Posts Tagged ‘Beeman Perfect Rounds’

Daisy Powerline model 35 multi-pump air rifle: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

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

I’m retesting an airgun that I tested over a year ago. One of our readers called Daisy and said he was getting much better accuracy from his Daisy model 35 multi-pump air rifle than I had gotten in my test, and he asked Daisy if they would look into it. Well, they read the accuracy report (Part 3) and agreed with him that I should have gotten better accuracy than I did. So Joe Murfin, Daisy’s vice president of marketing, called and asked if I would be open to a retest.

Joe told me that Daisy engineers were getting groups of about 1.25 inches to 1.5 inches at 10 meters. I’m sure he meant 5-shot groups, and of course I shoot 10-shot groups; still, his groups were significantly smaller than what I’d gotten from the last gun. My 10-shot groups were in the 2.5-inch to 3-inch range.

I don’t like to retest
Normally, retesting airguns leaves me cold. My philosophy is that I test what users get, and it’s whatever it is. I look at the gun the same way a user would, except that I may know a few more things than the average user and am able to do things most people wouldn’t think to do. That gives the gun a fair test and also educates people who may learn a new trick or two by reading what I’ve done.

I have to admit that over the past year I’ve learned a lot about accuracy with diabolo pellets and the things to look for. More recently, I have become aware of the tremendous accuracy potential of some smoothbore airguns. From that standpoint, a retest of this smoothbore airgun is warranted.

This is not life-saving equipment, and the outcome isn’t that important in the grand scheme of things; but wouldn’t it be nice to know if this $35 airgun is really better than we initially thought? I agreed to retest the gun, and Joe sent one directly from Daisy. Instead of the black stock I had last time, this new gun is finished in camo. Other than that, though, it’s identical to the gun I tested before.

Upon reviewing the last accuracy test, I see I used the 7.9-grain Crosman Premier pellet, RWS Hobby pellet and some vintage Daisy Superior Match Grade pellets I had laying around. At the time, that sounded like a good idea; but after spending more time with the Diana 25 smoothbore in recent months, I think there are some other pellets I ought to try — namely the JSB Exact RS pellet and the RWS Superdome.

In the last report on the model 35, I wasn’t specific about what number of pumps to use for each shot. There was nothing to go on for this test except my experience with other multi-pumps. I would only be shooting at 10 meters, and high velocity wasn’t necessary. Six pumps sounded good to me, and that’s what I used for every target. If this was a larger, more powerful multi-pump, I might have opted for 5 or even 4 pumps, but the Daisy 35 is pretty small, and 6 sounded about right.

First target revealed loading problems
I shot the first target with JSB Exact RS pellets. They did well for the most part, but 3 shots landed apart from the main group. I was having difficulty loading the gun, and I think I may have loaded several pellets backwards because of how easily they flipped around on their own in the loading trough. I was shooting in a dark place to overcome the fiberoptic open sights and was unable to see the breech when the pellet was loaded. Those 3 stray shots might be explained as loading errors. Before I move on, I should note that the size of this first 10-shot group is close to what Daisy told me to expect from 5 shots at 10 meters.

Daisy model 35 multi-pump air rifle RS group1 10 meters
A well-centered group is ruined by three wild shots. They may have been pellets loaded backwards. Group measures 1.52 inches between centers.

Nothing to do but shoot another group with the RS pellets — making sure each pellet went into the breech the right way this time. I used a portable spotlight to shine on the breech during loading to see which way the pellets were oriented. I think Daisy could spend a little time fixing this problem because that loading trough is almost too small to work with.

The second group was much better. Ten more JSB Exact RS pellets went into 1.108 inches. This is better than what Daisy told me to expect, and my interest was piqued. How good would this gun get?

Daisy model 35 multi-pump air rifle RS group2 10 meters
The second group of 10 JSB RS pellets went into 1.108 inches at 10 meters.

