.173, they’re close enough to confuse. The new pistol was called the Targeteer B-B pistol. It was a 150-shot repeater with gravity feed, just like the earlier guns, and Daisy continued producing it until 1978.
The BB-shooting Targeteer looks like more of
a gun than the older .118-caliber pistol.
You won’t break the sound barrier with this gun!
The bigger caliber made a HUGE difference in velocity. The new Targeteer had almost none! Mine is a brand-new condition gun that averages 116 f.p.s. just after an oiling. Without the oil, the BB goes about 6 feet! On the box, Daisy says it has controlled velocity suitable for target practice on indoor ranges of 9 to 12 feet. What they really mean is, don’t shoot it outdoors or the BB will get blown about like a leaf!
From the type of box it came in and a few other things (like the fact that Daisy was owned by the Victor Comptometer Corporation when my gun was produced), I feel certain it was made sometime in the 1970s. I don’t know if that’s good or bad, but Daisy certainly had perfected their electrostatic paint and styrene formula by then, because my gun still looks pristine. I have Daisys from the early 1950s with plastic stocks that are warped and separated just from age.
Too hard to cock for the intended user!
My gun is very hard to cock – far more difficult than any of the earlier .118-caliber guns. Even as an adult, I find it extremely difficult to pull back on the “slide” the way Daisy intended. I do what every other .177 Targeteer owner does – I push the muzzle in with the heel of my hand. Then, I push it back the way they intended. The disconnector makes it impossible to shoot the gun until the slide and barrel are back in battery (in the forward position). There’s no danger of shooting myself in the hand this way.
The gun finally got real grips in the form of blow-molded styrene panels that resemble walnut. They’re too shiny to fool anyone, but they give the gun more of a 3D appearance than the simple sheetmetal grips on the earlier models. The sights are also adjustable, just like on the final version of the .118-caliber Targeteer. This might be the best LOOKING version of the gun they ever made – just not the best shooter.
That’s the whole story of the Targeteer from 1937 to 1977. Its finest hour was when the nickel gun was sold with the red and white shooting gallery. It never quite made the transition to BBs, though Daisy certainly hung in there by offering that version for 20 years.