Daisy Powerline model 35 multi-pump air rifle: Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier


Daisy’s new model 35 multi-pump air rifle is designed for youth. It’s a smoothbore with several interesting features.

Daisy calls this model 35 an air “rifle,” but it isn’t a rifle at all. It’s a smoothbore. Now, I take exception to the misuse of terminology, but I haven’t shot a smoothbore pellet gun in so long that I welcomed the opportunity to try this one.

Also, this is a new model from Daisy. Normally Daisy makes new models by painting their older guns or laser engraving them with a name other than the base gun they come from. So anything that is really new from Rogers, Arkansas, like this gun, is worth a look.

The Daisy model 35 is a multi-pump pneumatic that shoots both BBs and lead pellets, though not interchangeably. You have to decide which ammo you want to shoot, because the loading methods are different for each type. I will cover that in greater detail in Part 2.

Pellets are loaded one at a time and when you shoot them the gun is a single shot. BBs are poured into an internal reservoir that holds up to about 50. They are then fed by manipulating the gun as you load it. A magnetic bolt tip grabs each new BB from the reservoir and inserts it into the breech.

One thing I noticed about loading is you have to be careful not to let the pellet pass into the hole at the rear of the loading trough. That’s where the BBs come from and the hole is large enough to accept the pellet. If it enters the hole it could get stuck, so I found it best to roll the pellet into the trough with finger pressure, so it’s controlled and doesn’t go near the hole.

It’s a smoothbore!
Because the model 35 is a smoothbore, we get the opportunity to see how diabolo pellets perform when they are not spinning. A lot will depend on the length of the pellet, as longer pellets should tumble more than shorter pellets.

I read the customer reviews and several mentioned that the gun is difficult to scope. Scope??? This is a smoothbore gun and people want to scope it? The open sights that come on the gun are adjustable in both directions, and although they are not adjusted by precision detents and knobs, they are everything that’s needed to shoot well and have a good time. Forget the scopes for this gun, because multi-pumps are not suited to them.

Youth gun
This gun was undoubtedly made for youth. Daisy’s Powerline label applies to guns of a certain muzzle velocity and it is supposed to be for children 16 years and up, but in all other ways, this is a kid’s gun. Having a short-stroke pump makes it easy to pump to the maximum of 10 pumps, for which you are rewarded with a muzzle velocity of 625 f.p.s. with a steel BB and 605 f.p.s. with pellets. We know nothing about what pellet was used to test it, but Daisy must have used their own zinc-plated steel BBs for the BB velocity test. Therefore it will be very easy to compare the test gun to the advertised velocity.

As a youth gun the 35 is light, at just 3.1 lbs. And because there is no wood on the gun, that weight should not vary from one gun to another. The trigger is single-stage, which doesn’t appeal to me personally, but I think it’s the style preferred by more shooters. The pull is long and heavy enough to satisfy a lawyer, but it’s relatively free of creep. It isn’t crisp by anyone’s definition, but it is entirely usable and probably a good thing for youthful fingers. I’ll give you the pull weight in Part 2.

The sights are designed well and, as noted, they do adjust in both directions. Elevation is controlled by a notched elevator that slides in a slot in the rear sight leaf and windage is controlled by a screw that loosens to slide the rear notch in either direction. The front sight has a white dot , but if you light the target and keep the shooter in the dark the sight blade with appear square in the rear notch.


The front sight is a nice crisp post. You can hide the white dot with lighting, for better accuracy.


The rear sight adjusts in both directions. This photo also shows the BB loading door located on the left front of the receiver.

Maintenance
This is one of those pneumatics that looks like it cannot be stored with a pump in the compression chamber, because the bolt has to be cocked to charge the gun. Best to do it the way Daisy recommends. The pump head should be oiled, because it is just sealed by an o-ring. That makes the oil all the more important. There is a felt ring ahead of the o-ring that is accessed by opening the pump handle all the way, so it’s very easy to oil this gun. And the owner’s manual addresses this task very well

Lots of synthetic on this gun, as there must be at such a low price. What intrigues me is the nice adjustable sights and smooth bore. I’ll get a chance to see how diabolo pellets do when stabilized by just their high drag! I’m looking forward to it.

42 Responses to “Daisy Powerline model 35 multi-pump air rifle: Part 1”

  • flobert Says:

    It shares a lot of things with my Powerline 880, same BB loading port, looks like they just went to a conventional fore end instead of the big “dork handle” on the 880. And a smoothbore barrel to make it cheaper – chances are the average plinker will never notice.