RWS Superdomes
The second pellet I tried was the RWS Superdome that so many people love. The first 10 pellets made a 1.119-inch group. It’s actually too close to the second group of RS pellets to see the difference, but that’s what the caliper read when I measured it. And these pellets hit the target in approximately the same place as the JSBs even though they’re heavier.

Daisy model 35 multi-pump air rifle RWS Superdome group1 10 meters
The first group of 10 RWS Superdome pellets went into 1.119 inches at 10 meters.

The second group of Superdomes wasn’t quite as tight as the first. One stray pellet that I hesitate to call a flier landed below the main group, opening it up to 1.243 inches. But that’s still the best that Daisy said to expect from this gun!

Daisy model 35 multi-pump air rifle RWS superdome2 10 meters
The second group of 10 RWS Superdome pellets went into 1.1243 inches at 10 meters.

But wait –
Well — there you have 4 groups that are all significantly better than any of the groups I got in the last test. The Daisy model 35 can shoot after all — just like our reader said. I wondered if there was any more accuracy beyond what the gun had already delivered. So, I fired a fifth group, this time with JSB RS pellets. Instead of 6 pumps per shot, I gave it the full 10 pumps for each shot. This time, they all landed in 0.76 inches, or as close to three-quarters of an inch as it’s possible to get.

Daisy model 35 multi-pump air rifle RS group3 10 meters
Ten pumps tightened each shot to deliver almost a three-quarter-inch group. JSB RS pellets, again.

Obviously, using the right pellets made all the difference in the world. That’s a lesson I’ll try not to forget. Even an inexpensive airgun like the Daisy 35 deserves a fair chance to perform its best.

What’s next?
I would love to press the 35 into service as a dart gun, but the tiny breech prevents the loading of darts. I may be able to load them through the muzzle, but you’ll have to wait to find out because I seem to have misplaced my .177-caliber darts. But there’s still 25 yards to test, so you haven’t seen the last of this airgun.

Diana 25 smoothbore pellet gun: Part 5

by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Diana 25 smoothbore
This Diana 25 smoothbore was made in World War II.

Today’s blog falls under the heading, “It’s not always a good idea to try everything.” Back when we were exploring the Diana 25 smoothbore airgun, we saw how incredibly accurate it was with certain pellets at 10 meters.

Diana 25 smoothbore JSB Exact RS deep-seated group
This 10-shot group of JSB Exact RS pellets was shot at 10 meters. The extreme spread measures just 0.337 inches between centers! It made us all wonder just how accurate a smoothbore pellet gun can be.

When I backed up to 25 yards, however, the groups opened up to between 2.5 and 3+ inches for the same pellet. Obviously, the pellet needs to be stabilized by both the high drag of its diabolo shape and by the spin introduced by rifling. Drag, alone, is not enough to stabilize the pellet.

One reader then asked me to try shooting round lead balls in the gun. Today, I’ll conduct that test for you.

Beeman Perfect Rounds
I shot Beeman Perfect Rounds, which are H&N Rundkugel but under the Beeman label. They weigh 7.7 grains, which is the weight of a medium-weight diabolo pellet.

The balls fit the Diana’s breech quite well, though one was slightly larger than the others. But the rest would not drop into the breech and had to be seated with the thumb — just as a pellet would. They did seat easily, however, and I noticed the gun’s powerplant seemed harsher than it is with pellets. I suspect the balls had less resistance than a pellet since they only touched the bore at their circumference, and there’s no rifling to engrave them.

Diana 25 smoothbore pellet gun round ball in breech
Except for one, each round ball fit the gun’s breech very well. Most stopped like this and had to be gently pressed into the bore with the thumb.

Testing at 10 meters
I began the test at 10 meters, thinking the gun was accurate at that distance with diabolos, so it should be accurate with round balls. I’m sure the reader who asked me to test round balls must have thought the same thing. But when I fired the first shot and could not find the hole on the target paper, I stopped shooting. Fortunately there were no new holes in the wall!

