Daisy Avanti 499 Champion – Part 2 The world’s most accurate BB gun

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

Now, let’s shoot!
The 499 is very light for adults and even for some kids. In the International BB Gun Championships, the coaches add weight to their kids’ guns based on how big the shooter is. I think the limit is 6.5 lbs. Someone asked about the weight earlier and I thought I’d already given it, but I guess not. At any rate, I shoot the gun at the stock factory weight and I do okay.

IMPORTANT SAFETY NOTICE
The 499 manual has you cock the gun first, then load it. If you do it that way, the shooter’s hand and possibly their face will be in front of the muzzle of a loaded and cocked gun. I prefer to load first and then cock. My way means a shooter’s hand and possibly their face will not be in front of the muzzle of a cocked and loaded gun. I have been doing it this way for over 10 years, and it works perfectly, so my advice is to ignore what the manual says and do it my way.

Use only the best ammo
I know you aren’t going to cheap out and try to use regular BBs in this gun, are you? Of course not! That would be like buying a new Corvette and trying to run it on regular gas. The best accuracy is only possible with Daisy’s Avanti Precision Ground Shot.

Load the gun
You load the gun by dropping a single BB into the large funnel-shaped muzzle. You’ll hear it roll down the bore to the magnetic seat, where it stops with a click. Once you hear the BB contact the magnetic seat, you may cock the gun. On some rare occasions I have not heard the tiny click that announces the BB is in position. In those cases, I wait about five seconds and assume the gun is loaded. Then I cock the gun without the audible confirmation.

Trigger
The trigger is single-stage and non-adjustable. Mine lets off at 2 lbs., 14 ozs. Coaches are known to work on the pull, but I don’t think they can do that much with it. It’s still going to be single-stage, which isn’t as precise as a conventional two-stage target trigger. But, it does work well with practice.

Firing behavior
Shooting the 499 produces a buzz that may sound cheap to most shooters, but hold your opinions until you see the results downrange. In a good shooter’s hands, this BB gun will keep all its shots on Roosevelt’s head on an American dime. A BB gun champion can keep them all inside this letter – O.


Not too shabby for a bifocal-wearing 60-year-old man who is definitely out of practice. Five shots offhand at 15 feet. The current rules provide for a slightly larger target positioned at 16.4 feet. A top shooter will keep them all in the 10-ring, which is the white inner circle.

One detractor
The one bad thing about this gun is the pistol grip. It’s nearly horizontal and it forces you to either put your fingers through the cocking lever, where there isn’t enough room, or to grab around the lever, which feels awkward. I would hope for a more vertical target grip with a cocking lever that didn’t get in the way.

Range and target
BB gun competition today is shot at 5 meters, which is 16.4 feet. That’s a change made to acknowledge a metric distance, rather than one measured in feet. Since it’s slightly longer than the 15 feet that used to be, the target was changed. The target is made especially for this kind of shooting, and it’s available from Pyramyd Air. The target works specifically with the gun, so this is another thing you need if you buy the 499. You’ll also need a good BB backstop, and the best one is Crosman’s model 850 Pellet and BB Trap.

Summing up
The Daisy Avanti 499 Champion is so much more accurate than any other BB gun on the market that there isn’t any comparison. It’s a gun made for a single purpose – to put its BBs inside the 10-ring of a 5-meter target. You don’t have to use it for that, of course, but buy the gun knowing that it was made to do just one thing. For training youngsters to shoot straight, develop personal discipline and perhaps grow up loving the shooting sports the way we all do, you can’t get a better start than with a Daisy 499.

33 thoughts on “Daisy Avanti 499 Champion – Part 2 The world’s most accurate BB gun

  1. Hi,B.B.Recently I had the chance to buy back an old 1980″s Blue Streak that my brother had to sell during a bad time It pumps a little to easy and it seems to have lost velocity.Any thing I can try before I send it out for seal repair?Thanks.


  2. You can oil the pump piston head for starters. That will ensure a full fill with each pump stroke. It will also lubricate all the internal seals and O-rings so any leaking air is stopped.

    Be sure to store the gun with a pump of air in the compression chamber. That seals both the inlet and firing valve against contamination.

    This is a situation in which a chronograph is greatly needed.

    B.B.


  3. Thanks B.B. Im going to do that.Do you oil the head at the end of the pump slot at the muzzle end or the end that has the air hole that says”do not oil’?


  4. I can’t say enough good things about the Daisy 499. If you live in an apartment or have limited space to shoot, this is your gun. Very quiet, very cheap to shoot and very accurate within range.
    My basement range was a bit over 30 ft. but the Daisy was still impressive. If you got young’uns to teach marksmanship and gun safety, get ‘em one or more.


  5. To oil the pump head, flip the rifle on its back and open the pump handle all the way. The pump head will just be visible at the end of the pump slot closest to the forearm (away from the muzzle). On some guns there is a felt oil ring behind the pump head and that’s what gets the oil.

    On other guns there is no felt and you just drop the oil down around the pump head itself. The object is to let it get spread around the walls of the cylinder where the pump head moves, so some is available to the pump head at all times.