  • RidgeRunner Says:

    Reminds me of the Daisy SSP I bought at a yard sale last year. I fiddled with it a couple of times and gave it away.

  • twotalon Says:

    B.B.

    I have the 880 and 922. I left the 922 fully pumped overnight once and ended up with the firing valve sticking. Had to disassemble and give the valve a bash manually. Then it would not hold air again.
    Had to take valve apart and clean it up (was deformed too much to seal) . Believe it was nylon. Works again.
    Have been storing both with 1 pump. Does not seem to bother them. Don’t do it pumped more than that.

    This new smooth bore should do one of three things…
    Make some kid happy.
    Totally discourage some kid.
    Give a kid an appreciation for better guns.

    twotalon

    • flobert Says:

      Interesting. I left my 880 pumped up (10 pumps) overnight and this morning punched the ticket of a noisy pesty bird who wouldn’t shut up, hit the bugger dead on at about 15 yards. Maybe I should be careful about keeping it stored pumped up though.

  • Robert from Arcade Says:

    Some more food for thought even though most, including the crickets would just yawn at me. When you test this ,please try some of the bigger lead H&N 4.54 RB ammo that PA sells now. I know it is probably not what any kid would use for ammo as it is expensive, but it would be interesting to see if it would do as well as the pellets. Regular bbs will roll right out the barrel if it wasn’t for the magnet that holds them, and lead bbs are the same size. I wonder if the bigger shot would work better and be easier to load. As a matter of fact, I have a old Benji 130 that I’m fooling with right now and trying both the H&N and lead bb shot in it to experiment .Lead bb shot meant for shotguns is .178 -.180 in dia.supposedly. Will know better when I get my 5 lbs of it from the vendor. In muzzle loaders I have shot UN-PATCHED RB with fair accuracy from both smooth bores and rifled bores, if the ball was a tight fit in the bore.

    • twotalon Says:

      I had a bag of the shotgun BB shot one time, back when I had a smooth bore Benji. It fit tight and shot very good. I eventually ran out and had no good way of getting any more at the time.

      twotalon

      • Robert from Arcade Says:

        TT: Thanks I remember you mentioning that on here. I found some bb field grade lead shot at precision reloading .com. It is $58.29 for a #25 bag, and they ship flat rate to save you postage. They also have #1 buckshot( around.312dia), and #4 buckshot( would be 6.35/ .25 air gun size which is.250-1dia) for .308 and .25cal reloading respectively.

        • Robert from Arcade Says:

          My bad, a correction to my reply above ,that would be #3 buckshot for .25 cal airgun use. Not #4 which is .240 in dia. The #3 shot runs in the .250 dia. range.

          • twotalon Says:

            Different brands seem to vary a lot between shot # and actual shot size for buckshot.

            twotalon

            • Robert from Arcade Says:

              You are right about that, as I have a old 5 lb. bag of Lawrence brand buckshot, that is clearly marked #1 buck that measures anywhere from .302 to .313 in dia. It wasn’t mixed up either , it came un-opened, but it is probably 40 years old. The #1 is supposed to be .300 dia. and 00 buck is supposed to be .320 dia. but it can be a crap shoot with the older stuff. That is why I like Hornady swaged stuff when it comes to larger size RB.

        • twotalon Says:

          I have part of a 5# bag of .25 buckshot around here somewhere. Tried it in a double barrel Navy Arms 12 guage magnum shotgun mixed with #4 shot. Defoliated trees very well, but only missed the squirrels. Scared the poop out of them though.

          twotalon

          • Robert from Arcade Says:

            Try the copper plated shot in the muzzle loader for tree squirrels. Big difference in the patterns, even if they are cyl bored. I like #5 size , for most any small game ,from turkeys down to squirrels. I shoot a Dixie ten gauge double, and a Navy arms 12 gauge single barrel

            • twotalon Says:

              Really, #5 shot is just about perfect for tree rats. Most of the shot stops just under the skin on the far side. Larger or smaller shot is just not good. Either over penetration or not enough. Then there is the pattern density. More shot that is too small does not get the job done. Big shot does not hit in as many places, but kills good when it lands in the right place…and no pellets in the meat.

              twotalon

              • Robert from Arcade Says:

                I think that the copper plating is the key and nickle plating might even be better for patterns. Less deformity means more penetration ,and the ten gauge in a muzzle loader is a better gun than the 12 in my experience. Folks need to forget some of what they learned with modern shotguns when using muzzle loaders.

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Robert,

      I have round lead balls in all sizes, as I used to collect zimmerstutzens. So finding something that fits shouldn’t be a problem.