I then moved up to 12 feet and shot again — this time standing and using the door jamb as a brace. The shots now went to the bull at which I was aiming. But the group is hardly worth celebrating. Ten shots went into 1.166 inches at this distance. I’ve shot many BB guns that could do so much better than this that it’s embarrassing to consider.

Diana 25 smoothbore pellet gun 12 foot group round balls
Ten shots from 12 feet did make a group on the target, but that’s way too close for a gun like this! Group measures 1.166 inches between centers.

I guess the Diana 25 isn’t made to shoot round balls. If there was any doubt before, I hope this clears it up. I didn’t shoot any more groups because of how harsh the powerplant seemed to be. I didn’t see any reason to strees the mechanism more than I already had.

Shooting round balls got me thinking about other types of non-pellet projectiles, and of course darts came to mind. I decided not to try them in this gun,as the powerplant is too powerful for them. It would bury a dart deep in wood, causing its destruction upon extraction. But that did give me another idea.

I was recently asked to conduct a retest of a gun I tested some time ago. Apparently, a blog reader felt my results were not typical of the gun I tested, so he called the manufacturer and they contacted me. That gun in question is a smoothbore, as well, and it’s a multi-pump, so the velocity can be controlled. I plan on testing darts when I test that gun for you.

A tale of two Daisy 25 BB guns

by B.B. Pelletier

Announcement: Rick Ruth is this week’s winner of Pyramyd Air’s Big Shot of the Week on their facebook page. He’ll receive a $50 Pyramyd Air gift card! Congratulations!

Rick’s shooting his Crosman Quest spring-piston breakbarrel rifle. Since this photo was taken, Rick says he’s replaced it with an RWS 34 springer and says it’s a much better gun.

Today, Vince takes us through a test between a vintage Daisy No. 25 pump-action BB gun and its modern equivalent. In his usual distinctive way, Vince shows us how much has changed through the years, as well as what’s remained the same.

If you’d like to write a guest post for this blog, please email us.

Now, take it away, Vince!

The Daisy 25 pump BB gun, despite the endeavors of the popular-but-technically-flawed movie, A Christmas Story, remains in many ways the iconic Daisy. In my mind, it’s forever thus enshrined. I can still remember one sitting in my uncle’s basement gun cabinet — and that somehow, in comparison, my cousin’s Red Ryder and my own Daisy model 1894 looked distinctly toy-ish. Maybe it was the wooden pump handle and way the really long cocking arm blended into the front of the triggerguard. Perhaps it was the duck hunting scene pictured on the action. WOW — you could hunt DUCKS with that thing!

I never got to try out that particular gun, and it wasn’t until about 5 years ago that I finally got my hands on a used No. 25 from Gunbroker — which was promptly returned to the seller. “Good working order” is not an accurate description when the shot tube is missing.

The NEXT one I got was a plastic-stocked gun from the mid-50s, I think, and I FINALLY got to shoot one. It was all over the place. And I mean ALL OVER THE PLACE. Accuracy was poor, even by BB gun standards. Off it went to its next appreciative owner.

A short time later, I was meandering through a local sporting goods store and saw — GASP! — a brand new No. 25 on the shelf. The price was under $40, so I bit.

I got it home, and even though the gun followed the design of the No. 25 rather faithfully, somehow it didn’t quite seem right. Don’t know if was the Chinese paint, the Chinese metalwork, the Chinese wood or the Chinese plastic trigger with safety or just the fact that it said “MADE IN CHINA” on the gun. But it didn’t seem to be a real No. 25; and, even though it didn’t shoot badly, it never seemed much different than a contemporary Red Ryder.

So this latest version of the venerable No. 25 went quickly back to sitting on a shelf. A while later, however, ANOTHER No. 25 came into my hands. This one was a very early one, this — an Alpha to compliment the Omega I already had. Well, not QUITE the Alpha, but darned close – manufacturing details seem to place this gun between 1916 and 1924.

Gee. Now I’ve got a pair of No. 25 BB guns at the extreme ends of the manufacturing spectrum, their births being separated by something like 90 years and 12,000 miles. It sure sounds like a comparison test has been decreed by the Fates, and far be it from me to oppose those irresistible cosmic forces.