    B.B.


  6. Morning B.B. Just got my Discovery and enjoyed watching my son teach a non shooting friend the joys of markmanship. A question please. What type of maintenance does this PCP need? I’m using CO2 also. After reading Vince’s blog on determing the correct fill pressure a chronograph is next purchase. Which PA model do you recommend? Thanks very much.


  7. Bruce,

    Maintenance on the Discovery is pretty easy. Keep the O-ring on the bolt lubricated with silicone oil (no Pellgunoil for this gun – it’s a PCP) and keep the air fill nipple clean.

    Except when switching gasses, always keep the gun under pressure.

    And that’s about it.

    B.B.


  8. BB, any idea why the 499 is not made as a repeater? I can’t imagine that steel BB’s are under much risk of deformity in a feeder mechanism (especially a gravity feed mechanism).

    Just seems that it might expand the appeal of the gun without adding any real cost – after all, I’d think that it would be a simple matter of adding a high-precision barrel to an existing repeater mechnism.


  9. Vince,

    Since most target rifles are single shots, I think Daisy went that way for that reason. By making this a muzzle-loader (more dangerous to do), they simplified the design.

    Repeaters have to have more generous tolerances to prevent jamming, and I think Daisy wanted to avoid that problem.

    There is even a similar situation in target rifles, when Harry Pope turned a breechloader into a muzzle-loader. He felt muzzle-loading was the key to the greatest accuracy, so he made many Marlin Ballard rifles that had breechloading actions into muzzleloaders.

    His guns were called muzzleloading breechloaders, because the cartridge was still inserted into the breech in the conventional way.

    B.B.


  10. b.b….cowboy dad here (my new moniker, thank you very much).
    Thanks for the review on the 499. When my 4 year old turns 6 and inhierits the Red Ryder, the oldest will definitley get a 499.
    Also a great tip about the loading procedure. I got rid of a Marksman BB gun last year (mostly plastic) after only a week because it jammed and there was my child starting into the barrel to try and figure out what was wrong. One of the things I really like about the Red Ryder…after at least a 1000 shots it has NEVER misfired.
    Considering the overall build quality of the Daisy products (I’m the guy with the Avanti 853) and safe construction of their products I’m really surprised they recommend loading the BB first.



  11. bb,

    i was in the market for a new powerful spring gun, and i’ve wanted a .25 patriot for some time, so i go to pyramydair to see how much it is, and they’ve taken it off…next i hear from forums that the qc is horrible oin the new plant in turkey where they’re making the webleys…is this the end of the .25 patriot?…i knew i should’ve gotten one sooner…:-(

    DED


  12. B.B.
    My dad just gave me a King Mfg. Company BB gun (rifle), 1000 shot made in about the 1940s. It was given to him when he was in his youth. It is not in the Blue Book unless it is listed as some other company. Do you know anything about this BB gun? It looks like a daisy. It still shoots and is in good condition.
    Thanks



  13. King,

    King was originally made by Markham, so look there in the Blue Book. Daisy had acquired them by the 1940s, and your gun will have a Daisy model twin, but the King name is what sets your gun off.

    Daisy used the King name (the plant was located across the street from Daisy and was run by Cass S. Hough, the grandson of the Daisy founder and later the president of Daisy) as a lower-priced gun for chain stores like Sears & Roebuck.

    B.B.


  14. BB,

    Hi. I bought three Crosman Pulse P50 see-thru Airsoft electric pistols for shooting with friends. Two of them no longer spit out BBs, and I’m wondering if extensive dry-firing might be the culprit. I saw somewhere that dry-firing an electric gun damages the piston or somesuch thing. Does this seem like the obvious culprit?

    –Joe B.


  15. Joe,

    Extended dry-firing isn’t recommended, of course, but the Crosman see-through guns are not that robust to begin with. So probably don’t dry-fire the one working gun.

    B.B.


  16. B.B.

    Nice bullseyes. I’m finding that things I am learning in match pistol shooting are carrying over to the rifles. My focus at the moment is more of a steady press or squeeze on the trigger than the quick touch-off I was doing before.

    Matt61



  17. BB, I’m going to try the Avanti shot in my old benjamin 3100. I just order them a day or two ago.

    Also, I just used my new chrono with my RWS 52. It’s shooting about 850 fps with JBS Exact Heavy in .177. Is this about right for velocity? They do shoot well.

    Thanks.

    Mike


  18. Mike, I’m no BB but it appears that your ’52 is doing about 16-16.5ft-lbs of energy, which seems low for that gun. Then again, heavy pellets seem to be less efficient than light ones in springers.

    My ’48 (same powerplant) with a new spring can do about 24 ft-lbs in .22, but .22 springers usually get more energy than the same gun in the smaller caliber.


  19. 499 hop up,

    Some tar on the mainspring would reduce the buzz. As for a hop-up, I suppose it might be possible, but what’s the point? The gun doesn’t need to shoot any faster to hit the target.