      Are you thinking that round balls don’t need to be stabilized to fly true? It’s true that you can’t see them tumble but they do need a spin for stability. However, back in the 1850s there was a shooting club in Ohio that shot round balls in smoothbore guns and got some decent groups at 50-60 yards. The secret they discovered what to shoot a patched ball that fit the bore as tight as possible.

      B.B.

      • Robert from Arcade Says:

        BB: I do think that stabilization rifing provides is a good thing, but for the short ranges we shoot a bb airgun like this at , we don’t need the rifling, we just need the bb to fit. What I’m getting at is that if the bore is uniform and the ball is tight ,short range accuracy should be better ,than if the bb is just bouncing down the bore. Maybe the H&N roundkulgen in the bigger size would make it shoot better for folks.The cape guns of the early African settlers shot both conicals and ball, and the ones I’m referring were not muzzle loaders but breech loaders, mostly in 12 bore. I think I remember them being mentioned in Greeners book of the gun , and Elmer Keith’s book on shotguns. I could look it up ,but I think that’s where I read about the importance of RB fit in the bore of smooth bore weapons. Some also had very slow twist rifling and may have been taper bored. My flint lock 20 gauge trade rifle does 5-6″ groups at 50 yards without at patch . I experimented just in case I needed to re-load fast with a dirty bore. If you stick a tight patched ball half way down the bore in that ,all you have is a long club with a sparky thing on it.

  • Frank B Says:

    Good morning BB,I’m not clear about your statement that multi-pumps aren’t suited for use with a scope? Did you just mean this one? I understand with a smoothbore,but a small rimfire scope balances well on a couple of mine.The added aiming precision is a real bonus for me.Pumping the ones I have scoped is still real easy too,because the pump doesn’t have too much resistance per stroke.

    • J Says:

      Frank,

      I think BB mistyped. I think he meant to say there’s not much point scoping smooth-bores instead of saying there’s not much point scoping multi-pumps.

      At least that was what my experience with my Crosman 760 showed. In my experience, rifled multi-pumps like the Daisy 880 and old Crosman 664 (with the rifled barrel) were accurate enough that they did reasonably well with a scope.

      J.

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Frank,

      No, I really did mean that scoping a multi-pump is a waste of a scope. Not because they aren’t accurate, because some are, but because the scope sits right where your hand needs to hold the rifle as it is pumped.

      The only multi-pump I ever saw that worked well with a scope was a Daystate Sportsman Mark II that had the pump handle on the right side.

      I have tested and reported on scope mounts for multi-pumps, and the ones that attach to the receiver do work, but once again, the scope gets in the way.

      This is a personal feeling of mine and more a matter of preference.

      B.B.

      • B.B. Pelletier Says:

        I will add, after reading J’s comment that the Daisy SG22 also works well with a scope. But again, it’s because of where the pump handle is located and how it works.

        To me the term “multi-pump” connotes a Benjamin 392 or a Blue Streak. Those are the guns that I would not scope.

        B.B.

        • flobert Says:

          I like the scope on my 880 (the crosman “targetfinder superscope” lol for about $8 at Wally’s) and it doesn’t interfere with pumping the gun.

          I’m actually considering getting a *better* scope, not sure what. Once in a great while I get to a Big-5, and they have a few scopes, mostly I just get whatever they have at Wally’s. (I took my 880 home from Wally’s tied across my bicycle handlebars/basket, I was surprised no one yelled “You’ll shoot your eye out!” at me.)

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Thank you,

    B.B.

  • Slinging Lead Says:

    BB

    As far as leaving a pump in the gun for storage, it seems this might be safely accomplished by first cocking the gun, then pumping, then pulling the trigger while holding onto the cocking lever and then moving the lever forward slowly. I can decock my 1377 and Blue Streaks in this manner but not the M417. Perhaps it will work on the Daisy?

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      SL,

      Yes, it can be done. But I don’t know if the Daisy design will support it. I cannot recommend it.

      B.B.