Two Daisy No. 25 BB guns. The new one in front looks longer because of the camera’s perspective. They’re the same length.

What is it with the Chinese and that orange-colored wood? They’re virtually identical in length at 37 inches. Oddly enough, the newer one is heaviest at 3.50 lbs., with the old one coming in 7 oz. lighter. That extra length in the cocking arm has something to do with it. The old one is blued, while the newer one is painted.

Given their disparity in origin there are going to be some detail differences. A couple show up in the top rear view of the actions.

Top view of both actions shows the differences in the sights and their placement. The newer gun (bottom) also has a backstrap that the vintage gun lacks.

The old one has a ramp-adjutable rear sight that sits a bit further away from the shooter’s eye, which makes it easier to focus. The new one is screw-adjustable, and it flips to present either a notch or a peep sight to the shooter. Another obvious addition is the additional strap extanding from the rear of the action to the top of the stock’s pistol grip. I imagine Daisy had some cracking issues to handle. [Editor's note: This strap was added to the 1930 version of the gun that was just prior to the engraved 1936 version. Once added, Daisy never removed the strap again, despite there being 20 years before plastic stocks replaced wooden ones.]

The pump handle on top is on the original short-throw pump linkage that’s held to the barrel by a steel clamp. The linkage on the new model is anchored by a spot-weld.

Speaking of handles
The handle on the newer gun is further forward. This was done when they lengthened the cocking arm (in the 1920s, I believe) to reduce cocking effort. On our examples, there doesn’t seem to be much of a difference. Other detail differences include the mounting of the front pump handle guide and the shape of the fixed front sight.

Although I’m not planning to do a teardown as part of this writeup, I can show you the shot tubes, since they’re regularly removed anyway. The shot tubes are the true barrels of the No. 25. They screw into the outer sheetmetal housing that most people refer to as the barrel.

The shot tubes look somewhat different, but actually can be interchanged.

They load the same and work the same, but obviously are made a bit differently and certainly don’t look interchangeable — there’s a cast metal breech base on the newer one.

Finally, we can see what the plain actions looked like before Daisy started decorating them. Details in the triggerguard and trigger construction are pretty obvious, especially the addition of that ungainly safety on the newer one.

The right side of the two actions shows an interesting comparison. The newer trigger (bottom) is certainly the feature that stands out the most.

Let’s start shooting
OK, tour’s over. If I’m gonna shoot these things, I need to shoot something through them — and they do have different appetites. The old one is strictly for lead shot only. If I load it, steel shot will probably come out the other end — but the feed and holding mechanism relies on the softness of the lead, and using steel shot will likely booger things up. Specifically, this rifle was made for the old .175″ air rifle shot that Daisy used to market.

Key phrase being “used to.” Daisy doesn’t make it anymore, and it was suggested to me that the closest thing we have today seems to be Beeman Perfect Rounds, which just happen to measure .0.175″ across. Picking food for the modern one is easy — it’s a Daisy, so it gets Daisy zinc-plated BBs. Tom has found them to be the better ones these days, and I’m generally finding the same thing myself.

I’m using the normal 15 foot BB-gun distance, and firing three groups of 5 shots each:

Two sets of groups — the vintage 25 on the left and the new gun on the right. Vintage gun groups measure 1.41 inches, 1.41 inches and 1 inch. New gun groups measure 0.70 inches, 1.28 inches and 1.38 inches.

Not too much difference, really, other than the lead BB’s are easier to score. In fact, it’s the newer gun that averages slightly better. That’s a bit of a surprise, as the older gun certainly shows a nicer sight picture to my eye because the rear leaf is further away — and I really think that the Beeman Perfect Rounds are more uniform than Daisy BBs. For these reasons, I would have expected more consistent grouping from grandpa.

One nice thing about the newer Daisy is the way the rear sight flips from a leaf to a peep. Will that tighten the groups?