    This is a dedicated target rifle. If you want more power/velocity, a Red Ryder is there already at less than half the price.

    B.B.


  20. Mike,

    A 10.2-grain pellet moving 850 f.p.s. generates 16.37 foot-pounds. I would have expected more like 18 from this rifle, but count this a blessing in disguise, because you accuracy is going to be wonderful and the barrel isn’t going to lead up.

    B.B.


  21. Thanks Vince and BB for your comments. The gun is very accurate with this pellet. Also, this 52 only has about 750 rounds through is so it’s probably not at it’s best yet.

    Even at this speed, it really seems to smack the squirrels hard!

    Mike


  22. BB

    Off topic…Do you know when the new adjustable mount to solve the barrel droop in the rws break barrels will be in? I would like to get a scope on the rws 34 so I could give it a try with a scope.. I tried 2 different ones from rws at $50 and both were garbage… would not hold settings and became loose…
    Also I bought a used rws 94 for about $165 made in Spain…super nice rifle..NO BARREL DROOP, more fps than advertised (920fps with 10.6 grain pellets at 2,800 elev. too) super lite trigger (1 or 2 lbs), very accurate (20 shots on a 3/4″ orange dot at 60′ with the gun resting on my knee sitting in a recliner, nice finish, under 7 lbs with great balance, easy to cock, … a perfect springer as far as I can tell…
    The only issue could be the barrel seems a little loose where it breaks, but it is solid when closed. (Unlike what happened with the Mendozas 600, 200 & Avenger 1100s that I returned to Pyramyd with barrels that wiggled back and forth 1/8″ after about 3,000 test shots each) I only have about 1,000 test shots on the 94, a much better rifle than the 34, in my humble opinion, so my question is, why is the 94 discontinued? Is the barrel going to get loose like the Mendozas?
    I might want to buy a dozen for my rifle range, do you think I could get some somewhere before they are totally off the market? Should I, and where would I buy some, if I should?

    Wayne,
    Ashland Air Rifle Range & Rentals


  23. Wayne,

    It isn’t an adjustable mount. It’s a base that solves both the droop problem and the recoil stop problem. You will still have to use Weaver rings with it.

    I have no idea why RWS discontinued the 94, but if you want the last ones, contact Umarex USA. If anyone has them, they should.

    B.B.


  24. Thanks BB..

    I will try to connect with Umarex USA.
    No comment on the durability of the rws 94?

    I will get an order off to Pyramyd for the base and Weaver rings. I wonder why that wasn’t offered instead of the adjustable mount when I bought the 34..oh well..I guess there is a lot of info to pass to the sales people with all the things they sell, to keep them up to snuff..

    Thanks again for the blog
    Wayne


  25. B.B.

    You said the 499 is the world’s most accurate BB guns. What about the Haenel BB guns? How do they measure up to the 499 in terms of accuracy? I thought the Haenel are better made than the 499.

    Thanks,
    Joe


  26. Joe,

    Well, that’s where being very precise about labeling is so important. You see, the Haenel 310/ Anschutz 275 is not a BB gun. It’s a 4.4mm lead ball rifle. So it doesn’t qualify for comparison.

    And the 499 is still more accurate than the Haenel 310 at 5 meters.

    The Diana model 30 gallery gun might be termed a BB gun, except it really shoots steel balls that are ball bearings. Without the right ammo, that gun won’t shoot. So, technically it’s not a BB gun, either.

    And I’m guessing by “built better” you mean made from machined steel instead of stamped steel plate. Most people would think that makes a better gun. It certainly feels better in the hand. But the fact is, a ceramic knife that cannot be easily sharpened is a better knife than a cheap all-steel bowie knife made in Pakistan, if you take cutting into account. So the choice of materials is arguable, even though I like machined steel, just like you.

    B.B.


  27. B.B.,

    Please clarify… Did you said the Haenel 310/Anschutz 275 is not a BB gun because it has a rifle barrel and not a smooth bore barrel?

    Thanks,
    Joe


  28. Joe,

    The rifled barrel is one reason its not a BB gun. The fact that it is 4.4mm and not 4.3 mm is the other.

    Forget that most BBs are sold as .177 caliber. They are really .173 caliber or 4.3mm, but the term BB has come to mean a steel ball of that size. Which is why I go crazy when all the airsoft manufacturers call their ammo 6mm BBs. But that’s another pet peeve of mine.

    B.B.


  29. One of the problems with bb guns is that they have a tendency of rubber piston shrinkage. I thought about it a decided that I would spray a quarter inch of Armorall down the barrel and leave it set overnight to soften the rubber and somewhat condition it. Some of these Daisy rifles are 40 years old and never been touched. I think it helped my air gun. Let me know what you guys think.
    Thanks, Ken E.


  30. Kevin E,

    Thank you sir. If anyone else has tried that Armorall trick–it hasn't been mentioned here.

    How well has the piston seal held up?

    Mr B.

    PS B.B. does a daily blog please post uyour comment there so that more of us can read and comment on it. http://www.pyramidair.com/blog


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