  • Frank B Says:

    I certainly concede your point on the difficult pumpers! You are also spot on about the exceptions:my Daisy 822 is just the 22sg BEFORE the “make-over”.Those pump so easily,you at first assume it’s broken! They are ideal ergonomically for holding near the wrist with the butt on your thigh while pumping with the other hand.The scope is only an obstacle to loading…..some of the troughs are fraught with pitfalls to insure loading a pellet is near impossible! A scope that isn’t a mile above the bore tends to add another hurdle.The recent 880 is a joke in that respect.My use of the Scopechief rimfire Bushnells(remember them? ) works out great.The bottom of the scope tube IS an 11mm dovetail for most of the scopes length.The mount is a dovetail clamp on top&bottom.I use the foreward segment of dovetail on the gun,and slide the scope to gain proper eye relief.The port remains accessable,and the tube is WELL supported so holding it directly above the mount while pumping causes no stress to the scope.It took 4X as long to type as it did to set up the gun.The major BONUS is nobody seems to want these early Bushnells.They WERE good enough to build a major scope company on! That fact seems long forgotten.Back in the “day” many airguns used them…..my FWB 150 had one,and it came hand delivered from Germany in ’67 for a Veteran’s brother to hunt squirrels with.The retired Veteran told me his brother was legendary as a squirrel hunter with that combo.

    • Robert from Arcade Says:

      Another scope like the Bushnell Scopechiefs were the Western Auto brand Revalations. Same mounting system,Japanese lenses and very nice. I notice also that the one piece scope mounts also strengthen the clam shell type guns receivers a lot. The barrel assembly on the Crosman 2100 pumper for example, is often loose from the factory and the front receiver screws that holds it, gets loose from pumping them up. The Weaver scope I have on mine with the steel 3/8″ tip off type, one piece stamped metal mount keeps that barrel assembly more ridgid. Even those old small tube Weaver .22 rimfire scopes were good . See them at flea markets all the time for $5. They had real glass lenses,and steel tubes, great for guns like this one if you can’t see well.

  • Desertdweller Says:

    My Daisy multi-pumps (two 880′s and an 856) are quite accurate out to 30 yards with the Daisy 3-9 Powerline scopes. I usually use 8-10 pumps.

    That seems to be beyond the range of accuracy for the Crosman 760 (smoothbore version).

    A problem for the 880 is the chance of a pellet getting into the BB feed hole. I’ve had to take one apart for that reason.

    I’ve found the Daisys are easily rebuildable, and Daisy has a good support service with parts available with fast service at a low price. If I remember correctly, a new barrel (shot tube) with valve assembly is only about $11. And it is rifled. Perhaps the Model 35′s barrel could be replaced with this piece. I don’t understand why the 35 doesn’t have a rifled barrel.

    I actually like the 856 better than the 880. Mine is a late-production version that is pellet-only. No BB port for the pellet to get stuck in. Mechanically, it is 90% the same as the 880. The pump lever is the forestock, which is a lot easier than the “dork handle” on the hands. That forestock is longer than the one on the 760, making the 856 easier to pump.

    Les

    • Robert from Arcade Says:

      I was able to completely swap out a barrel/shot tube/valve assembly from a early metal receiver 880 with one from a brand new China made Daisy 880. The barrel on the old one is a seperate renewable part , on the newer gun it is one piece unit. The valve is different also, so you need the complete shot tube /valve unit. I also did this with a pre-China 880 shot tube assembly and the China made 880. The older metal pump lever also will exchange. Bought these guns just to see if it could be done. I think you could make a 880 into a SG22 with just the shot tube assembly ,but I haven’t tried that yet.

  • Frank B Says:

    Robert,I’m glad we run different “turf”……between us we may run up prices on those great little scopes.Most that I find are in excellent condition once the deep relief objective is carefully cleaned of the funk of ages :) I think the uninitiated just assume the lenses are crappy……years of sitting on a rifle in a corner they can develop quite a film of gunk.My favorites are the Scopechiefs that go up to 7X……but fixed 4X sure beats budget minded open sights for my old eyes.
    I would nearly kill for a well preserved original metal 880 Powerline.Even my metal 760 dissapoints with the crazy barrel mounted sight screw holes that trajically ENTER the bore! The front one must be terrible on the pellet,since it is less than 1″ from the crown.I’m tempted to cut it & recrown it….It will certainly be done this winter.I’ll report my results here for sure.

    • Robert from Arcade Says:

      Frank B.
      The Crosman 2100 also have that problem with the over long rear sight screws that press on the soda straw barrel inside the shroud. Always need to shorten those. My metal 880 ( a model 881 actually ,to be exact) was junker that was missing the barrel and front sight assembly when I bought at a flea market for $5.00. That’s what started me experimenting swaping parts. I did eventually buy the right parts and made it original. Thing was , it was NOT as powerful as my newest China made Daisy 880. It is more accurate though, like silly accurate . I ‘m looking for a rifled barrel for my old metal 760s, mine are smooth bored. That, or any dead 760 with a rifled barrel.

      • Desertdweller Says:

        Of my two 880′s, the newer one is Chinese-made. The only difference I can find (aside from the plastic of the Chinese one being a darker brown) is the Chinese one has two extra screws holding the receiver together. They are smaller than the rest of the screws, and help secure the stock to the receiver. This corrects a potential weak point in the original design.