Shooting the new gun with the peep sight instead of the rear notch didn’t improve the groups. They measure 1.05 inches, 1.60 inches and 1.45 inches.

The peep sight doesn’t really make things better. In fact, they’re slightly worse than the groups shot with the rear notch sight. The notch is the best to use for me.

Now, let’s skip back to those lead BBs in the older gun. As I said, I was expecting them to be more accurate. Heck, they sure oughta be, given their price. And how much more expensive are they? I have no idea, because they seem to be discontinued. They ARE available direct from H&N, however — but they’re $16 per 500. Crazy indeed, because you can still buy .22LR ammo for that price. [Editor's note: Gamo .177-caliber round lead balls are still available for a lot less than the H&N balls.]

This leaves me with one more thing I gotta try. Let’s say you have a vintage 25 just like I have, and you want to shoot it with some sort of frequency. Or you let your grandson try it, who then lets the can of round lead balls slip out of his hand and empties your 3-cents-a-shot ammo into the grass. There’s no doubt about it — if you’re gonna use a BB gun the way BB guns were intended to be used, you’re gonna go broke unless you have stock in the lead forming industry. So, why not just use steel BB’s?

As Tom explained it, the old shot tubes have a “pinch” in the tube near the breech that would keep the shot from rolling out when the muzzle is pointed down. If we switched to steel ammo, it would probably work for a while, but eventually we’d run the risk of that pinch being worn down. Do we REALLY want to risk an irreplaceable part on an antique BB gun, just so we can temporarily save a few bucks on BBs?

But there’s another solution, because neither Daisy nor the Chinese really have a vested interest in altering things just for the heck of it. Obviously, the shot tube assemblies from each gun LOOKS different, and some construction details have changed. But what happens when you actually try to screw the tube from the newest gun into the old one?

It may look odd, but using the new shot tube on the vintage No. 25 allows you to use cheap steel BBs.

You get what’s called “a perfect fit.” Yup…100 years apart in design, and not even the 7/16″ National Coarse thread at the bottom of the tube has changed. Time to see how this works.

Three groups with the vintage gun using the new shot tube and steel BBs. Groups are sized 1.55 inches, 0.90 inches and 1.20 inches.

As you can see, it’s slightly worse than the newer gun with this same tube, but so close as to be virtually identical. And it’s still slightly better than the original tube with Beeman ammo. Best of all, the gun fed and fired flawlessly.

I did a chrony comparison of these guns and found that that the early model seems to have lost some of its zing. Shooting it with the lead balls gave me the following numbers:


The new one (shooting much lighter steel BBs) is better, but still under the advertised velocity of 350 fps:


So, exageration is hardly unique to air rifle manufacturers! Lastly I tried the old gun with the new shot tube:

Shot Vel.

In both strings with the old gun, we see a very definite downward curve in velocity the more it’s shot. Not sure why that is; and given the gun’s age, I’m not entirely surprised. Could be the seal or the spring — but it matters little, as it won’t be seeing too much use.

So, there you have it. The old gun, firing precision ammunition a gazillion times more expensive than cheap BBs is no more accurate than a new one. The old gun, with an old spring and an old seal, might not have the power of the new one. The old gun can be updated with new parts to shoot cheap BBs, but it won’t shoot much different from a new one when you do that.

From all this, you can draw your own conclusions. It’d be easy to say “Wow! Home run for Daisy!” and pat them on the back for bringing this model back to life. And, from a cursory glance at the innards, it’s obvious that this really IS a genuine Model 25, with an internal design substantially unchanged in almost a century. If shootin’ fun is what you’re after, this one gives away nothing to the vintage model.

But is there more to it than that? For me, I can say that it’s pretty obvious that the new gun has certainly succumbed to some serious homogenization. Compared to, say, a contemporary Red Ryder, there’s just no personality to differentiate it…not even a cosmetic one, really. The metalwork, the cheesy wood finish (cheddar, specifically) and price are all in the same ballpark. Couldn’t they stain the wood a nice, dark brown? Or up the power a bit? Or SOMETHING? I know there has to be a lot of commonality among products like this, but come on — whatever happened to the virtues of “diversity”?

But this is getting a bit off-topic. The new Model 25 is a decent BB gun, and functionally gives away nothing to the old one. If you can get past the compromises that seem to be imposed by the current manufacturing climate, there’s no reason not to enjoy it.

[Editor's note: One thing strikes me about the velocities Vince got. The vintage Daisy No. 25 seems to be performing like it's lacking oil. Or at least that's how an old gun behaves when it needs to be oiled. No doubt, it's a bit tired after all those years, but Vince: Did you oil the gun before testing?]

Daisy Powerline model 35 multi-pump air rifle: Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

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

Today is accuracy day, and I know a lot of you have been waiting to see what this smoothbore Daisy Powerline model 35 multi-pump air rifle can do. Because it’s a multi-pump, I experimented a little with the number of pumps, but all groups were 10 shots at the stated distance.

Not a rifle
Before I start the report, here’s a little nomenclature lesson. Our UK readers should know this far better than our U.S. readers since they’re quite particular about calling guns exactly what they are. Americans, on the other hand, often refer to a long gun as a rifle, regardless of whether it is rifled or not. In this day, when there are no more buck-and-ball smoothbores or muskets to contend with, I suppose it’s understandable — but it isn’t correct. And, when we encounter a real smoothbore like this model 35 Daisy, we make the mistake of calling it a rifle. Heck, even Daisy calls it a rifle, but it isn’t. It’s a gun, by the strictest definition of the term. So, I’m calling it a gun — not a rifle.

Let’s begin the report.

I said last time that the pellets were prone to falling into the BB hole at the rear of the loading trough. Reader GenghisJan said he pushes the bolt forward to block the hole after cocking but not far enough to interfere with the skirts of the pellets being loaded. I tried his method and found that it works, but the loading area is still too small for me to roll the pellet in the way some other folks advised. So, I continued to let it drop over the receiver with the muzzle pointed straight down. That works for me nearly all the time.

I thought I would first test the gun rested at 10 meters. If it turned out to be accurate, I would then back up to 25 yards in a separate test. But if it wasn’t accurate at 10 meters (11 yards), there was no hope for it at the longer distance.

I used a 6 o’clock hold; and although the front sight has a white dot, I was able to mask it entirely by lighting the target brightly and shooting in a dark room. So, the maximum sighting precision was used on every shot.

Pellets were first, and the first pellet tested was the 7.9-grain Crosman Premier. I pumped the gun 6 times per shot because that seemed like a good place to begin.

The performance on target, however, is not very good. I’m not showing the customary dime next to the group because I had to photograph the first group while the target was still taped to the backer board. Not all 10 pellets remained on the target, and this was the only way to show the actual size of the group.

One of the 10 Crosman Premier pellets missed the target paper entirely (to the right). The black bull is approximately 1-3/16″ diameter (30mm), and this group is about three inches in width.

After that group, I thought perhaps my technique was bad or maybe the pellet was wrong, so next I tried the RWS Hobby pellet.

RWS Hobbys were no better at 10 meters! Another pellet missed the target to the right and this “group” undoubtedly measures in excess of 3″ across.

At this point, I examined the pellet holes and thought perhaps the pellets weren’t stable in flight. Each hole seems to have a tear to one side, as if the pellet passed through slightly off-axis. Next, I tried a different pellet and a different number of pump strokes.

Daisy Superior Match Grade pellets
Don’t search for these pellets online. The ones I have date back to the 1980s and have not been retained in the Daisy line. They’re starting to show signs of corrosion but haven’t turned white yet. I shot them on 5 pumps and, surprisingly, they turned in the best group to this point. They were grouped about 2-1/2″ above the aim point, however.

Ten obsolete Daisy target pellets made this group, which is the best one made to this point in the test. It measures 2.201″ between centers and stayed on the target paper.