        These guns are user-friendly for myself and my grandchildren. I’ve never shot a BB with them. I see no reason to shoot BB’s through a gun that is capable of shooting pellets.

        The Powerline variable power scopes are a nice upgrade over the 4X standard scopes. They make a nice combination with the 880 for about a hundred dollars.

        Les

  • Frank B Says:

    Pyramyd’s sales department just plain ROCKS! I just recieved my just back in stock .25 Kings,& a tin of Barakuda match .177s.I only ordered them 3 days ago,they came so well packed it was like a box of ancient artifacts!! This close to Christmas,that level of speed & care is phenominal.
    To contrast this,I ordered 5 valves for HPA with filters in them from Paintball online.They showed them as “In Stock” before & after I ordered them…..on Nov.24.Yesterday I get notified that they are shipping 4 (not 5) NOW.It took 45min. on the phone just to reach them.No apologies offered,& the guy says they are just being boxed (day AFTER saying they shipped) & they can give me a 5th in black instead of blue.I said thats fine……he replies that the black one will cost me over 50% more than the others! So,I waited a MONTH,45min. on hold,for items “in stock”,never told they weren’t,then a different color identical product is offered for 160% of the price I was quoted!!! How’s that for BUISNESS??? I will always give Pyramyd my buisness for the sake of my mental health!

  • Mike Says:

    “To me the term “multi-pump” connotes a Benjamin 392 or a Blue Streak. Those are the guns that I would not scope.”

    BB, the way around this problem is to mount the scope forward out of the way. A “Scout Scope” or a Handgun Scope with the proper eye relief works great. Give it a try sometime.

    Mike

  • Victor Says:

    I have one smoothbore that really I like. It’s accurate enough to be a “fun gun”. This gets into yet another definition of “accuracy”. Fun-gun-accuracy means accurate enough to hit the can, or other object most of the time. It’s not measured, but rather, observed. When such a gun is tested and measured for accuracy, you find that it can shoot nice little groups 6 or 7 out of every 10 shots, with the other 3 or 4 shots appearing to be flyers. For a kid starting out with airguns, a “fun gun” can bring a lot of happiness. :)

    Victor

  • ELCID Says:

    Sorry to post off topic but do you have any idea where I can find the thinwalled, smoothbore tubing used in the Umarex/Crosman/Daisy BB guns? It seems to measure about 6.5mm or so on the OD. I don’t mind having to shave something down a bit (love to tinker)…….hope you can help.

    Love the blog!

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      ELCID,

      I don’t know of a source for that tubing. Would you be willing to buy a thousand dollars of it?

      When a steel manufacturer sells stock to anyone they usually want an order that’s worth their effort. Most airgun builders buy their steel inn 16-foot lengths and buy about a thousand dollars worth at a time. They don’t buy enough to build a good relationship with the steel company. The tubing is delivered on a local flatbed truck and it’s often palletized.

      I don’t know of a store that sells steel tubing like this.

      B.B.

  • Meplat Says:

    BB,
    I’ve been waiting for a long time for a smoothbore accuracy test. Reason is because I have a Daisy Grizzly that’s a single pump with a smoothbore. The first time I tried pellets in the Grizzly, they were keyholing the target. Those pellets were some kind that had a steel ball embedded in the front for the purpose of improving penetration.
    So I shot BBs exclusively in the Grizzly for awhile. Then one day I happened to try a light-weight Daisy wadcutter pellet in the Grizzly and it shot straight and true! No keyholing at all. I was shooting at 10 yards and often could touch the hole made by the previous pellet with the next pellet.
    My .02 on things I’d like to see explored with smooth bore/diabolo pellet accuracy:
    1. What effect does velocity have. With a multipump that would be easy to test. I’ve seen that my Grizzly can be more accurate than I thought it could be with pellets at about 290 fps. Will be interesting to see what the model 35 does at up to 605 fps.
    2. Is accuracy limited more by the lack of rifling, or by the sights. The model 35 has nice sights. What would be the effect of putting fiber optic sights on it?
    3. Which pellets does the smoothbore like best? Is there a preference for a certain length/weight/nose configuration (wadcutter, dome, pointed)
    Looking forward to part 2…

  • Sal Says:

    I need some help!! My bolt handle doesn’t move no matter what i do. Please help.

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Sal,

      This is a difficult thing to diagnose through the internet. Please tell us the history of the gun, and have you maintained it with Crosman Pellgunoil?

      B.B.

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