The “accuracy” improvement is so minimal, though, that I don’t think anyone needs to mourn the loss of this pellet. It’s a lightweight wadcutter, if you want to experiment.

Like the first two pellets, most of the holes with this one also seemed to have the telltale tear on one side, so I thought 10 pumps might solve the problem. Would going faster make the pellet any more stable? Ten pumps did bring the pellets back to the aim point — sort of.

Ten pumps did nothing to improve the group of Daisy target pellets. In fact, one of the three pellets to the right (probably the one closest to the target) missed the target paper entirely.

Summary of pellet accuracy
Obviously, I’m not going to shoot this gun at 25 yards and risk putting pellets into the wall. We wondered how accurate a smoothbore might be, and I must say that I’m a little disappointed by the lack of accuracy seen here. I could spend a lot of time chasing after a better pellet, but that’s not time well spent.

On to BBs
BBs were next, and I moved in to 25 feet from the target. Eight feet less might not seem like a lot; but when you’re dealing with something as potentially inaccurate as a BB, it can be. Normally, I would have started with a shot from 12 feet just to make certain the gun was on target, but something told me it was. The first shot was from 25 feet. I shot in the offhand supported position, which means I braced myself against a door jamb.

I used Daisy zinc-plated steel BBs as the ammo, because I’m testing a Daisy gun and because I’ve found them to usually be one of the best BBs on the market. RWS BBs are just as good; but like I said, this is a Daisy gun.

This time, I used a BB-gun target, whose black bull is about the size of a U.S. dime. The normal distance for shooting at this target is 15 feet (offhand); so at 25 feet, I was under a slight disadvantage. The lighting was the same as for the 10-meter targets and the sights were just as sharp as before.

Ten BBs from 25 feet offhand supported produced the second-tightest group of the entire test. It measures 2.277″ between centers.

Don’t go making any assumptions about the four BBs that landed together just above the bull. They were shot and sighted exactly the same as the other 6 shots and are just a coincidence. This is where 5-shot groups tell you much less, because notice there’s a fifth shot in the black just below the group. I have no idea when that was shot in the series of shots, but some writers will make that the reality and explain away the other holes — or just not show them!

Wow! A little Photoshop fakery and this “5-shot” group looks like a winner!

Bottom line
I liked the Daisy Powerline model 35 until it came to accuracy. Then, it seemed to be an adequate BB gun, but not up to par with pellets. I guess those little spiral scratches in the barrel mean something after all!

Daisy Powerline model 35 multi-pump air rifle: Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

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

Today, we’ll look at the velocity of the Daisy Powerline model 35 multi-pump air rifle. You’ll remember from Part 1 that this is a smoothbore, and as such we’re going to be testing the accuracy with diabolo pellets. One reader asked me to test the velocity of the gun with round lead balls, so I did that, as well. There’s a lot to test, so let’s get to it.

Number of pumps
A multi-pump lets the shooter select the number of pumps for every shot — up to the maximum recommended number. In this case, that’s 10 pumps. I decided to test the model 35 on 5 and 10 pumps, just to simplify the test and to bound the amount of work to be done. Five pumps takes us to the place where the gun is shooting fast, but also where each successive pump provides diminishing returns. Ten pumps takes us all the way as high as the gun is recommended to go.

Crosman Premier lites
The 7.9-grain Crosman Premier pellet is a good choice for this gun if weight is the criteria. Because the model 35 is a pneumatic, this pellet won’t suffer like it would in a spring-piston gun of the same approximate power.

Five pumps
On five pumps, the velocity averaged 478 f.p.s. and ranged from 472 to 481 f.p.s. That gives us an average muzzle energy of 4.01 foot-pounds. This velocity should be okay for target shooting at 10 yards; but if I were shooting farther than 15 yards, I would probably pump it more.

Ten pumps
The model 35 is rated to develop 605 f.p.s. with pellets, but of course that would be with the lightest ones. I expected to see 550 f.p.s. with these 7.9-grain Premiers. They actually averaged 565 f.p.s. and ranged from 559 to 570 f.p.s. That’s a muzzle energy of 5.6 foot-pounds. I would have to say the gun meets my expectations when it comes to power.

Loading difficulties
I mentioned this in Part 1, and I’ll reinforce that now. This gun is very tricky to load with pellets. You must watch the large hole at the back of the short loading trough that’s there for BBs, or you’ll get a pellet stuck in it. I find it best to point the muzzle straight down and let the pellet tip over the edge of the receiver, where the nose will fall into the breech if you’re fortunate.

RWS Hobbys
Next to be tested were the 7-grain RWS Hobby pellets. You might think that these would be a lot faster because they’re almost a full grain lighter than the Premiers; but in a pneumatic gun, velocities don’t increase that fast.

Five pumps
Five pumps gave an average 495 f.p.s., or just 17 f.p.s. more than the Premier did at the same number of pumps. The range went from 492 to 503 f.p.s. The average muzzle energy was 3.81 foot-pounds.

Ten pumps
On the full 10 pumps, I expected to see the Hobby pellet approach 600 f.p.s., but it did not go quite that far. The average was 577 f.p.s., and the velocity ranged from 567 to a high of 586 f.p.s. At the average velocity, the muzzle energy was 5.18 foot-pounds.

BBs were next
Next up were steel BBs. I had to shoot either BBs or pellets. If there’s even a single BB in the gun’s internal reservoir, the magnetic bolt tip would attract it. I counted the BBs as I loaded the gun, because I didn’t want to have excess BBs remaining after this part of the test. Of course, I used Daisy zinc-plated BBs because this is a Daisy gun.

Five pumps
On 5 pumps, the BBs averaged 517 f.p.s. They ranged from a low of 505 to a high of 529 f.p.s. The average muzzle energy was 3.03 foot-pounds.

Ten pumps
Ten pumps bumped the average velocity to 616 f.p.s. — breaking the 600 f.p.s. level for the first time in the test. The velocity ranged from a low of 612 to a high of 619 f.p.s., so BBs were more stable than pellets in this gun. You don’t often see that. The muzzle energy was 4.3 foot-pounds.

The trigger-pull was noticeable throughout this test because it’s so heavy in relation to the overall weight of the gun. When a 9-lb. rifle has a 5-lb. trigger-pull, it seems right. On the other hand, when a 3-lb. gun, like this model 35, has a trigger that breaks at just over 6 lbs., it’s too much. It’s a single-stage and fairly free from creep, but the sheer weight of the pull is daunting. I think it’ll affect me during the accuracy test.

Round lead balls
I tried shooting some round lead balls in the gun because a reader asked me to. Since I will also shoot them for accuracy, I selected the largest lead balls in this caliber. Beeman Perfect Rounds, which were made by H&N and are identical to the H&N Rundkugel were the ones I chose. They measure 0.176-0.177 inches in diameter and weigh 8.3 grains.

Five pumps
On 5 pumps, these balls averaged 414 f.p.s. and ranged from a low of 396 to a high of 434 f.p.s. At that speed, they generate 3.16 foot-pounds.

Ten pumps
On 10 pumps, they average 504 f.p.s. and range from 480 to 522 f.p.s. They produce an average of 4.68 foot-pounds. With such a large velocity spread, I don’t look for great accuracy — especially at longer distances.

Evaluation so far
To this point, the model 35 is proving to be an interesting little pneumatic. The upcoming accuracy test of a smoothbore airgun is what I’m really waiting to see. Feeding with BBs was 100 percent positive, but with pellets it was difficult to load the gun. The lead balls loaded easily enough because they have no sharp shoulders like the pellets to grab things and turn them around. After all — they are balls — so who knows where the front is?

The trigger is heavy, but the sights are crisp. I’m looking forward to seeing what this little gun can do.

I will say this. The model 35 is very quiet! It has a No. 2 noise rating on Pyramyd Air’s site, and it deserves one. Only a Red Ryder would be reliably quieter.

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